Under the theory that magic is only the working of that which we don't understand, the leftists in the White House must be absolutely awestruck and skeptical to the point of active disbelief by free markets. They have a much easier time with the old command/control model, where even when things don't work out quite the way they were supposed to, easy explanations came to mind. Oil prices increase without a rest for two years? No problem, just wait for a mideast crisis to break out and blame the rise on it.
This week oil and its derivatives, including gasoline, are touching record levels. Within the next few days we'll be hearing and seeing dozens of stories in the legacy media reporting the highest prices "since 2008" and we'll all know they'r referencing the days of the Bush administration and we'll get the message, "This isn't so very bad, these prices are only matching what happened under Bush."
It's true, during the final year of the Bush presidency oil prices rose inexorably, finally peaking in July 2008 at an all-time high of $145 per barrel of crude. Mr. Bush was presented a selection of possible moves that included price controls, special taxes on the oil companies, increased mileage requirements for cars, insistent calls for more "green energy." Those who suggested additional drilling for American oil were derided: Then, as now, leftists pooh-poohed any possibility of constructive market reaction to a "largely symbolic move."
Now cometh the Obama administration. They've chased American deep-water drilling rigs to Brazil and Africa. They've offered billions of dollars of taxpayer assistance to firms drilling off the South American coasts. After Shell Oil spent $6 billion preparing to drill in the Arctic, the administration pulled the carpet out from under the effort by refusing to approve permits.
A simple graphic tells the devastating story:
As a matter of real fact, the Obama administration has done nearly everything possible to raise the international price of oil and the cost for gas in this country.
I wrote about this a couple of years ago in How President Bush's Few Words Saved Us $800 Billion Annually. It's worth reading even now.