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Who's to Blame for America's Oil Crisis?

May 26, 2008
by Bob Webster
(the following article was submitted to Right Side News this morning from Bob Webster)
A CNBC poll asks, "Who's to Blame for America's Oil Crisis?" After more than 10,000 votes, the U.S. Congress is given the lion's share of blame at 36%, more than twice those who thought President Bush is to blame. Speculators came in a strong second at 25%. Maybe there is still hope for the American electorate. Too bad the GOP is making no discernible effort to take advantage of the historic low esteem Americans have for this wacky Democrat-controlled Congress.

The breakdown of CNBC's poll results as of Memorial Day morning:

Who's to Blame for America's Oil Crisis?
     OPEC
    4.5%
    
    President Bush
    16%
    
    [Democrat-controlled] Congress
    36%
    
    Speculators/Investors
    25%
    
    Big Oil
    3.8%
    
    Consumers
    15%

These results are interesting for several reasons:

   1. "Big Oil" received the least blame at 3.8%, just behind OPEC's 4.5%.
      
   2. President Bush fared about as well as "Consumers", blamed by only 16% and 15% of respondents, respectfully.
      
   3. The Democrat-controlled Congress (the correct answer, by the way) shoulders the lion's share of blame at 36%, substantially ahead of runner-up "Speculators/Investors".

While internet polls like these are not scientific, they are instructive. Particularly when results such as these come from a poll being conducted at CNBC, hardly a friend of the Bush Administration and certainly not an enemy of the Democrat-controlled Congress.

What might we surmise from these results? Purely speculative, of course, but experience and observation should be worth something, so here goes:

      Who cast votes for each choice:
    *  OPEC - Those who blame OPEC for "America's Oil Crisis" are part of the problem. They are truly ignorant of the current chaotic state of our energy supplies and the underlying reason why we have a problem. OPEC is a convenient and easy scapegoat. We'll label these voters "energy morons."
      
    * President Bush - These are the 16% of Americans who hate Bush, and still believe Gore won Florida in 2000, despite NEVER having been ahead at any time in the election night vote count and having lost every credible recount. Given that President Bush has been trying to get Congress to open up ANWR and other "protected" lands for energy recovery (principally, oil and gas), it takes a fairly strong hatred to overcome the reality that Bush is the least responsible for our current "Oil Crisis". We'll label these voters the "Bush haters."
      
    * Congress - Those who blame the Democrat-controlled Congress for "America's Oil Crisis" are paying attention. They know full well that oil prices have skyrocketed after Democrats took over control of Congress from Republicans (who, quite frankly, didn't do much better during their control). These voters understand the economic law of "supply and demand". They understand that when Congress stifles development of new supplies of domestic oil, gas, and coal, and creates unrealistic and costly regulatory roadblocks to production and delivery of these energy resources, Congress creates an artificial "crisis" with America's energy requirements. We'll label these voters "intelligent voters."
      
    * Speculators/Investors - While it is very likely that some extremely wealthy "investors" (I wouldn't be surprised if George "I want to socialize America" Soros has some of his billions at work here) are using the commodity market to increase fortunes and create economic havoc in the U.S., this would not be an issue if the U.S. were not handcuffed by the Democrat-controlled Congress' refusal to permit recovery of known vast reserves of domestic oil supplies. While speculation in oil futures is certainly a driving force for higher prices that oil companies must pay, without the artificial shortage created by the Democrat-controlled Congress, this would not be a factor. But some credit is due for understanding a strong contributing factor, so we'll label these voters "close, but ignoring the obvious culprit."
      
    * Big Oil - Congratulations to most voters in this poll. Unlike these voters, you haven't given CNBC the answer they wanted (well, it might have been either Bush or Big Oil, hard to really know). Obviously, the voters who blame "Big Oil" do not understand that "Big Oil" no longer owns the oil production business and they have been reduced to transporters and refiners of crude oil produced elsewhere, thanks to huge congressional roadblocks to domestic production. Given the small total, one has to wonder if these voters were Democrat members of Congress. Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy's indignant finger-pointing and lambasting of oil executives illustrates just how out of touch he is with reality and the American people. If Leahy wants to know the real source of the oil crisis, he need only look in any mirror. We'll label these voters "in denial of reality."
      
    * Consumers - Here we have those wacky environmentalists who resisted the temptation to choose Bush or Big Oil, feeling compelled to blame the American consumer for every perceived evil in the world. There might well be Marxists in this group, too, as Marxists despise those who benefit most from a market economy. Then again, many Marxists are now hiding in the "Green" movement as "environmentalists". This 15% closely reflects the small minority of Americans taken in by Marxist dogma. We'll label these voters "wacky environmentalists/Marxists."

With a little education and intelligent analysis, it might be possible to get the voters who chose OPEC or Speculators, and possibly even some who chose Big Oil, to recognize where the real problem lies - at the feet of the Democrat-controlled Congress. If successfully educated to the reality of how this oil crisis came about, Congress might well garner between 65% and 70% of the votes. I hold little hope that either Bush-haters, or wacky environmentalists and Marxists will ever achieve a perception of reality that allows them to make a rational choice. Still, 70% is a pretty good potential majority for those who blame the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Does anyone seriously believe the GOP will make any effort to educate voters to the cause of all their misery?

Don't hold your breath. Unless, of course, you are among those who still believe that human emissions of CO2 are going to cause catastrophic climate change.
--------------------------------------

Bob Webster, (article submitted for publication to Right Side News, May 26, 2008, 8:30 a.m.ET)
Editor, Publisher, WEBCommentary

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster is a descendent of Daniel Webster's brother Ezekiel. Bob has always had a strong interest in history, our Constitution, U.S. politics and law. A political conservative with objectivist and libertarian roots, he has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for every high school student.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.
Visit Bob Webster's website at http://www.webcommentary.com/

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