Are you ready for $7 gasoline?

If the true believers of The Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming have their way, it could cost well over $100 to fill the average vehicle’s tank:

To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon.

To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The 14 percent target was set in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for fiscal 2010.

With pump prices at $7 a gallon, many Americans would simply not be able to afford to drive their vehicles, which is exactly what the watermelons (green on the outside, pink on the inside) want to see.

Even if the Democrat-controlled Congress, which currently has approval ratings just below those of suicide bombers and serial rapists, refuses to cave in to the pressure of the “green” lobby and pass Cap and Trade, President Obama could make it happen with the stroke of his pen by issuing an executive order. There is also a third option. Members of Congress are already working with Big Oil to levy a carbon fee on the industry rather than wrap it into a sweeping cap-and-trade system.

The Heritage Foundation warns that this is yet another item to add to the list of things Americans should be worried about:

Such an approach would do nothing but cause more economic pain for American households. Higher gas prices lower employment, income, and spending, and Americans will have to dip into their savings to pay for higher gas prices. Heritage economist Karen Campbell details these effects in her paper, “How Rising Gas Prices Hurt American Households.”

Furthermore, a carbon fee would do very little to reduce CO2 emissions. As Senior Policy Analyst Ben Lieberman points out, gasoline prices have already reached these levels in Western Europe where nations have made commitments to cut CO2, yet we are outperforming them in terms of emissions reductions.

Higher fuel prices adversely affect just about every aspect of the economy. Food prices, for instance, will increase as it costs more to harvest, manufacture and transport food. And as the price of airline tickets rise, people will travel less. It may be easier to support these policies when public transportation is readily available – although the cost of public transportation will rise as well. However, many parts of the country do not have access to public transportation and have to drive a significant distance just to get to a grocery store.

Indeed, the rural, poorer areas will be hit hardest by a spike in gasoline prices as residents in these areas spend a larger percentage of their income on fuel.

We have to get these radical ideologues out of Congress. America’s only hope lies in producing more oil and gas domestically to meet short term needs while we develop new fuel sources and technologies for the long term.

The United States sits on an abundant treasure chest of relatively clean-burning natural gas. This is a medium term solution which could create hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of new jobs while significantly reducing air pollution from the levels that burning gasoline, diesel and coal currently produce. This approach would also give us a secure energy supply of our own which could not be disrupted at the whim of foreign governments.

- JP

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