Thursday, June 19, 2008

THE GASOLINE PRICE CRISIS: AN "AHA!"

Of course! I was just dozing off for an afternoon nap, while listening to an interview of a John McCain strategist on NPR, and I bolted upright on the couch with the following realization: the gasoline price crisis in this country is a manufactured strategy of the Bush administration and it's big industry supporters.

Think about it - what kinds of news stories are we hearing these days in terms of government solutions to the gasoline crisis? Here are two that are prominent in the news, and as really well-produced TV and other media advertisements: 1) we need to build more nuclear-powered electricity generating plants; 2) we need to drill for oil off the coasts of the United States, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Major political battles were fought and won in this country decades ago to stop or severely limit off-shore oil drilling and building new nuclear energy plants. But the oil and nuclear industries have been trying to find the right handle on this one; the handle that will push the American public in the direction of new drilling and new nukes. Well, there's nothing like a gasoline crisis - prices climbing towards $5 per gallon (remember when $4 per gallon scared us?) to get the public in the mood for something to ease the pain.

Lily Tomlin once said "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." Call me cynical, but the most logical reason I can think of for the suddenly high price of gasoline is a strategy by government and industry to gin up a big scare and a lot of economic pain as a way of softening us up for what they really want. And that goal is even bigger profits.

Now I can go back to sleep.

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