Politics

Response to Senator Cornyn’s Op-ed

Senator Cornyn (R-TX) wrote an Op-ed for the Houston Chronicle last week attacking President Obama’s energy policy. In this Op-ed, the Senator tries to blame the Obama administration for the rising prices of gas, which fits perfectly into the talking points the RNC ordered its candidates and media pundits to discuss. Another desperate attempt by the Republican party to grasp anything as it feverishly struggles to escape the hole it dug itself the decade prior. The Republican Party knows that with a growing economy during the Obama administration their chances of winning the Presidency are slim. But to attack the President’s inability to lower the price of gas is absurd, and if it weren’t for an ignorant population it wouldn’t work. Sadly people don’t understand the factors that determine the price of gas. Oil is traded on the international market. The price of gas is determined by the supply and demand of this global market, also political issues that take place in oil-producing nation. If there is instability in a market, a nation producing oil, then the fear that the supply would be affected would cause speculators to drive up the price of oil. If we stop importing oil from the Middle-east, only 23% of our oil imports, that doesn’t mean the price of gas will decrease, at least in any significant measure. Conflict will continue in the Middle-east, and will still affect the market. We cannot supply enough oil to outpace the global demand and combat the price increases do to unstable markets. Senator Cornyn attacks the President by pointing out that the average price of gas has increased 90% since President Obama’s inauguration, from approximately $1.86-$3.50/gallon. The Senator ignores the rising price of gas during the former, Republican, administration. In 2001, the average price of gas was $1.44/gallon and just prior to the Great Recession in 2008, the average price of gas peaked at $4.12/gallon (see previous link). That’s a 186.11% increase in price. Was this the fault of President George W. Bush? No, not really. The market determined the price, and if it weren’t for the recession the price would have stayed there. What we are seeing is the market recovering, and the price returning to its natural state. No President can return the price of gas to $2.50/gallon. Not unless the President was willing to nationalize our oil, break from the stock market, and use “big government” to regulate price. I’d like to see a Republican run on that platform.

In his Op-ed, Senator Cornyn also attacks President Obama and environmentalist, trying to vilify them as the perpetrators of high gas prices and destroyers of jobs. Senator Cornyn attacks the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its proposal of adding the sand-dune lizard to its endangered species list. This lizard’s habitat is in the heart of oil rich land in Texas. The Senator claims that such a listing will cost 27,000 people their jobs. While no one wants these people to lose their jobs, it is hard to justify the extinction of a species. I always find it interesting that a party that promotes itself as a pro-life party often advocates the genocide of species for economic gain. These animals have a much more developed nervous system—a greater capacity to feel pain—than an embryo, yet, their murder is justified for profit. I always enjoy these moments when members of the Republican party step out from behind the curtain and reveal the party’s true form: a party of murderous-profit seekers. This reckless disregard for the environment is irresponsible. No one is saying we shouldn’t drill for oil—well some are, but I’m not. Anyone who thinks we can just stop using oil tomorrow is living in a fantasy world. Yes, we should drill for oil domestically, but responsibly. Let’s not kill an entire species for it. We also can not continue to promote our dependency on oil. Oil will eventually run out, and we will have to find some new source. Instead of waiting for that day, let’s be pre-emptive. We have to support a renewable energy policy.

The Republican Party, despite all evidence, still ignores the effects of environmental degradation and signs of climate change. I know comprehending those scientific reports on the issue can be arduous for these Republican politicians, those “nerds” like to use big words, so I suggest something closer to their comprehension level. There is a great book that explains what effects may result from destroying our environment. The book is called “The Lorax”, by Dr. Seuss. It has pretty pictures to keep their attention and help them comprehend. I know books are so passé, and reading can be such a bore. For the more audio-visual learner, I suggest the recent movie adaptation, in 3-D of course.

Oh Senator, you and your party are trying so hard to thwart the President’s re-election, yet everything you do ensures it. If you want to win you need to become the party that promotes the rights of women and minorities, accepts scientific evidence, shows compassion for the least fortunate of our society, and promotes the interest of the majority instead of the few, but I guess if you did that, well, you would be a Democrat.

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