Just in time for the Labor Day holiday.
Before Hurricane Isaac came along, gasoline costs were at an almost four month high. The nationwide average rose to $3.75 a gallon on Aug. 26. “We expect the national average price of gasoline for Labor Day this year to be the highest ever for the holiday,” said Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA. Drivers could be paying $4 a gallon by the end of September.
Oct. 3 is the date of the first presidential debate.
The timing could not be better for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney or worse for the White House and its hopes for re-election.
By any measure, the administration should be on the defensive over escalating gasoline costs and the hardship higher pump prices will cause average American families. The White House has been consistently hostile towards traditional fuel industries, and has persistently sought to curtail exploration, development and production capacity since 2009.
The current administration has actively sought to discourage drilling on federal land. Since the 2010 BP gulf oil spill it has gone out of its way to stifle offshore exploration. The EPA has made it a regular course of business to impose costly regulations on the development of oil, natural gas and coal.
The White House has wasted hundreds and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing non-competitive technologies. Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer, received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, then filed bankruptcy and fired 1,100 workers. There are many other such examples.
The predictable White House solution will be to release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This will be a typical response from the current administration: Divest precious national resources in hopes of achieving the desired political result without solving the real problem or offering a viable solution.
Instead of effectively stimulating the American economy by assisting exploration, development and production of cheap, efficient energy, the White House is obsessed with squandering national treasure on inefficient, uncompetitive energy options that are incapable of surviving without a government backstop.
Odds are that the White House will blame it all on Hurricane Isaac…or on George W. Bush.