Hoosier Access: On Gas Prices, Donnelly Stuck in the 70s

(the following comes from Hoosier Access blog; DW is not endorsing these views but reprinting this piece to help inform readers of what conservatives are saying about Rep. Donnelly)

In the heart of Indiana’s 2nd Congressional district, the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline yesterday was $3.75 a gallon. For premium, motorists had to shell out $3.95 a gallon. The price of gasoline has risen over 55% since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007 declaring that they had a solution for the high cost of fuel.

So far, Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN02) has responded to the high price of gas by holding a press conference at a gas station just outside of South Bend saying he has sent a letter to President Bush requesting that 20 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve be sent onto the market and that the SPR stop taking any more deliveries until prices go back down.

According to Donnelly, if the SPR followed through on his plan by releasing 20 million barrels of oil onto the market, prices would drop by about $0.25. That’s a pretty optimistic number considering that our nation uses a little over 20 million barrels of oil a day. There are 365 days in a year, Joe Donnelly wants to give us one day of relief from high gas prices, that’s not a genuine and meaningful solution, Joe.

Donnelly has yet to embrace the idea of a federal gas tax holiday over the summer driving season and he has voted time and again to raise taxes on oil companies and block our use of domestic oil and gas reserves that are just waiting to be tapped into. Like his liberal San Francisco Speaker, Joe Donnelly prefers to talk about the problem of high energy costs and blame “big oil” instead of providing solutions.

Another bit of energy relief policy that Donnelly is a proponent of is the “Federal Price Gouging and Prevention Act.” This bill imposes significant civil and criminal penalties on those who charge “unconscionable excessive” prices for fuel. According to the Heritage Foundation, the effects of this bill would be the same as an all out price control on fuel sales. By vaguely defining what counts as price gouging, Congress creates an environment in which gas retailers must constantly assess whether or not their market driven prices could fall under the vague definition of price gouging that could land them on the wrong side of a federal court case.

Taken all together, Rep. Donnelly’s proposals to lower the cost of gasoline represent the very worst of the energy policies of the 1970s. After four years of absolutely terrible economic and energy policies, Americans selected Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter. Let’s hope that after two years of inept Congressional leadership, Americans will once again select common sense over political hot air and real solutions over political platitudes this November.

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