At his news conference this morning in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush passed off the blame for the bad economy to the Democratic Congress, and advocated drilling in ANWR to solve our energy problems.
“It’s a tough time for our economy. Across our country, many Americans are understandably anxious about issues affecting their pocketbook, from gas and food prices to mortgage and tuition bills. They’re looking to their elected leaders in Congress for action. Unfortunately, on many of these issues, all they’re getting is delay, Bush said.
His answer to the gas prices issue doesn’t seem to be 18 cent a gallon federal gas tax holiday as advocated by Clinton and McCain, but an even worse idea, which is drilling in ANWR.
Bush and supporters of drilling treat it like a cure all, but a 2004 Energy Department study found that even if drilling started today, to would take 9 years for it to have any economy benefit and 20 years for it to reach peak production. Once it does reach peak production, the benefit would be a 50 cent drop in the price of a barrel of oil, and that benefit would last for 3 years. Drilling for more oil is not the answer.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) laid out three steps the president could take to improve the economy, “The President can take three actions today to help our economy: lower gas prices by halting deposits to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; save 116,000 green jobs and create hundreds of thousands more by dropping his veto threat from House legislation creating tax credits for renewable energy; and come to the table to help pass major reforms to our home lending industry which allow Americans at risk of foreclosure to affordably refinance, and to stabilize neighborhoods in foreclosure crisis.”
I think playing the blame game does no good here. President Bush doesn’t want to do anything about the economy, or gas prices. To an old oil man like himself, this is the free market in action.
He is immune to the pain of the American people. When Bush speaks like this, it is easy to see why the American people feel ignored. Bush is once again promoting an ideological solution over practical ones that would help Americans keep their homes, jobs, and if they are lucky enough to still have a job or home, gas to get to and from each.
Bush’s Press Conference: