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Where's Our Energy?


So there I am, pulling into a gas station in my town, and Tarek is smiling. He owns the station, and right now he's charging me $4.25 a gallon. American motorists may not be better off than they were four years ago, but Tarek certainly is.

When President Barack Obama took office, the average price for a gallon of regular gas was $1.84. That means gas prices have more than doubled on Obama's watch. But why?

The primary reason is that the system is rigged. Oil companies watch the worldwide speculation market, and if the traders are bidding the price of oil up because Iran misbehaves or something, up goes the pump price. When the speculators sell short, the price of gasoline drops, but not nearly so much as it jumped. That cycle is repeated a few times a year.

Then there's OPEC, which raises prices every time the United States pumps dollars in the economy. Last week, the Fed released $23 billion into the marketplace, hoping the cash would spur lending by the banks. The oil sheiks well understand that flooding the zone with currency devalues the worth of the dollar, so they raise their prices to get more greenbacks in the hope of keeping their staggering profits stable.

Another reason Americans are getting hosed at the pump is that President Obama loathes the fossil fuel industry and does everything he can to inhibit production. He stopped the oil pipeline from Canada, makes ocean drilling very difficult and taxes the hell out of traditional energy.

Of course, the folks pay the taxes.

Obama is a green guy, and his administration has invested about $100 billion of taxpayer money in clean energy projects. In theory, that sounds good. Wind power, solar energy, electric cars — all would make the planet cleaner and the sheiks poorer. The problem is that the technology is not developed yet. The president knows that but tilts at windmills anyway.

In truth, the USA does not have an energy policy. The Department of Energy apparently has a giant dartboard, and whatever alternative energy industry is hit that day gets money. The bankrupt Solyndra solar company cost the taxpayers more than $500 million. Other failed green enterprises have added to the incredible national debt, as well.

A few people are riding around in electric cars — something that infuriates Tarek — but not many. Those automobiles are generally expensive, and the plug-in stuff is complicated. American society is largely driven (sorry) by easy, convenient products. Risking electrocution in a rainstorm while firing up a Prius might hold some folks back.

Finally, there may be big trouble ahead at the gas station. If Israel attacks Iran over nukes, worldwide oil prices will explode, as well. $8 a gallon? Could happen.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of the book "Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama." To find out more about Bill O'Reilly, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at This column originates on the website




5 Comments | Post Comment
O'Reilly, you idiot. You think "Tarek" is getting rich off prices we don't want to pay for gas?

Of course you don't, because you are a pathological liar. Your Tarek is passing on the prices charged him by the oil magnates, who's practices you obviously think are just fine. He is a small businessman trying to survive in a world controlled by the oil titans, who you obviously don't have the spine to challenge.

The gas station sellers can"t survive off of what they make by selling gasoline, which is why they try to get you to buy twinkies, chips, and of course, all American beer.

This column is a sad example of what is killing the United States--a bunch of hooey passed off as respected commentary, sucked up by folks who don"t have the education to know better.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Masako
Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:17 PM
Re: Masako, You got it!
I think some just don't want to know better, God help 'em if they have to legitimately vote for Obama because they can no longer deny the truth that out of the two, the black man is the better choice.
Comment: #2
Posted by: morgan
Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:01 AM
Yeah, Bill really dosen't explain how the gas station owner is getting richer by charging more for a product he's getting charged more to buy. If anything high gas prices discourage driving and buying bigger gas guzzlers and cost Tarek money. I really don't think Obama is responsible for high gas prices. There are enough legitimate reasons to go after him that you don't really have to stretch to take a shot at him. I do agree that the solyndra loan thing was a bad move. Its cronyism pure and simple. Its not ok when republicans do it with their pet industries and its not ok when democrats do it with theirs.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:59 AM
Hooey and pablum at its best. Now the gas station guy is getting rich off high gas prices? Don't think so Bill. If the price goes low right after he's paid high, he loses. The Saudis don't lose ever. Not to mention that the Saudis receive dollars for the gas which is a whole different issue thanks to Nixon. I don't get the scare tactic with plugging in a hybrid in the rain. You won't get shocked. It's just not going to happen. Of course, you can't plug in any electrical device in a bathtub full of water but in the rain, not a problem. It's die hard conservatives like Bill who'll have us burning oil until it's gone. Then, we'll try to switch to another fuel source but by then it's too late.
Comment: #4
Posted by: D Right One
Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:24 AM
Bill, you really nailed it. Here where I live, the town is about three miles long. It has two lanes, no through side streets. Population is about 1,498. There are seven gas stations. When one pops up the gas price with the new load delivered, the next morning everyone's price has went up. It is a running joke, but no one is laughing. If all stations had tankers overnight, it would look like an invasion in such a small town. Opps, parden me, only two are open all night, after 11 p. m. So they couldn't fill up overnight. But everytime the gas pops up fifteen cents a gallon, they all do. I didn't think it was legal to price gouge, but I guess it is.But they sure are slow to bring down the prices, waiting for the current supply to exhaust before refilling the tanks. Only two of the stations are owned locally, and they are the only ones that do repairs (full service stations), the other five are corporation; the pop, beer, milk and bread kind. Obama is trying to shut down coal here, which is about the entire industry in the southern part of the state. But they are trying to push "fracking" down our throats, with explosions of chemicals.
Comment: #5
Posted by: easterelizabeth
Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:48 AM
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