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Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Gas prices

Drill, baby, drill is still the drill

I cannot understand the intellectual dishonesty or the ignorance of our fellow Americans who call themselves Republicans. Case in point, the Friday letter, "Solution remains close to home," regarding the price of gas and "when are Democrats going to demand the president eliminate bans on drilling?" Are they just numb to the facts or intellectually ignorant to reality?
The facts: Domestic energy production has soared under Obama. The number of drilling rigs has quadrupled in the last three years. The U.S. now has more oil and gas drilling rigs at work than the rest of the world combined. There are more areas opened for exploration and leased in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts. Add to that, 70 percent of existing oil and gas offshore and 57 percent of onshore lease acres held by oil companies are "inactive" with no production. Add that oil speculation drives up the cost every time a Republican cries "Bomb Iran."
Our demand for oil is at its lowest since 1997. Economics 101 states when demand is low, so goes the price. But with manipulation and speculation by the big corporations the price continues to rise. One oil executive has threatened the president over the Keystone pipeline, indicating that he could manipulate prices to harm the president's re-election. When a bill was introduced to keep all oil produced from the pipeline in the U.S. it was voted down by the Republicans in Congress. By the way, all that oil piped to Texas will be sold on the world market, not to Americans; think China/India.
Every Republican contender and nearly every Republican Congress member has signed a pledge to oppose ending taxpayer handouts to big oil after $137 billion in profits while producing 4 percent less oil in 2011 and call for cutting corporate tax rates by one-third or more. Maybe the letter writer should talk to her party and not blame the Democrats and the president.
Stuart Clift
Lake Stevens
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Herald Editorial Board

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