Focus Point - Gore And GasCommentary by Pete du Pont
August 14, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. It's a funny thing about Al Gore; he doesn't want to take credit for current gas prices. Yet of all the things he has taken credit for, this one is genuinely his responsibility. After all, in "earth in the balance," he wrote high gas prices were desirable as a national energy policy. And in 1993 he cast the tie-breaking vote for the gas tax increase.
Gore claims the steep gas price hikes are the result of OPEC/big oil collusion. But the FTC, the GAO, the energy department and congressional research service have all said big oil's done nothing wrong.
But the Clinton Gore administration has cancelled numerous oil leases, banned drilling in Alaska and California, and closed much public land to oil exploration. The result? U.S. oil production's down, reliance on foreign oil's up. Toss in EPA mandates that increased costs and led to regional price disparity, and you have the current mess. And if Al Gore wants to know what happened, he should read his own book.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, remembering Alec Guinness.