Naomi Klein was on Democracy Now! giving her insights on the current crises we are facing. On the fuel crisis Naomi said the following:
So when you press people who are selling this drill in ANWR, more offshore oil drilling, also drilling into the shale in places like Montana, what they actually say is that the reason why it will lower prices at the pump, you know, soon, this summer, is because it will send a message to the stock market, it will send a message to the oil speculators that more supply is on the way. So, essentially, what they’re saying is, let’s play the market, let’s collectively play the market.
And that’s why it’s significant that yesterday, in the face of Bush’s announcement—and it was a significant announcement, because it was a real indication of the seriousness of this administration to really make this their, you know, final push in office, and they could well win, because this media campaign is really bringing public opinion on side, and we know that the Democrats are pretty weak in the face of that public opinion, and the only thing that they could fight this with is with real commitment to green policies. And, you know, don’t hold your breath.
If one pay close attention to Bush at the press conference, one can see Klein’s analysis is correct. The core argument of drilling proponents is that drilling would send the message that future supply is on the way, which would bring down gas prices. No. What would bring down gas prices would be a firm commitment to alternative fuels. If speculators saw the U.S. was serious about getting off our collective addiction to oil, and/or the government launched a serious investigation into oil company profits and was serious about windfall taxes, then we would start seeing some relief at the pump.
For some reason, Bush Republicans only seem able to understand the supply side in economics, even then, not particularly well. More concerning, the American public is falling for the delusion. Is there any particular reason we are still listening to this president rather than sheer amusement. How much credibility does he have about anything? The truth of the matter is that people believe what the president says not because we rationally should, but rather because we want to. In the end, if these policies pass with popular support, we must also blame ourselves for our own credulity. There will always be snake-oil salesman, it doesn’t give us the right to check our brains at the door, or play the victim when the “miracle cure” doesn’t work.