Basic economics says that when government restricts the supply of a good, the price will increase. Yet Congress continues to reject simple measures that could increase the supply of oil. For example, Congress refuses to allow reasonable, environmentally sensitive, offshore drilling. Congress also refuses to remove the numerous regulatory hurdles that add to the prohibitively expensive task of constructing new refineries. Building a new refinery requires billions of dollars in capital investment. It can take several years just to obtain the necessary federal permits. Even after the permits are obtained, construction of a refinery may still be delayed or even halted by frivolous lawsuits. It is no wonder that there has not been a new refinery constructed in the United States since 1976.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Big Government Responsible for High Gas Prices