Al Gore's gasoline lies

By Alan Caruba
web posted July 24, 2000

If there is a single issue that should insure the defeat of Al Gore in November, it is the rising cost of gasoline because that cost is directly attributable to the policies he has advocated in his book, Earth in the Balance, and during his career in the Senate and as Vice President.

As recently as Friday, July 14th, it was reported by the Washington Times that an internal Energy Department memo revealed that the Clinton administration was well aware that its own environmental regulations were the major reason gas prices jumped to record highs in the Midwest in June and contributed to the high costs in every other region.

The administration, best known now for its endless lies, publicly blamed "Big Oil" but the memo, written for Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, stated that "high consumer demand and low inventories have caused higher prices for all gasoline types." It specifically pointed to the EPA mandate for the special reformulated gasoline. This mandate is the result of the EPA's use of the Clean Air Act to force up the cost of gasoline in the name of controlling ozone levels. So we have the White House, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency all knowingly lying to us.

The Media Coverup

What was the media's response to the rise in gasoline prices? As L. Brent Bozell III, the famed media watchdog, pointed out in his July 6th column, "There for anyone to see who cared to look were Big Government's, i.e., the Clinton administration's, fingerprints all over this mess. Yet, somehow, somehow the liberal press managed to miss it."

Bozell noted that "The role of the EPA under Al Gore ally Carol Browner has been known in the Midwest for weeks. Local talk show hosts had been lamenting the arrival of 'Gore gas.' By mid-June, as gas prices threatened to become a campaign issue, the Clinton-Gore administration went into damage control mode, insisting that the EPA's rules had minute costs, and that this price increase was in fact a dastardly plot by Big Oil to exploit the summer driving season. Did the press fall for it? Hook, line and sinker. Rich Noyes of the Free Market Project did the simple math. From then through the end of the month, the networks aired a grand total of two stories on EPA regulations while devoting 16 reports promoting the administration's position that private-sector 'price gauging' and 'profiteering' were at fault."

One of the best Internet sites for solid research on this and other Green Lies is Mary Mostert's Originalsources.com. On June 22nd, Ms. Mostert wrote, "What, pray tell, did Al Gore think would be the impact of his ten year campaign to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which include gasoline of course, in order to address 'global warming' and 'holes in the ozone layer'? He has openly advocated higher gas prices for years to force Americans to use less fossil fuels which he devoutly believes is causing changes in the weather."

Searching the records, Ms. Mostert noted that "On April 11, 1991, Senator Al Gore spoke on the floor of the Senate praising a National Academy of Sciences study which 'rings the alarm bells again and tells us of the urgent need to take action now to combat global warming.'" The report called for "restructuring energy prices to more accurately reflect environmental costs"; this is just another way of saying those higher prices for gasoline are necessary.

More Gore Lies

The Gore campaign is, of course, now pointing to George W. Bush's ties to Big Oil. As Ms. Mostert notes, "Thanks to Bill Clinton and Al Gore there's been a near eight year moratorium on the development of oil and coal resources. Increasingly, we are dependent on foreign sources, which of course increases the prices."

On July 6th, Ms. Mostert returned to this theme, noting that Al Gore's web site boasts that "Since his time in the Senate, Gore has been recognized as a leader on energy policy and the environment." The site quotes his spokesman, Douglas Hattaway, who takes a shot at George W. Bush, as a "Texas oil man (who) favors higher energy prices for consumers." Here is the Nazi Big Lie process in full throat. Bush is accused of favoring "big oil at the expense of cheaper, cleaner forms of energy."

"There is no way to characterize that accusation against Bush except to say that it is an outright lie designed to once again deceive the American people," said Ms. Mostert. She pointed out that, back when Gore was a Senator, America purchased approximately 30% of its oil from foreign sources and it was Al Gore "who led the opposition to President George Bush's effort to reduce America's dependency on Arab oil." Our dependency is now around 50% or more.

On January 14, 1991, during Desert Storm, Alaska Sen. Frank Murkoswki warned that it was an "indisputable and disconcerting fact-United States oil production is in deep decline. Every major oil field in the United States is declining." That has been the policy of the Greens with regard to this nation's ability to utilize its own existing oil reserves and explore for new ones. Before he leaves office, Clinton is likely to issue yet another Executive Order to put potentially huge oil reserves in Alaska off limits to any exploration and extraction. This is the act of an enemy of this nation. If he does this, he should be indicted and charged with treason.

What was and is Al Gore's position on this? His response to Sen. Murkoswki was "Can we, in fact, meet our energy needs by increasing domestic production? The answer is no." In Gore's view, even if we have oil, the "environment" has a higher priority over the need of this nation to provide the energy necessary to protect and expand its economy.

What is Gore proposing during his campaign to be your next President? He wants to provide $68 billion in incentives and support for the modernization of electricity production. The US would not be vulnerable to brown-outs and black-outs this summer and in the months to come if utilities felt they could build new facilities, but building a new plant simply exposes a company to such stringent federal rules as to rule out the possibility. This is the same process that has suppressed efforts to find and extract oil, coal and natural gas resources on which we depend for energy and growth. The problem is not the energy industries. It is the government.

The Clinton-Gore administration is the direct cause of the higher cost of gasoline and the increasing vulnerability and dependency of this nation on foreign sources for oil. This policy has been driven by Al Gore and carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is being done right now while the administration and Al Gore continues to lie to everyone who drives a car and truck in the nation.

Alan Caruba, a veteran business and science writer, is the founder of The National Anxiety Center, a clearinghouse for information about scare campaigns to influence public opinion and policy. His weekly commentary, "Warning Signs" is posted every Wednesday at anxietycenter.com/warning.htm.

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