Kerry is going to announce today that he would open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to pressure OPEC to lower prices in order to lower the price of gasoline.
In the L.A. Times this morning:
Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry will announce a plan today in San Diego for reining in skyrocketing gas prices, saying President Bush has done nothing to stop increases that are hurting average Americans.
Kerry’s campaign said Monday night that the candidate would use a rally at UC San Diego this morning to propose increasing pressure on OPEC to produce more crude oil and to suggest that the United States should temporarily let supplies in its Strategic Petroleum Reserve be depleted, making more gasoline available for consumers.
So, let’s see. AT a time when our relations with the Arab states are as precarious as they have ever been, when Venezuela (another major source of imported oil) is in turmoil, and when domestic production is starting a long decline, Kerry wants to drain the SPI – the stock that exists to cushion shocks caused by cutoffs of imports (hence the name Strategic) so Soccer Mom and Soccer Dad can drive their H2 Hummers and Hemi Rams and not feel it in the pocketbook.
I’m hopeful that – unlike Kerry’s advisers – those who read this are smart enough to see why that might not be a good idea.
One of my major discomforts with Bush is his unwillingness to put the nation on notice that we’re at war, and that this war will require sacrifice from those of us who don’t wear uniforms as well. A gas tax or tax on oil imports would be a good start. We need to wean ourselves from dependence on easily-interrupted foreign oil, and at the same time, make the public point that our troops are not in the Middle East to steal the oil, but instead to respond to a violent threat.
Kerry could have taken that issue and run with it. But instead, he’s pandering to his suburban constituency, and doing it in a way that shows how unserious he is about our current situation.
I’m still on the fence, but Kerry’s team just gave me a hard push.