I listened to Hugh Hewitt's radio show today, and he focused on the oil situation, especially on Obama "doubling down" on his inflate-your-tires message for conserving oil. Here's what Obama said (from Jake Tapper):
"Let me make a point about efficiency, because my Republican opponents - they don’t like to talk about efficiency," Obama said.
"You know the other day I was in a town hall meeting and I laid out my plans for investing $15 billion a year in energy efficient cars and a new electricity grid and somebody said, 'well, what can I do? what can individuals do?' Obama recalled.
"So I told them something simple," Obama said. "I said, 'You know what? You can inflate your tires to the proper levels and that if everybody in America inflated their tires to the proper level, we would actually probably save more oil than all the oil we'd get from John McCain drilling right below his feet there, or wherever he was going to drill.'"
(Note: that's not accurate, as we fact-checked last week. But the larger point about energy savings is correct.)
"So now the Republicans are going around - this is the kind of thing they do. I don't understand it! They’re going around, they're sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea as if this is 'Barack Obama's energy plan.'
"Now two points, one, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they're making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.
"You know, they think it is funny that they are making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework. Because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference."
Yes, those Republicans need to do their homework. If they did, they'd know that Obama would be correct only if every car in the country were out of tune with underinflated tires, and nobody had thought yet about checking their tire pressure to help them save money on gas. Silly Republican ignoramuses!
Hugh also talked about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's hard-line approach to oil drilling. Twisting herself in tighter circles than the rubber band on a toy plane, she had this to say, on This Week With George Stephanopoulus, about her goals:
We have a debate every single day on this subject. What you saw in the Congress this week was the war dance of the hand maidens of the oil companies. That's what you saw on the Republican side of the aisle. Democrats and Republicans are not right down party lines on this issue. There are regional concerns as well as some people concerned about what this means back home for them. But we have a planet to save. We have an economy to grow. And we can do that if we keep our balance in all of this, and not just say, but for drilling in unprotected -- in these protected areas offshore, we would have lower gas prices.
I forgot about that. We have a planet to save and an economy to grow, and of course we can't grow the economy if we let the "hand maidens of the oil companies" get their way. Why, they might drill for more oil!
Hugh interviewed somebody who is an economist or a writer for a well-respected economics magazine (I didn't catch the name of the interviewee or the magazine). He said that there was a study that determined that the decision to open up drilling offshore and in ANWR would bring down gas prices right away. The magazine decided NOT to publish the study, because the results weren't anything new. "Everybody knows" that increasing supply long-term will drop prices short-term. Apparently, though, Democrats don't know.
Finally, I was impressed with a caller who had a possible solution that addresses both sides of the issue. It explores an alternative energy source, which should make the Democrats happy. And the technology already exists, which should make the Republicans happy. And it's renewable, which should make everybody happy.
We can quit importing foreign oil and start using whale oil instead.