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March 08, 2012 07:59 PM UTC

Because They've Got To Keep Talking, That's Why

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank opines thoughtfully:

The Republican National Committee sent out talking points instructing party faithful to take up the issue. House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) urged his caucus to do the same. And, on Wednesday, the House energy committee obliged: The Republican majority called in a bunch of oilmen for a hearing dedicated largely to blaming President Obama for high gas prices…

In fact, domestic oil output has sharply increased under Obama to the highest level in nearly a decade and is expected to continue expanding. Even if that stopped, it’s not obvious that European price levels (which are inflated by taxes) would be an automatic result.

But reason has nothing to do with it. As the stock market advances and the labor market improves, Republicans are losing their best campaign themes. That makes the recent spike in gas prices – in part a byproduct of higher economic growth – a potentially crucial issue for the opposition…

Note the concerted nature of this campaign–while the House Energy Committee rounds up oil executives to speculate wildly on what the results of all domestic production suddenly ceasing would be, because that’s of course what Barack Obama is just about to do, Rep. Cory Gardner holds a press conference in front of a Conoco station to announce duplicitous legislation that won’t bring down the price of gas. And while Chevron announces that it’s pulling out of oil shale research in Colorado, GOP Reps. Scott Tipton and Doug Lamborn push legislation to expand oil shale leasing, with or without (in this case, apparently without) industry.

And the best part? All this useless grousing is to solve a problem Obama supposedly created, even though the facts show there’s been more domestic energy produced under Obama than his Republican predecessor! This is one of those cases where, if you understand a few simple facts, you can plainly see that one side of the argument is obviously lying to you.

But we get why they are. With the economy coming back and the GOPs’ long-cherished social wedge issues morphing into liabilities, they’re running out of gas–figuratively, not literally.


8 thoughts on “Because They’ve Got To Keep Talking, That’s Why

  1. Dem leadership at federal and state levels had better dedicate themselves to doing a bang up job of getting out the simple truth. It shouldn’t be that hard. No fancy shmancy nuance required.  The facts are practically bumper sticker ready.

    Also Dem ads should all include the many clips of all the various Fox pundits, on show after show, claiming, back when GW was president, that you have to be an idiot to believe any American president can control oil prices because it’s all a matter of market forces affecting a world wide commodity.  Saw a good one with O’Really saying anyone who claims the president can  control oil prices is a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    This is all easily packaged, easily explained stuff. Dems need to go Luntz on this stuff with the difference being that, unlike the GOP, Dems can use the truth for their talking points. Makes internal consistency easier.

    1. Democrats get rolled on energy issues because we let Republicans lie about them, plain and simple. I think the lying this year may be worse than ever, and might not work this time. I’ve seen more stories debunking the political angles on gas prices this time.

      That’s my anecdotal feeling about it anyway. I hope I’m right.

      1. Lots of stories on non-righty cable.  The emphasis always used to be cowering before the GOP message and begging people to see that Dems were pro-energy, pro-business,  too, and really didn’t hate rich people, Oh please don’t accuse us of class warfare, etc. That’s the same as saying the GOP has the better ideas and we just want to copy them w but with a litttle more compassion.  Some message.

        This is the first time I’m  starting to see Dems trying and sustaining another message, namely, the GOP is lying. Here’s the truth. Here’s the truth about drilling.Here’s the truth about gas prices. Here’s the truth about Romney’s tax plan that would put is farther into debt than before. Here’s the truth about the failure of trickle down to deliver. But they need to keep it up with constant, aggressive, simple messaging.

        These are simple easy to package fact, after all. Make the Rs do the tap dancing for a change.  Dems don’t have to, armed with the truth.  

      1. we are drilling ore. we are producing more. the owners of the product are exporting it to countries where the price is higher.

        greed 101

        1. his firm grasp of economics.  If people of his caliber are the future of the GOP we’ve going to be in power for a long time.  

    1. Maintaining prices above the cost of production leads to higher profits.

      Investing billions to extract expensive oil to flood the market doesn’t make sense to any businessperson, certainly not any oil executives.

      On the eve of a speech on energy by President Obama, the Interior Department released a report asserting that more than two-thirds of offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico and more than half of onshore leases on federal lands “sit idle.”

      Graph of the Day: The Cost of Production Of Oil:

      And for an excellent primer just posted today explaining the ins and outs of prices and distribution channels for oil and gas in the US, check this out.

      Gasoline consumption in the United States has been dropping for years. In the last decade, vehicle fuel efficiency has improved by 20%, and the combination of that shift and a weak economy of late has pushed gasoline demand to its lowest level in a decade.

      At the same time, US oil production is at its highest level in a decade. Deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and horizontal fracs in the Bakken shale have turned America’s domestic oil production scene around. After 20 years of declining production, US crude output rates started to climb in 2008 and have increased every year since.

      Thus the reason we are a net exporter of refined gasoline — that’s where the profits are.

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