Six years ago, gas prices at the pump were roughly half what they are today. Back then, in this March 2000 statement, the U.S. Senate's Republican Policy Committee (RPC) complained:
"For the past year, the Clinton Administration has stood by silently as oil prices have escalated rapidly. Since the Clinton/Gore Administration took office, congressional Republicans have prodded them to get serious about an energy policy that reduces foreign dependence."Really? When the hell did this prodding occur? I lived in Washington then, but I don't remember hearing the GOP engage in such prodding. Or was the GOP's desire to reduce "foreign dependence" a nuanced phrase to provide cover for the party's drill-everywhere-domestically approach?
Back then, the RPC was deeply concerned because
... Americans in some regions could be paying as much as $2.00 per gallon this summer when they fill their tanks. Already, regional gas prices are over $1.50 per gallon, up eight cents in the last week alone.Today, most Americans would give their right arm for gas prices that low.
Despite the RPC's claim to want true energy independence, the solution it proposed in March 2000 was to cut the federal gas tax -- ironically, a proposal somewhat similar to the one floated by Senate Dems over the past week.
By lowering per-gallon prices, this approach would reduce incentives for consumers to choose hybrids or higher-mileage cars and it would make other energy alternatives less cost-competitive. In other words, it does nothing to help make America more energy independent.