Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Couple Good Points

The LP Blog has a couple good points to make on the current energy situation. First, Thomas Sowell asks whether thinking is obsolete in all the gas price hysteria:
The government collects far more in taxes on every gallon of gasoline than the oil companies collect in profits. If oil company profits are "obscene," as some politicians claim, are the government's taxes PG-13?

The very politicians who have piled tax after tax on gasoline over the years, and voted to prohibit oil drilling offshore or in Alaska, and who have made it impossible to build a single oil refinery in decades, are all over the television screens denouncing the oil companies. In other words, those who supply oil are being denounced and demonized by those who have been blocking the supply of oil.

And, they point us to this AP story in which the Hawaiian gas cap has come to a screeching halt:
"In a lot of people's minds, they thought the gas cap wasn't working," said Republican state Sen. Paul Whalen, a strong supporter of the price controls. "It was hard to generate lots of support for it because we're paying more than we ever were before."

Gas is particularly expensive in Hawaii because of high state taxes and because of the costs of transporting oil across the Pacific. Last fall, Hawaii became the only state to cap the cost of fuel to try to give some relief to motorists.

Yeah, those work so well. I was recently reading in the paper edition of the Economist that the price of gasoline would be better raised through government intervention — i.e., higher taxes. And these guys are supposed to be lowercase-l liberals?