Sunday, May 1, 2011

How Pain at the Pump Wins Elections

Four dollar gas is tough. The six dollar gas some say is coming will be devastating. Consumers will feel the pinch at the pump. Producers will feel it even more. Their only choice is to pass the increased price of feed, fertilizer, fuel and help on to consumers. Everything we buy is going to cost more. Already there are calls for Obama to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce prices. Don't hold your breath. My bet is he will let prices rise until August, 2012. Then he'll pull a Clinton, dipping into the SPR to reduce prices at the pump just in time for the election. Sadly, it will probably work just like it did in 1996.

The threat of six dollar gas is our own fault. America has the resources to produce our own energy and feed the entire world. We could do it, and still have the cleanest air on earth, but we don't. Why not? It is because the federal government has convinced us that Americans are entitled to live in a hyper-clean world of bottled water, hand sanitizer, and magic cars that run forever. It is a world where we don't have to smell cattle because we buy beef from Argentina. We don't have to see oil rigs because we buy gas from Saudi Arabia. People don't have to work at boring jobs because we buy junk from China. It is a world where in the Yampa Valley tax money is used to
kill one kind of fish to protect another, because it is a better fish? It is a seductive song, money for nothing, chicks for free. And we fell for it.

It is time to face reality. There are no magic cars. A cow produces the same amount of methane in South America as it does in North America. Our mining/drilling/refining technology is light years ahead of the Middle East. Worldwide energy demands are projected to increase almost fifty percent in the next twenty years. Over millions of years, there have been ice ages and oceans and tropical forests right where I sit. The summit of Everest is sedimentary rock. Species have come and gone. The cycle will continue. Despite these realities, members of the Colorado congressional delegation on
both sides of the aisle talk about more wilderness. Friends, I love wilderness. I wrote a book about it. I can see three wilderness areas from my house and that is one reason I live here. But let's get serious; wilderness is a playground for a tiny percentage of very vocal Americans, the physically elite. America is reeling on the ropes of a world financial crisis. I view every acre of Colorado that becomes wilderness as a job lost. Let's put wilderness on the back burner and develop our timber, coal, oil and natural gas resources.

Recently Dale Bartlee of the
Colorado Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers said it best. "The biggest help our elected officials could give us is to get out of our way and let us do what we do best." Today we could be energy independent, fully employed, producing the best products, and feeding the world. Instead we face chronic high unemployment and the prospect of six dollar gas. We have been had. US Forest Service employees were in Ukraine twenty-five years after Chernobyl telling folks there to build roads, thin the forests and harvest dead trees or face disastrous fires. Meanwhile, Ken Salazar preaches the opposite: road less wild lands are the answer to millions of acres of dead trees in Colorado. What USFS experts say is good for Ukraine is good for America as well. Get out of our way and let us do what we do best. Declare Colorado's natural resources a federal free zone. We have seven congressmen and two senators. Write all of them, today, and get your political action groups - all the 9/12, Liberty, and Tea Party folks - to band together on this one. Do it, because the Sierra Club and others are pushing hard in the opposite direction. No new wilderness areas. Get the feds out of here and let us get back to work.

The critical question is whether enough peoples' eyes open before the Titanic sinks. I am hopeful because in the past two years, Tea Party groups have sprung up in big cities and in places no one has ever heard of all over America. We are the People and we are asking hard questions. We are mocked by many, and vilified by some. The political elite in both Parties see us as a threat to their survival. What they don't understand is that name calling will not stop us. So I say, take a liberal to a Tea Party. We have to win this one person at a time. Talk with them in simple terms about deficits, the national debt, and the failure of existing federal programs. Show them that we are not a bunch of racist extremists, but activated patriotic citizens. Acknowledge that both political Parties have screwed us. Try it. Take a liberal to a Tea Party. I did and we had a ball.

Next week we will talk about another reality. We won't get out of this mess by hunkering down and hoarding. We will only get out by giving.


The latest Chicken Little scare in Washington is that disaster awaits America if Congress ties a balanced budget to raising the debt ceiling. Obama wants a clean bill. My response is, call his bluff. Send him a clean bill refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Then let the People decide. Start the process in Congress so we can debate a balanced budget amendment, the only way we will force fiscal responsibility on the federal government. Americans will sort it out because failure is not an option.

This week the President also wrote Congress calling for an end to subsidies for big oil. Call his bluff. Get the feds out of the business of picking winners and losers entirely, whether it is a fish or wind turbines. Adopt a flat tax starting in 2012. For the next five years require every American and every business to pay 10% with no subsidies or deductions of any kind for anyone, and I mean anyone. Unfortunately, it will never pass this Senate. My bet is if it did, in five years we would be ready for real tax reform, eliminating every existing federal tax and replacing them all with a fair tax on consumption.

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Bruce DuFresne

Tired of unresponsive "representatives" who do as they're told?

Governance is too important to leave in the hands of politicians. We need to hold our representatives feet to the fire. We must watch every bill, demand that they read it fully and listen to us. We must be relentless in our civic duty because we have been asleep too long.


About Me

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Steamboat Springs, CO, United States
I'm a conservative Republican who ran for Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District in 2010. Though I lost the primary I gained an amazing insight into how politics works, and I met hundreds of wonderful, concerned citizens. Let's stay engaged in the mission. Write to me at, and keep the faith.