Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Star Says Bauer Is Spewing Hot Air Over Gas Prices

The Star's editorial writers agree with AI about Pat Bauer's absurd request that Attorney General Steve Carter investigate oil companies for price gouging. The Star writes:

House Minority Leader Pat Bauer's call for a state attorney general investigation into "profiteering'' by oil companies and gas stations is populism at its worst.

Why are gasoline prices near $3 a gallon again? Open warfare in the Middle East certainly has something to do with it. So does continued high demand from American consumers and their counterparts around the world. Investors' speculation in the commodities market also has pushed up oil prices . . .

When politicians such as Bauer begin playing games with free commerce, the result is almost always bad for consumers. The wiser course is to pursue technological advances that make alternative fuels more practical, encourage conservation and improve mass transit.

When demand slips or supply increases, oil prices will almost assuredly drop. But consumers will have to "suffer'' with $3 a gallon or higher gas prices until then. Political posturing, no matter how popular at the moment, won't change that fact.

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