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Michele Bachmann: Minnesota's Pain at the Gas Pump is Real

High gas prices affect everything – from the price of goods and services to business investments and leisure travel, Rep. Michele Bachmann says. Every time the price of gas goes up 10 cents, it costs the American economy $14 billion.

The rising price of gasoline has Minnesotans, faced with having to choose between filling their gas tanks and scrimping on other necessities, demanding answers from Washington and the White House.

Gas prices have risen over 110 percent since President Obama’s inauguration and are up 30 cents a gallon just this month. A recent Reuters poll verifies what we already knew, 68 percent of Americans are unhappy with the way President Obama is dealing with high gas prices.

High gas prices affect everything – from the price of goods and services to business investments and leisure travel. Every time the price of gas goes up 10 cents, it costs the American economy $14 billion.

But more importantly, when gas goes up 10 cents, it costs the average Minnesota household close to $100 a year. At the current price that means Minnesota families are shouldering an extra $2,000 a year in gasoline costs compared to when President Obama was inaugurated.

That’s $2,000 after taxes that Minnesotans don’t have to update their home, buy clothing and other essentials, or put food on the table for their families.

Here in Minnesota high gas prices may have an even worse effect on our economy since tourism is an $11 billion industry in our state, accounting for 11 percent of all private sector jobs.

Our economy depends on families driving or flying here to enjoy all we have to offer, like the shopping with no sales tax on clothing or the more than 90,000 miles of shoreline. 

As we approach this election season, President Obama claims that Republicans will begin their normal refrain of “more drilling” as an answer to high prices.

But instead of offering solutions that could have a short-term effect on prices, the President claims “there’s no silver bullet” and has instead resorted to a public relations campaign to convince voters it’s not his fault. The reality is that President Obama is wrong; increasing oil production in the United States can lower the price of oil and, importantly, create thousands of jobs at home.

The United States is the third largest oil producer in the world. Our problem is not that we lack energy—the problem is that we don’t have access to that energy.

Federal lands and waters alone have enough oil to fuel 65 million cars for 60 years and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for 160 years. We have the energy, but this administration’s policies have kept most of it off limits.

Federal regulations currently only permit production on six percent of federal lands onshore production and 2.2 percent of offshore production. We can expand production on federal lands significantly without compromising the environment.  

If the President were really serious about addressing the challenge of high gasoline prices, he should have his administration cease its assault on domestic energy production.

He could start by reversing his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would have supplied up to 800,000 barrels of oil per day that would be refined in the U.S. Expanded domestic production would create thousands of American jobs and bring billions of dollars of new revenue to the federal treasury.

Energy is the lifeblood of our economy, and Minnesotans and all Americans deserve tangible solutions that will strengthen our energy future, and provide relief for currently high gas prices—not the empty promises of subsidized, renewable energy.

Washington must also realize that expanding domestic production of oil is central to that strategy because Minnesotan’s pain at the pump is real.

--Rep. Michele Bachmann is the Sixth District Representative in the U.S. Congress

Markus April 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I can post links too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming http://www.petitionproject.org/
Edward April 12, 2012 at 12:21 AM
More links: 97% of scientists believe it. What is interesting is that this is made into a political issue (used to divide people politically), and not about science. It reminds me of the debate over whether or not cigarettes cause cancer -- remember that one? The tobacco companies trotted out their "experts" to deny it for years. Science finally prevailed, and today it is widely accepted that tobacco use causes cancer. http://www.npr.org/2011/06/21/137309964/climate-change-public-skeptical-scientists-sure
Markus April 12, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Doing the math using the 32,000 dissenters, that means they polled 970,000 scientists that support it? Doesn't seem likely. Regardless of the numbers anybody can point to some "statistic" to support their viewpoint. I hate to beat a dead horse here, but the point I've been trying to get across is that the most disagreement is about the cause of climate change and the proposed "solutions", not that it has actually occurred. Schemes like cap and trade will do little to stem worldwide co2 emissions. And how are you going to enforce those mandates on China and other developing economies. They'll tell you to pound sand. Try flying into one of the major cities in China these days. The smog looks like LA in the '70s. If you're so concerned about it, sell your car, walk to work, heat your house with solar panels (of course those have plastic in them made with oil but I'll give you an exemption for those) and light with candles, only grow your own food because fossil fuel is used in every step of bringing food to market including tilling, planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting and even the plastic packaging it comes in. Also use your backyard wind generator to run your computer because it now runs on coal. Then I might believe you're serious. And kill your cow. They contribute 20% of the methane gas released into the atmosphere. But you'll have to salt the meat to preserve it since you won't have a freezer.
Edward April 12, 2012 at 02:50 AM
"Doing the math using the 32,000 dissenters, that means they polled 970,000 scientists that support it? Doesn't seem likely. Regardless of the numbers anybody can point to some "statistic" to support their viewpoint." You dismiss "statistics" as irrelevant, but then you post one ("32,000 scientists"). Where did you get the 32,000? Have you a link to that? Are they real scientists, or do they just play scientists on the internet? How many are climatologists? How many are paid by the oil industry? I have yet to meet a scientist who doesn't take this issue seriously, and the evidence just keeps mounting for it. "Try flying into one of the major cities in China these days. The smog looks like LA in the '70s." Yes, and this is recognized as yet another manmade threat to human health and survival . . . proven by (drumroll) science. "If you're so concerned about it, sell your car, walk to work, heat your house with solar panels (of course those have plastic in them made with oil but I'll give you an exemption for those) . . . " You exemplify the common reason for denial, which is fear. People fear having to change their lifestyles, and it is easier to deny there is a problem than to make any (even small) changes to mitigate the problem. What have I done? Drive less and drive a more efficient car. I eat very little meat (you correctly identified this as a major contributor to greenhouse gas), walk or bike, etc. Man up and get started.
Edward April 12, 2012 at 02:53 AM
"Doing the math using the 32,000 dissenters, that means they polled 970,000 scientists that support it? Doesn't seem likely. Regardless of the numbers anybody can point to some "statistic" to support their viewpoint." You dismiss "statistics" as irrelevant, but then you post one ("32,000 scientists"). Where did you get the 32,000? Have you a link to that? I have yet to meet a scientist who doesn't take this issue seriously, and the evidence just keeps mounting for it. "Try flying into one of the major cities in China these days. The smog looks like LA in the '70s." Yes, and this is recognized as the manmade threat to human health and survival . . . proven by (drumroll) science. The Chinese government accepts manmade global warming as fact. "If you're so concerned about it, sell your car, walk to work, heat your house with solar panels (of course those have plastic in them made with oil but I'll give you an exemption for those) . . . " You exemplify the common reason for denial, which is fear. People fear having to change their lifestyles, and it's easier to deny there is a problem than to make any (even small) changes to mitigate the problem. What have I done? Drive less and drive a more efficient car. I eat very little meat (you correctly identified this as a major contributor to greenhouse gas), walk or bike, etc. Man up and get started. We can all do something.
Jim April 12, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Renee: tell someone who cares. You are as big a contributer to manmade pollution as anyone, and you admit it. Take time to worry about what YOU do to pollute, I'll worry about what I do, OK?
Edward April 12, 2012 at 02:59 AM
"Take time to worry about what YOU do to pollute" I do. Maybe you've guessed that from my posts. "I'll worry about what I do, OK?" Jim, I'm glad to hear that you are concerned and taking action to conserve as well.
Markus April 12, 2012 at 01:23 PM
"You dismiss "statistics" as irrelevant, but then you post one ("32,000 scientists"). Where did you get the 32,000?" I linked to it in a previous post. http://www.petitionproject.org/ I do conserve because I don't want to waste resources. I do it more for economic reasons. However, I can't deliver product to my customers in a Prius or on a bicycle. My wife and kids walk to the store whenever possible, not to save the environment but to save money and to get exercise. We eat little meat because we believe it's healthy. My shop runs on compressed air and electricity. As I said in a previous post, you'd have to cover the state in windmills to generate enough power to meet demand. Nuclear power is the cleanest power available but we can't build new plants. Even Obama was leaning toward removing the moratorium on building new nuclear plants, but since the Japan debacle, that discussion is off the table. I have followed this debate for a long time now and didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I am not convinced there is a need for draconian measures including tax schemes designed to enrich the Al Gore types because I am not convinced the problem is man-made. I don't fear having to change my lifestyle. I just don't see it as being realistic in the short run. There are no viable alternative energy sources that are economically feasible at this time. (With the exception of nuclear) They will come and I believe the market will deliver them. continued...
Markus April 12, 2012 at 01:39 PM
My brother-in-law is an electrical engineer in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He works for the public utility designing and overseeing solar panel and wind generator installations. He does feasibility studies for potential investors who want to connect their solar or wind generators to the grid and get a payback from the utility. In order for it to work economically for the investors, the utility has to pay six times the prevailing market rate per kilowatt hour to the generator. This of course is subsidized by the taxpayer. If they had to sell their power on the open market there is no way for it to work now or in the foreseeable future. You can try to force it, (abundant clean energy) but no one will be able to afford it. You could have held a gun to Henry Ford's head and told him to build a car that didn't pollute and got 50 miles to the gallon. He simply couldn't have done it with the technology currently available. We now have the technology to do that and of course that's still not good enough for the greenie bureaucrats who exist only to tell us what is good for us. I'm gonna go man up and take a spin in my Silverado 2500 and eat a burger grunting like Tim Allen.
Edward April 12, 2012 at 01:55 PM
That "petition" was debunked many years ago (the petition itself is 14 years old -- dates to April, 1998). Here's what the National Academy of Sciences had to say about this petition: Also attached to the petition was an apparent "research paper" titled Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. The paper was made to mimic what a research paper would look like in the National Academy's prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy journal. The authors of the paper were Robinson, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon (both oil-backed scientists) and Robinson's son Zachary. With the signature of a former NAS president and a research paper that appeared to be published in one of the most prestigious science journals in the world, many scientists were duped into signing a petition based on a false impression. The petition was so misleading that the National Academy issued a news release stating: "The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science." More here: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/08-11-12/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-grandia/the-30000-global-warming_b_243092.html http://www.eceblogger.com/2007/10/what-a-joke-global-warming-petition-project/
Markus April 12, 2012 at 02:01 PM
We could keep bantering back and forth, but we're getting nowhere. You're convinced, I'm not. Guess we'll just leave it at that.
Markus April 12, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Renee, I watched this video you linked to. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJhgGbRA6Hk&feature=player_embedded So while the UofM (a government agency) is essentially telling us agriculture is bad, government has also payed farmers billions and billions of dollars to grow corn to sell to the ethanol plants and subsidized the production of ethanol (aka the zero sum game fuel) to the tune of $20 billion and then forces us to burn it in our cars. Ethanol plants use inordinate amounts of water (which according to the video is in scarce supply) to make a fuel that doesn't work. At last even the Democrats have figured this out and stopped subsidizing it at least. They also burn a lot of natural gas to make the stuff. The USDA is in bed with Monsanto encouraging farmers to grow as much corn as possible to make sure the food industry has enough corn to be in 70% of the products on the shelves at the grocery store mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Then the government tells children they can't eat sugar in school while they feed them pink slime and foods sweetened with corn. (You have to make it tasty somehow) Take a look at the school menu sometime. I wouldn't feed my kid that garbage. The government you put so much faith in is nothing but a bunch of hypocrites who only know how to feather their own nests while fleecing the citizens and telling them how to run their lives. They can't have it both ways.
PauliNtheWood May 14, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Gee, gas prices are dropping now, is Michele going to blame Obama for that, too?
Edward May 14, 2012 at 09:20 PM
She's blaming Obama for giving my kids a health insurance option that doesn't kill our family budget, so hey, why not?
Markus May 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Edward, You mean the health insurance option that your kids will be paying China for when they grow up since the government is currently borrowing the money to pay for it from them? Or do you mean the health insurance option that I get to pay for and you get for free?
Susan May 15, 2012 at 12:03 AM
I would say that the part of ObamaCare that we use (and will probably lose) - my 19 year-old son is still able to be on his dad's health insurance while he attends school and works part-time, doesn't cost you anything, and I don't believe my son will be paying a debt for that to China in the future.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 04:11 AM
So forcing insurance companies to cover "children" up to 26 doesn't cost anything? Any mandate on insurance companies including that one increases premiums for all. When I was 26, I was married, owned a home, my wife stayed home with our daughter and I had started my second business all with no help from anyone. Hardly a child. Considering 26 year old's dependents is another classic government overreach that once again punishes producers and expands the dependency class.
Susan May 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM
First, there is a huge difference between 19 and 26. Second, he is on his father's health insurance through his employer, so his father and the company are paying the premium, not the state or federal government. Lastly, I will say that paying for younger healthier people to be on insurance helps offset the costs of insuring those who are older and may use the health care system more. I (somewhat) understand your Libertarian views, and don't need another lesson, but our health care system is seriously flawed, and this is a private (for-profit) industry. The rich can stay healthier because they can afford to pay for it - even the middle class is struggling with this, so it is not just the poor or lazy taking advantage of "the system". Someone who has just graduated from high school and is working part-time and going to school can not always afford to pay for a premium themselves, and I believe this part of the Affordable Care Act should not be so controversial. As far as the mandate goes, it looks as though it may be found unconstitutional which would then strike down the entire law, which I think is unfortunate.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Susan, We've all heard the argument that young people can't afford health care coverage. What's interesting is virtually every young person seems to be walking around with a smart phone (roughly the cost of a health insurance premium) these days. It seems apparent this is a issue of priorities, not of affordability. Does your son have a smart phone? You say the health care system is seriously flawed. It's not the health care system that's flawed, we have the best health care system in the world. It's how we pay for it that's flawed. It suffers from the classic "third party payer" syndrome and massive government involvement. Market based delivery of health care without interference and intervention from government coupled with real doctor/patient relationships including the ability to contract with one another would solve virtually every problem we have with health care delivery in this country today.
Susan May 15, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Yes, he has a smart phone, which could be argued as almost a necessity for school and work, along with his car and computer. He is not hurting the health insurance industry, or costing anyone (other than his father and his father's employer) anything. In fact, if he were to be uninsured and have some accident or illness he would most likely cost the system something. You are correct in your statement about my reference to the health care system. I should have said health insurance industry, and billing practices of the health care facilities for those without insurance. No company should be allowed to say no to a procedure that a doctor (or maybe two) have recommended. No facility should be able to turn a patient away because they can not pay immediately, many times forcing them to go to the emergency room. And no family should be put through financial devastation because a member can not get insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 02:24 PM
"And no family should be put through financial devastation because a member can not get insurance because of a pre-existing condition." Then it ceases to become insurance and becomes essentially pre-paid medical care. Insurance is based on the risk being spread across a pool of people mostly who are healthy. Why do you think insurance companies charge more for insuring a home in a flood plain or higher rates for those who have had multiple car accidents? Actuaries determine the risk and the rates based on risk. If we are going to require insurance companies to insure a pool of mostly sick people the rates would be astronomical. As it stands, if Obamacare is fully enacted, the rational thing to do would be to wait until you become sick then buy insurance because they can't deny you. That is tantamount to buying car insurance after you have had an accident. You can argue that the government should require someone with a pre-existing condition to be treated, but you can't call it insurance because it's not.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM
"Yes, he has a smart phone, which could be argued as almost a necessity for school and work, along with his car and computer." Phone. Car. Computer. Health. Which are necessities and which are "almost a necessity"? We all prioritize our needs and find ways to fund our priorities without the need of government.
Susan May 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM
"We all prioritize our needs and find ways to fund our priorities without the need of government". Who is going to tell the person using the emergency room for health care, and then having the system pay for it, that health insurance is a need? "If we are going to require insurance companies to insure a pool of mostly sick people the rates would be astronomical. As it stands, if Obamacare is fully enacted, the rational thing to do would be to wait until you become sick then buy insurance because they can't deny you. That is tantamount to buying car insurance after you have had an accident." Which is why the mandate is needed....and here we have the constitutional issue.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Exactly why the government should be completely out of health care. If someone shows up at the emergency room and doesn't pay, the hospital has legal remedies to collect. Those using the system need to be held accountable to pay for their use of the system. Personal responsibility and accountability is a lost virtue in this society. But we've let it happen because of so-called compassion. It's really laziness among the citizenry because they don't want to enforce the idea of being personally responsible for anything including providing for themselves and their families.
Edward May 15, 2012 at 03:33 PM
"Exactly why the government should be completely out of health care. If someone shows up at the emergency room and doesn't pay, the hospital has legal remedies to collect. " But if you look at it pragmatically (based on real world experience of hospitals) you'll see that you can't get blood from a turnip. When the irresponsible hospital user runs up a $1 million bill (which isn't hard to do) and then can't pay it there's no way the hospital will be paid for those services. Multiple this times a hundred, and you'll see that soon that hospital has to close it's doors. When that happens NOBODY is served, and even those who can pay (or have insurance) are denied a critical service in the community. This is why we need health care reform that insures everyone has coverage, hospitals are solvent, and the system can function.
Susan May 15, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Markus, I think it is a huge leap to say that those without insurance (especially in this economy) are lazy "because they don't want to enforce the idea of being personally responsible for anything including providing for themselves and their families". It seems you have worked hard, and been able to provide for your family, however not everyone has had your exact circumstances. Lumping everyone together, and not seeing that people and their lives are different, sometimes because of no fault of their own, is not seeing the entire picture. In summary, I believe that there should be a safety net (welfare, health care, etc) in government, but I think it should be based on need, limited in time (unless there is some sort of permanent disability), and one should be required to better themselves for the job market while using that safety net.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 05:53 PM
What I said was "laziness among the citizenry because they don't want to enforce the idea of being personally responsible". God forbid we should tolerate any sort of unfairness. That might make somebody uncomfortable. We have equality of opportunity, we want equality of outcomes. Life isn't fair. Get over it. When you make government the great equalizer, there are consequences of mass proportions we are now witnessing. Charities and churches used to take care of the indigent. They did pretty good job of it too. The free market delivery of health care worked pretty good too. People paid when they went to the doctor and if they were responsible, they bought a hospitalization policy to cover catastrophic emergencies. Now we require private hospitals to treat anyone who shows up at their door and of course they pass the cost on to the other users or the government. Edward and Susan think it would be nice to make sure everybody is taken care of by our benevolent government. The problem is, someone has to pay for it unwillingly. That violates the principle of a free market and the right to keep the fruits of your labor and is an illegitimate function of the Federal Government.
Susan May 15, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Markus, I don't necessarily disagree with what you say in reference to the Constitution, but I question stopping it altogether and/or abruptly. And how would we ever fix the problems in health care in this country, without some sort of mandate? You really believe (like those that applauded during the Republican primary debate) that a person should be allowed to suffer and die if they find themselves uninsured and get sick? What if they just lost their job, can not afford the Cobra payments, and get cancer? What if they were in an accident, leaving them disabled? What if they couldn't afford a college education, and even working two jobs were not able to get ahead? What if the bottom suddenly fell out of one's business? People's circumstances are always going to be different, and yes, I would like a government that can help people get through the very hard times in life...as churches can not take care of all who need their help. I like my idea of starting to limit some of the hand-outs, which you would only qualify for, if you are working to better yourself and/or helping in the community.
Markus May 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM
The main problem with government bailing everyone out of every conceivable circumstance they find themselves in is it always introduces moral hazard. There is no incentive to be responsible if you know the government will come to your rescue. The government subsidizes flood insurance so people build in flood plains. The government subsidizes hurricane insurance so people continue to rebuild and wait for the next big wind to blow. The banks know the government will bail them out so they take more risk than they would normally. The government prints money to meet its obligations and the politicians continue to spend what they don't have. The government extends unemployment benefits and those who could work decide it's easier to not work or work for cash on the side. The government subsidizes food, housing, health care, heat, automobile repairs which enables people to engage in risky sexual behavior resulting in out of wedlock births. I could go on an on here. Government intervention in health care introduces the same type of moral hazard. more...
Markus May 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM
If you want to argue that we need a safety net then let's go back to the days when the counties took care of the truly indigent. We can cooperate at the local level to provide for those who truly cannot provide for themselves. Our definition of need is subjective at best. Let's define what need really is and act on it. Most people including conservatives and libertarians are compassionate and are not willing to simply turn people out in the street or deny them medical care. There are better ways to handle it than by central government fiat however.

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