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High prices at the pump are irritating, but there isn’t any quick fix

May 25, 2008
Many Americans have gotten so hooked on instant gratification — and on believing promises made by politicians — that they simply cannot comprehend that there are some problems that cannot be solved with the stroke of a pen in Washington.

President Bush last week told a reporter that he, too, is concerned about high gasoline prices, but he added, “It’s been awhile in the making and it’s going to be a while that we solve the problem.”

Bush is correct in that assessment. Americans have been playing Arab roulette for decades now, hoping that Middle Eastern oil powers would hold down the price of petroleum. Indeed they have done so for many years, but during the past several months, they stopped giving us a break.

Instead of doing what should have been done in the 1970s, when it became apparent we were going to be very dependent on foreign oil, U.S. policymakers have continued to engage in wishful thinking.

It is long past time for that to end. Bush is correct that it will take time for our country to craft and launch a rational energy policy — but the longer we wait to do that, the more pain we will feel at the pumps.


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