Alameda, Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

The high price of gasoline

By Howard Mora

Candidate for United States Representative; District 13

This information is provided by the candidate
And what the government should do about it
The price of crude oil is at the highest point since the Gulf War as a result of production cuts by the OPEC oil cartel. This has increased the cost of most commodities that every person requires. In New England, the cost of home heating oil is at an all-time high. The cost of transporting just about anything is skyrocketing. Farmers are expected to have an extra one billion-dollar expense in fuel during the planting season this year.

Here in the Bay Area, this is reflected most in the price of gasoline. Everyone drives and everyone buys gasoline. Motorists with long commutes are dependent on their automobiles and cannot afford this drastic rise in price. Prices at pumps in the East Bay have risen to a range of $1.62 to $1.75 per gallon, with warnings that prices will only go higher during the spring and summer months.

When asked, the Clinton administration acts like there is nothing they can do about this. That to do anything would involve damaging a free market. The only thing to attempt is to beg the oil cartel to increase production. The current administration is wrong. There are many things that can be done that will enhance the free market while helping all Americans now and in the future.

What can government do to help the average citizen through this problem?

There are two parts to this answer:

First, government must end the excise taxes on the products derived from crude oil and must make more oil available immediately!

The government taxes gasoline. Excise taxes (and the sales taxes on the excise taxes) increase the price of a gallon of gasoline by 39.3 cents. Ending the excise taxes (even temporarily) will mean 20% savings for every driver in California.

Diesel gasoline is taxed at even higher rates, which affects the price of everything we buy. Ending the tax will mean lower prices at the supermarket, in the shopping malls, and on the internet.

Additionally, the government can reduce the price of crude oil by increasing the supply. The federal government keeps a Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) of more than a half billion barrels of crude oil. This oil was purchased with your tax dollars for a time when it can help you. Now is that time.

Second, government must undo the rules that caused this in the first place!

We are too dependent on other nations and the OPEC cartel for our oil supply. We recognized this problem during the oil shortages in the 1970s. At that time, we committed to becoming more oil-independent. Unfortunately, our goal never became reality. As too often happens, the government wanted to regulate the domestic oil industry. Those regulations made the costs for drilling for domestic oil too great. As a result, we find ourselves again in the stranglehold of people on the other side of the earth.

The government must end the regulations that stifle domestic oil research, discovery, and production. Only then can we have a free market with stable prices for all Americans.

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