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Family budgets, not Congress, will lead to gas conservation
Posted by: McQ on Friday, May 05, 2006

Why is it people like Massimo Calabresi think it is up to politicians to tell us the obvious before we'll consider it or do it?
Members of Congress have been scrambling lately to tell Americans that there are no quick and easy fixes to high gas prices. "There is not a panacea of short-term solutions to the [gasoline] price situation today because it's a demand-driven price," said House Energy Committee chairman Joe Barton, Republican from Texas, at a news conference Wednesday. House Ways and Means committee member Rep. Jim McCrery of Louisiana concurred: "I don’t think there’s any magic political solution." And Congressman Adam Putnam of Florida, a member of the House Republican leadership, says that at a bipartisan House and Senate meeting on gas prices with President Bush on Wednesday, all the participants from both parties recognized that "there are very few things we can do immediately" to reduce the price of gas.

In fact, there's one obvious thing Congress and the President could do. But around Capitol Hill only a few lonely voices are willing to talk about it — most of them not for attribution. "You have to encourage people to conserve," says one Republican staffer.

Gasp. Tell Americans to drive less? Though a fractional reduction in driving across the country would dramatically reduce demand and prices, few things are more frightening to public officials, especially six months before an election, than telling Americans to conserve.
All over America, millions of people are paying much higher gas prices, assessing their impact on the family budget and adjusting accordingly. One way they'll adjust is to drive less, combining trips to the store with other activities and the like. Another, especially if its time to buy a new vehicle, will likely be to look for one which gets better gas mileage. My guess is, if you're an SUV fan, you'll be able to pick one up on the used car market for a song pretty soon.

But waiting for "leadership" from Washington to make these suggestions? My goodness, a good portion of Americans can't even tell you who their congressperson is much less listen to what he or she might have to say about "conservation". What will drive their decisions will be much more mundane concerns which see them paying $40 for a tank of gas that previously cost them $20 ... not some pronouncement by a congressperson who thinks "driving less" is a good conservation idea.

Millions of individual buying decisions are what will eventually stabalize gas prices and, as the conservation gradually takes effect, probably drop the price of gas at the pump somewhat. But trust me, America isn't waiting on Congress to "lead" by suggesting conservation. It is already engaged in buying decisions which will do so if it finds that to be economically important to them.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

The only one’s waiting for the gubmint to do something about the price of gas are the Lib/commie democrat lemmings that EXPECT the gubmint to do everything for them....but come out of someone else’s pocket.

Written By: navtechie
URL: http://
Golly, I thought a new tax on oil company profits would drive down gas prices.
Written By: the wolf
But trust me, America isn’t waiting on Congress to "lead" by suggesting conservation
No, most of them are waiting for Congress to wave it’s magic wand and make the big bad oil companies go away and give us free oil for all.
member Rep. Jim McCrery of Louisiana concurred: "I don’t think there’s any magic political solution.
Actually, there may be, but you don’t have to sack to get it done, it’s called MORE DRILLING, making it EASIER TO BUILD REFINERIES, and RELAXING ENVIRO REGULATIONS, etc etc etc.

Frankly, whenever I hear the whining about high oil prices, I want to slap the country as a whole. We have the prices we deserve (which are still amazingly low compared to Europe)
Written By: shark
URL: http://
As to taking action on the individual level, the learn-to-ride motorcycle classes around here have been full for months, and I think some extra classes have been added.

That’s on top of the ’combine trips-drive less when can’ stuff. Now if we can get the enviroweenies out of the way to build some more refining capacity and drilling...
Written By: Mark
I thought one of the big arguments for raising taxes on gasoline was to encourage conservation due to the higher price at the pump. Maybe the higher price must come from taxation to trigger that effect. *Shakes head.*
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I’m not sure how conserving it here so the Chinese can buy the new surplus helps...but I’ll help.

Nor am I sure how allowing a private company to exploit ’American’ oil for subsequent sale to China and India helps ’America’ achieve oil independence either.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Well I want my $100 and tote bag!
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

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