Focus Point - Gas Prices

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. As Midwest gas prices top $2, and liberals blame big oil, we might ask where the price bumps came from. And the answer - no surprise -- is Washington.

For a decade, government regulations have required the addition of Oxygenates to gasoline, even though scientists say they're no longer necessary, and may even be harmful. Oxygenates are made from Ethanol, which is made from corn, which is grown by farmers who vote in the Iowa caucuses. Get the picture?

In 1990, congress passed the clean air act, which mandated gasoline sold in smog-bound areas had to contain oxygenates to reduce Carbon Monoxide. But cars made in the last 20 years are already clean. Oxygenates are a political additive, not a scientific one.

So, Midwestern gas stations have to wait for this specialty fuel -- fuel supplies are short, and prices go up. The EPA, of course, denies the obvious. But, of course, they're in Washington, not out where gas prices are higher.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the crashing curriculum.