There’s a disconnect between the real world and congressional Republicans. I know, I know: This is a statement of the obvious. But if you want to see just how big the disconnect is, look at what’s going on with gas prices.
“Congressional Republicans turn focus to gas prices” was the headline in today’s Post. It’s all about painting President Obama into a corner on rising petrol costs and domestic energy production. “Gas prices have doubled on President Obama’s watch, and the American people are asking why he and Senate Democrats are blocking more American energy production,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Whether the president joins us or not, we will continue to fight for common-sense solutions that lower gas prices and create new jobs.”
But here’s the problem. According to Friday’s Wall Street Journal, Republicans are in search of a solution to an improving problem. “Prices are already easing at U.S. gas stations. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded fell to $3.907 on Thursday, down nearly 3 cents from a week ago, according to AAA,” the Journal reported. That’s because “[a] surprising boost in global oil inventories, aided by supply increases from Saudi Arabia, is blunting the possibility that sanctions against Iran will drive up oil prices.”
Both OPEC and the International Energy Agency report that Iran’s crude oil exports are falling, thanks to sanctions. But David Fyfe, oil markets chief at the IEA, told the Journal that a drop in production from the volatile Persian Gulf state most likely won’t have any impact on global oil markets. According to the paper, “One reason the market will remain in balance this summer, Mr. Fyfe said, is that OPEC members have substantially increased production, ‘with one eye on what might happen with the potential loss of Iranian supplies.’ ”
Remember, oil is a global commodity over which neither the president of the United States nor Congress has control. So, given the optimistic news about global oil production, Republicans might be wasting their time.