The Obama administration figures that it has read the national mood well. This therapeutic generation of Americans loves to talk and worry about problems and then assumes that either someone else will solve them or they will go away on their own. And why not, since we have had periodic “energy crises” since 1974, have run budget deficits in most years since World War II, and have been warned about a looming Social Security meltdown for the last decade — and yet remain wealthy and affluent.
But now gasoline costs more than $4 a gallon in many places in California, and averages more than $3.50 nationwide. In response, the Obama administration is reportedly considering tapping into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve to increase supplies and drive down high prices brought on by a recovering world economy and unrest in the oil-rich Middle East.
Yet the reserve depot was not designed to alleviate periodic gas-price spikes, but to ensure our very survival during a global catastrophe that might result in a cutoff of most petroleum imports from overseas. [Read more...]