Monday, March 5, 2012

Stop Exporting Our Energy

Recently, a group of Democrats in Congress called on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to limit excessive speculation in oil markets, even as a position limits rule is being challenged in court by the financial industry.  Meanwhile, the President maintains that his energy policies are not the problem and there is nothing he can do about rising gasoline prices.  Wall Street says the problem is foreign demand for gasoline in Asian markets where people are willing to pay more.  The bottom line for American motorists is that gasoline prices are rapidly increasing despite large supplies and low demand.  While politicians waffle, and contrary to the laws of supply and demand, energy suppliers and oil speculators make record profits.
Profit is not a dirty word.  Profits drive our economy by providing incentive for innovation, industry and investment.  In a healthy environment, costs and profits are kept in check by the laws of supply and demand—supply increases, price decreases; supply decreases, price increases.  However, the laws of supply and demand do not work to control costs and profits, when either supply or demand are manipulated by forces outside the economy in which goods or services are sold.  Despite large supplies and low demand for gasoline in the U.S., prices continue to increase because excess gasoline is shipped to foreign countries.  Clearly, we have enough gasoline to meet our needs since the excess is being exported.  Even so, the price will not come down as long as excess supplies are shipped to other countries. 
Our government has a long history of banning the export of products and information that are vital to our national interests.  Energy is vital to our national interests and it is time to stop exporting our energy.  Forget the political posturing.  An Executive Order to ban the export of domestic energy will stop the imbalance, and give the laws of supply and demand the opportunity to work for Americans.