With gas prices seemingly going up on the regular, I decided it would be an interesting exercise to revisit the last time we saw this sort of surge at the corner station. When I see this topic discussed on the happy-talk show Delmarva Life this afternoon, we know it’s on people’s minds.
The time was 2008, which was an election year but under different circumstances. Our so-called “war for oil” over in Iraq was on somewhat shaky ground, but the bigger culprit in the uncertainty was the Great Recession we were enduring at the time, culminating in the financial panic that caused GOP candidate John McCain to temporarily go off the campaign trail and staining further the legacy of President George W. Bush.
It was in April that I first noticed the issue, as I added gas prices to a occasional series of posts I did at the time called the market basket. At that time, the pump price in Salisbury was $3.419, which seems reasonable compared to today, but remember most people were still making less than $15 an hour back then. (Minimum wage increased to $6.55 an hour that summer.) Then the next month I commented on a piece by energy writer Hans Bader and later on I noted in passing that Newt Gingrich had become involved, back when he was more relevant as a political force and not a commentator. (Bonus reading from fourteen years ago: my three part series on a better stimulus. See how it stands up in this era.)
Back then I posted a lot more, so here’s something resembling a two-part series on pump prices and how the Left saw them. Some things never change. And then I talked about Chuck Norris saying his piece – amazing the video is still there – and how it was affecting our Congressional race. Also, back then I commented a lot more on commentary like this.
And then we got Nozzlerage. You have to take my word for it now that the video is gone, but that was hilarious. Too bad the idea behind it was the unsound one of flex-fuel cars, which would only lead to creating more ethanol. And years later I found out the push to keep Congress in Washington over the summer to address the oil issue came from a person who would be an early TEA Party leader a year later. I even had more Newt, despite the fact prices were finally coming down, and refutations of comments I received on the site.
As it turned out, I was right in that drilling for our own oil and using fracking technology to extract more natural gas drove prices down to more acceptable levels. We got to a point just a couple short years ago where we became a net energy exporter, and we made Newt’s dream of $2.50 a gallon gas come true – in fact, in some places we beat his expectations by over a dollar.
So if I was right last time around, don’t you think we need to go back to the tried and true? We know there’s plenty of good technology in the energy field, so let’s drop the lease moratorium and let energy companies explore in new places, too. That would be a start. And let’s stop siccing Fedzilla on these companies – that’s a phrase I was reminded of on this trip down memory lane.
But I’ll conclude with a much newer phrase: let’s go Brandon.