Senator Bill Frist announced today that the Senate Republicans want to give you a hundred dollar rebate to help cover the rise in gasoline prices, given two conditions:
1) You make less than $125,000 a year if you’re single, or $150,000 if you’re a couple.
2) We open ANWR to oil drilling.
At today's prices, of course, $100 will cover about two tanks of gas. Maybe two and a quarter, if you have a small tank. If you drive a van or truck, not even that.
But long after your gas is gone... so would ANWR be gone.
Of course, the Senate had a chance to do something useful in 2002 that would have gone a long way toward fixing this problem. Senators Kerry and McCain proposed a bill that would have raised fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks to 36 mpg by 2010. By 2020, we would have been saving as much oil a day as we currently import from the Persian Gulf. The Senate passed. The Union of Concerned Scientists calls this a "Squandered Opportunity" -- one for which we're all paying the price now.
And then there are the oil company profits, which are, of course, enormous, and largely the result of prices going up due to reduced supply, which is largely due to oil companies not investing in increasing refinery capacity. But why should they, if they can make more money by selling less of something?
We don't need to open ANWR and we don't need to wait until everybody drives a hydrogen car. We can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and on domestic oil, and improve the global warming picture, by simply mandating more efficient automobiles. It would even be good for the auto industry because this technology could be sold all over the world.
Instead, Bill Frist wants to give you a hundred bucks and let the world go to hell.
He's a doctor--I think he knows where he can shove it.