As Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute notes, there is no yearning for national self-sufficiency concerning other essential goods, such as food, automobiles, airplanes or medicines. Are Democrats worried about security of oil supplies? In some ways, Hayward says, America’s energy supply is more secure than it was in the 1970s, partly because “since 1975, energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product has fallen 48 percent.” Furthermore, “oil represents a shrinking share of total U.S. energy consumption — from 44 percent in 1970 to 40 percent in 2005.” The oil America consumes — only one-eighth of which comes from the Middle East — is used almost entirely in transportation, and accounts for about 40 percent of energy uses. Half of America’s electricity is generated by coal, of which America has a huge abundance.
In one of the first posts on my blog, I said that the defining characteristic of the debate over gas prices was the overwhelming unthinking unrelenting greed . . . of the American people, who have decided that they are entitled to cheap gas for life. I don’t blame the politicians for taking political advantage of this any more than I blame bacteria for infecting a wound. It’s their nature. The fault is with the short-sighted and ignorant American public.
As I noted in the old post, the best illustration of the unrestrained avarice of the consumer is the popular call for a Gas Out! Notice that no sacrifice is demanded. No one is asked to carpool or drive less or use a more fuel-efficient car. No one is instructed to reduce their consumption, and therefore the price, of gasoline. Instead, they’re supposed to throw what amounts to a national hissy fit.
To hell with that. If you’re sick of high gas prices, get a more efficient car, commute less or carpool more.
I have a 100 mile round-trip commute. I’ve cut back to tele-commuting two days a week. And my next car will be even more fuel efficient than my current one. That’s called doing something about the problem. It’s how Americans used to address their issues rather than whining to Congress every time prices spike.