Last Thursday oil prices increased $5.50 per barrel in one day. Last Friday marked the biggest single-day surge in oil price history, rocketing $11 more to $138 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In just two days, oil costs increased 13 percent.

Average Americans are literally driving to the poor house on financial fumes. With gas at more than $4 per gallon, roughly two cars in every household, and the average annual gas usage at 700 gallons, you do the math. Americans are being forced to use their hard-earned money that once put food in their stomachs to now put petroleum into their tanks, but to drive the exact same distances they drove a decade ago for four-to-five times the price.

As oil and gas prices skyrocket, Congress continues to play the blame game. In April 2006, with the Democrats poised to take over Congress with Nancy Pelosi at the helm, she released a statement saying, “With skyrocketing gas prices, it is clear that the American people can no longer afford the Republican Rubber Stamp Congress.” She followed that with the commitment, “Democrats have a common sense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price gouging.” So has the Democrat’s common-sense plan worked? Average gas prices were about $2.50 a gallon at the time. Now they’re $4 a gallon and rising. Some crack-down plan.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, they are going to discuss this week a cap-and-trade system, something that Obama and MCain both support. The main problem is official estimates say that it will increase gas by another $1.50 a gallon. Or as Newt Gringrich said in an interview recently with Glenn Beck, “It should be called ‘Raise prices and destroy jobs’ because that’s what it will do. It’s going to raise the price of gasoline; it’s going to raise the price of diesel fuel for truckers. It’s going to raise the price of aviation fuel for an already ailing airline industry. It’s going to raise the price of heating oil. It’s going to raise the price of natural gas, and it’s going to raise the price of coal.”

From the steady decline in the value of our dollar, to trade deficits and oil dependency, our sovereignty is being sold out from underneath us. Might I remind the federal government what one of their original and primary charges is: to protect the American public from the tyranny of foreign powers – which is exactly what is happening through others’ financial rule over us. It is sucking the life out of our economy. And Congress is virtually standing by and watching it happen.

Look at the energy chaos that our government has allowed. While we remain at the mercy of oil companies, cartels and OPEC, our government has tied the hands of states and citizens to tap even temporary energy relief from our own land. Here are a few key vistas on the oil and energy landscape at the moment:

  • Though we have more oil in the shale of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming than combined in the Middle East (800 billion barrels), liberals and environmentalists have made it illegal to touch it.
  • It’s illegal to drill in northern Alaska (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), or off the coasts of Florida or California.
  • Oil fields in Colorado are being shut down.
  • We won’t develop shale oil fields in the Western states
  • It’s illegal to explore in the Atlantic.
  • It’s illegal to explore in the Pacific
  • It’s illegal to explore in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico
  • We’re not receiving any more leases to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, while China, Venezuela and Cuba are.
  • We haven’t built an oil refinery in 25 years and reduced in half those we have
  • There’s enough natural gas beneath America (406 trillion cube feet) to heat every home in America for the next 150 years, but we can’t tap it all.
  • We have the largest supply of coal in the world, but it’s Germany who is planning to build 27 coal-fired electrical plants by 2020.
  • American airlines are in danger of going out of business.
  • American truckers are being stranded on the sides of the road.
  • American commuters are going bankrupt trying to travel back and forth to work, and are being forced to work locally for lower wages.

If there isn’t a conspiracy going on here, someone needs to make a movie about one!

Bill Clinton once said, “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse emissions because we’ve got to save the planet for our grandchildren.” That is the type of mentality that got us in this trouble. I’m all for doing our best to preserve our planet, but not at the price of losing our nation in the process. Bill’s words just might come true, but not as he or Al Gore might expect. We might save the planet for our grandchildren, and lose America at the same time, unless we turn around this energy crisis now.

Instead of whining and blaming, Congress needs to take some practical steps now to stop the insanity at the pumps, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, open up some temporary energy production avenues for economic relief (like shale development) and focus more of their taxpayer work time into establishing further alternative ways of producing energy for everything (from coal, electrical, natural gas, hydrogen, solar, nuclear, wind, etc.) Being the wealthiest nation on Earth, there is simply no reason or justification for us to be dependent on fuels that we can’t produce in our country.

If you’re sick and tired of giving away $2 of every gallon of gas to foreign dictators, making other oil-producing countries, cartels and tycoons rich beyond their imagination, and watching the federal government flail for energy solutions and bow to international powers –all of whom are sucking the very life out of the American people, economy and threatening national security – I implore you to sign and pass along the petition, “Drill here, drill now, pay less” at Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions website. We’re hoping to send millions of signatures to Congress demanding an immediate emergency session and resolution to our economic and national security crisis revolving around soaring oil and gas prices.

Our message: It’s time to drill here and drill now! The petition is simple. It states: “We therefore the undersigned citizens of the United States petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gas prices by authorizing exploration of proven energy reserves and reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries.”

Speaking of unstable countries, did I mention that the Iraq oil minister just reported that oil production is at pre-war levels (2.5 million barrels a day), yielding earnings for Iraq of $28.5 billion in just the first five months of this year? What that means is, we’ll likely soon be dependent and in debt to yet another Middle Eastern oil-producing country that we’ve helped stabilize and become wealthy while ours is going straight down the tubes.

Congratulations Congress – you’re completely failing us.

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(Chuck’s column now runs in syndication through Creators Syndicate. Subscriptions can be obtained by contacting Creators Syndicate. To check out some of his non-political articles, see Chuck’s WND archives.)

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