Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
Blame Big Congress, Not Big Oil, For High Prices
May 30, 2008
Irvine, CA--Congress has spent weeks accusing oil companies of driving up gasoline prices through "price gouging," and "market manipulation." "These accusations are worse than baseless," said Alex Epstein of the Ayn Rand Institute, "because they divert attention from the real, urgent problem in the oil market: Congress itself."
"Oil and gasoline prices are determined by supply and demand--and Congress severely restricted the supply of oil. In the name of safeguarding a tiny portion of caribou habitat in the Alaskan wilderness, it prohibits drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge--a potential source of 1 million barrels a day, 5 percent of America's daily oil consumption. Also off-limits is 85 percent of America's coastline, which Shell estimates contains some 100 billion recoverable barrels--13 times America's annual oil consumption--and the vast majority of oil shale in Colorado, estimated at 1.5 trillion barrels.
"And how about the effects of Congress's open hostility toward the future of oil? Our politicians damn oil as an 'addiction' to be eliminated, and seek to cut--by up to 90 percent--the use of oil and other vital fossil fuels that make our standard of living possible. Barack Obama recently equated 'the tyranny of oil' to 'the tyranny of fascism and communism'--and no one objected. Is this a climate in which oil company CEOs will feel safe making the billion dollar investments and decades-long plans that oil production requires?
"The congressional crippling of oil production must stop. Next time your congressman rails about gasoline prices, tell him to look in the mirror."
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Mr. Epstein is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Institute, focusing on business issues. His Op-Ed "Investigate Big Congress, Not Big Oil" is available at ARI's Web site.
Mr. Epstein's Op-Eds have appeared in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Canada's National Post, and the Washington Times. He is also a contributing writer for The Objective Standard, a quarterly journal of culture and politics. Mr. Epstein has been a guest on numerous nationally syndicated radio programs.
Alex Epstein is available for interviews.
Contact: Larry Benson
Phone: (949) 222-6550 ext. 213
For more information on Objectivism's unique point of view, go to ARI's Web site at www.AynRand.org. Founded in 1985, the Ayn Rand Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead."