Michelle Bachmann can not solve America’s gas crisis

By Jack Baker

Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann recently promised that if she was elected, she would lower the price of gas to less than $2.00 per gallon.

This campaign promise was a little strange to me, because as of the last time I checked, the power to regulate gas prices was not given to the Executive Branch under Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

Now I’ve heard some pretty big campaign promises before, but this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard from a candidate who actually has a chance at winning the nomination.

That would be like me vowing to lower every student’s tuition when I was campaigning to be the president of the Honors Student Association. I would be making guarantees, which I had absolutely no ability to follow through on, just like Bachmann is doing in this case.

There are so many factors that go into gas prices and Bachmann might be surprised to know that what the president says the price should be is not one of them.

One large factor that is contributing to high gas prices is the economic recession that America is in.

“During recessions, demand for gasoline plummets as trucks pull off the road, companies cut back on travel and laid off workers drive fewer miles,” wrote Charles Riley in an August 18 article for CNN Money.com.

Instead of looking at the economic recession as a cause of the problem, Bachmann has instead decided that it is Obama’s fault. Honestly, I’m surprised that she didn’t blame it on terrorists too.

On her campaign website, she says part of the problem is that the Obama Administration was “overreacting to the B.P. oil spill” when they increased restrictions on offshore drilling.

Obama’s response was not overreacting. Overreacting would have been going out in the middle of the night and destroying all of the offshore oil rigs so that they could never be used again. Increasing restrictions was just a prudent approach to help prevent another environmental disaster like the spill that caused so much damage to the Gulf Coast.

Now Bachmann does have her own plan, but it’s not going to work.

According to her campaign website, she plans to reduce gas prices by easing restrictions on drilling in America in order to utilize the oil that can be found in Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and the Gulf of Mexico.

While this would create jobs and reduce our dependency on foreign oil, it would not have the effect she hopes for.

In 2007, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, released a report where they looked at the amount of oil available for drilling and how much it would cost to drill and then refine that crude oil into gasoline.

They concluded that increasing drilling in Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf Coast regions “would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil production or prices before 2030.”

The problem is that “the amount of extra oil that could be produced from more drilling in this country is tiny compared to what the world consumes,” wrote Steve Hargreaves in an April 25,2011 article on CNN Money.com.

Bachmann’s plan will not help her follow through on her ridiculous campaign promise, because America won’t be able to produce enough crude oil to actually have an impact on gas prices within her presidency.