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Bush: Seven Years in Office = Blame for High Gas Prices

May 17th, 2007

Texas Governor George W. Bush, June 23, 2000, blaming the Clinton administration for high gas prices because they were in office for seven years and gas prices were rising:

There seems to be an effort out of Washington to blame me for rising energy prices. And the American people don’t buy that. It’s the — Clinton-Gore administration’s been there for seven years, we’re more dependent now than ever before on energy from foreign sources. And I am amazed that they’re trying to shift the blame away from the people that are holding the office. And I resent that kind of politics, and so will the American people. … And this is typical of an administration that refuses to accept responsibility. This is amazing. They’ve been in office for seven years, the price of gasoline has gone up during their period of time.

The price of gas that very week: $1.68 per gallon.

Now, the Bush administration has been in office for six and a half years. Prices at the pump have almost doubled since Bush blamed Clinton and Gore, reaching $3.10 a gallon (hitting over $4 in some areas). Well, under Bush 2000’s logic, the president is to blame. Think that Bush 2007 would agree to that evaluation now? Think he would be willing to “accept responsibility”?

And it’s not as if he’s really been trying or anything, as if he’s been on the case since day one. Only in the past year or so has Bush even made sounds about acting on high gas prices, and so far virtually nothing has materialized. Bush’s biggest policy proposal, called “20-in-10,” suggests that we cut fuel consumption by 20% over the next ten years. No relief for today or anytime within the remaining year and a half of this administration. Although refinery capacity was identified (PDF) from the start of the Bush administration as one of the biggest culprits of rising fuel prices, Bush has done absolutely nothing to remedy the problem, and today, the refinery shortage is worse than ever.

Bush 2007 says:

Our dependence on oil creates a risk for our economy, because a supply disruption anywhere in the world could drive up American gas prices to even more painful levels.

Boy, it’s too bad that Bush didn’t think about lessening dependency on foreign sources of crude oil back in 2000. Bush 2000, don’t you agree?

I think we ought to make sure that we become less dependent on foreign sources of crude oil. I’ll have an energy policy.

Oopsie! Too bad you let Cheney get the heads of the oil companies to write that policy!

You might expect that conservatives would argue that, after all, being in office for any amount of time does not equal culpability. But then, who expects conservatives to do anything but blame Democrats?

Fox News Headline: “Pain at the Pump: Gas Prices Rise on Democrats’ Watch.” Yes, apparently those damn Democrats have had a 51% majority in Congress for four months and gas prices have shot up during that time! Damn those Democrats! It’s all their fault!

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  1. Tim Kane
    May 17th, 2007 at 16:52 | #1

    About a year and a half ago or so, Govenor Brian Schweitzer of Montana was on 60 minutes promoting the idea of a diesel fuel made from liquifide coal. The cost being a dollar a gallon at the pump, he said.

    The catch is you have to build a plant and these plants cost about $1.5 billion a plant. To cover this cost the price of fuel has to stay above, what has traditionally been $35 a barrel for petroleum. This is, in fact, the technology that kept oil prices at roughly $30 barrel during the Clinton years – despite astronimcal economic growth rates in the U.S. and abroad. The Saudis were careful to keep their fuel prices from growing too high so as to invite competing modes of fuel.

    The fuel produced is cleaner than anything available today. And in the process they can build in and pay for CO2 sequestration (which would cost more, obviously) to achieve a neutral net carbont build up.

    The problem, then, is that $1.5 billion a plant for new factories. One has to wonder how many diesel fuel coal liquification plants could have been built over the last six years for the $500 billion we shoveled off to fight in the middle east.

    And here is where I think some smart Democratic policies could permenantly end the Neocon/Republican/wingnut ascendancy.

    In the book Anatomy of Fascism, by professor of Political Sciencem Robert O. Paxton has a small bit in it on the anatomy of Swedish Liberalism. It is the result of a long standing tie between rural interest and urban workers interest. And for the most part, this is the anatomy of successful liberalism every where, be it Europe (CAP) or Japan and Korea (where agriculture is highly protected). Here in the United States, rural interest were locked up by the Republicans and is instrumental to their hegemony.

    That means rural interests is the tail that wags the political dog many places all over the world.

    And here’s where the Democrats are on the precipice of a huge epic, earth shatering political realignment that could lock the Repugs out of power for a generation or two.

    The northern great plains states, beginning with Democratic Govenor Sebelius’ Kansas, could be shifted over to the Democratic side by an aggressive energy policy designed to enhance American and global security.

    Through a series of smart policies, residing along an axis of the 95th parallel, farm states on the norther Great Plains and Upper midwest could become the great providers of
    energy to the industrial North East and Midwest – through coal liquification plants there, through Bio-Diesel plants, and through “safe” nuclear power plants situated in some of these very sparesly populated states.

    Suddenly the hundreds of billions of dollars that we are sending to the Middle East to help them build brand new cities in the middle of the desert, could be flowing into the long depressed agricultural centers of the Midwest and Great Plains states.

    The policy would have to put a minimum price on energy paid in the us at the equivalent of $45 a barrel and would create an economy dependent upon the proper political party being in power.

    The benefit of this policy would be, that the Republican’s cannot pursue such a policy because they are beholding to the Petroleum industry. They would be locked out of the majority of the upper midwest and great plains states, and stuck with the bible belt and Utah.

    The bigger benefit is that we could start to disentangle ourselves from the Middle East and we wouldn’t need our boys and girls over there.

    And so, this is another point where we sit and think where we might be have not the Supreme Court not selected Bush in 2000.

    My hope is that the one benefit we get from the eight years of the neocon ascendancy is a total refutation of Neocons, Wingnuts and Religious Fundies (all really are part of the Neocon structure) altogether, and a true, out and out total Democratic majority such that we can implement single payer healthcare, roll back tax cuts, implement work rules more favorable for the creation of unions in the workplace, roll back the bankruptcy act and created portable, safe, escroed pension programs, reinstating the fairness doctrine, reintroduce conscription to take the military away from the president as some kind of play thing for stiring up unnecessary wars, enforce separation of state and religion, and a National Sovereignty amendment that endows the soveriegnty of the nation in its people, banning all non persons (organizations and unions) from the political process and restricting the exchange of money aid and comfort to public officials or would be public officials in lobbying efforts, allow for campaign spending caps to be assigned to every office, and recognizing some right to privacy as is befitting all soveriegns, and that the war on terror will be reconstructed along the lines of strategy similar to what Harry Truman came up with at the begining of the cold war – those policies made this world a much much better place, not only did they stop the spread of communism but Democracy spread to new places such as Spain, Portugal, Taiwan, Korea, Greece and more recently Central Europe, etc….

    These jackasses must be turned out and never, ever, ever allowed back in. And if that happens, its worth the eight years we and the world suffered through.

  2. Charles
    May 20th, 2007 at 01:06 | #2

    I recently heard an interview on Pacifica Radio with the American reporter Greg Palast, who has covered U.S. election fraud for the BBC (the American networks aren’t interested). Palast believes that Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL), which he says was planned in “the Captiol of Iraq, Houston,” was actually about nothing so much as getting the price of oil over $50 a barrel. Believe it or not, high oil prices are actually good for certain members of the Bush/Cheney constituency. “Mission Accomplished!” Palast says.

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