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The Unintended Consequences of Intentionally Inflating Gas Prices

So here we go again. More self - inflicted pain felt most by the working poor. Right on the heels of the pandemic where the less important delivered food to the too important to go out crowd. Now we have record food and gas prices.  

I am not going debate the merits of our covid lockdown response here - but it is rather clear suffering was not evenly felt. The line "we are all in this together" - became a punchline rather than a rallying cry.  Covid was the threat and we were told to shut down.  Now the climate crisis is back on the front burner and it’s the existential threat we must extinguish. Yet again, we are asking the working poor to do most of the heavy lifting. 

To combat climate change progressive leaning governments have targeted fossil fuels and the oil industry. Oil isn't just a dirty substance, it's now a dirty word.  Any exploration, development and production are to be curtailed.  One of Biden's first acts was shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, and with that Trump's drill baby drill energy policy was dead. 

North of the border, Trudeau has treated the oil industry, Canada's golden economic goose, like an unloved pet.  The markets have reacted to this deliberate supply reduction with a sustained jump in price. If you are still not convinced that energy prices are being intentionally inflated, look no further than carbon taxes.  Their purpose is to increase the price of carbon to get people to conserve and make greener choices.  So it should be obvious where to point the blame for the current high cost of  living. 

If you thought - oil companies - think again. Enough of the price gouging argument - governments deliberately increased the price of the commodity oil companies are selling. Let them be greedy and produce more. Then watch normal market correction take over as it has in the past. 

If only progressives had a scapegoat for the fuel poverty being inflicted on their own citizens.  Well thanks to Russia's invasion of Ukraine they do.  But it's not the war raising prices, but our response. Symbolic and ineffective Russian oil sanctions have driven up prices even further. The West's decision to antagonize rather than mediate the conflict will keep energy prices at record highs for the foreseeable future. 

So please don't listen to environmental apologists try and shift blame to Putin, price gouging or supply chain issues - this is not circumstantial. This pump pain is intentional. At least with Covid restrictions, governments that imposed them - owned them. It was to fight a deadly virus. Progressive governments should have the courage of their convictions to do the same and be transparent.  Canadians may argue the cause, but Americans clearly know where to lay blame. A politically savvy opposition there, never misses an opportunity to point the finger.  

                                


It is more than plausible that the left's predicted impact of their interventions were understated. While others who believe the ends justify the means, may not care about the dire economic consequences caused.  To them the threat of climate change is too great to ignore any longer. Either way, I am not here to debate the need for action, but warn of the blow back coming from this intentional oil squeeze.      

Populist anger is simmerring and about to boil over. Conservative opportunist politicians are circling the discontent, herding this mob down their own ideological path.  I don't believe in a winner take all attitude in politics.  The pendulum always swings back.  When it does I don't want to lose ground on social progressive issues,  like a woman’s right to choose, gay rights, and mental health to name a few.  When people struggle to afford the basics - not much else matters. 

Climate change is not going away and we can't just ignore it. We need a strategy, but we are not going to conserve our way out of this - no matter how much its forced upon us. The pain is too great and the solution too readily available for the electorate not to choose easy.  So what to do?   

Tax oil companies full on, but don't restrict development or tax what they are selling. Use the proceeds to fund research into a game changer energy source or find solutions to nuclear waste issues. Let the price of oil go up gradually with the natural laws of supply and demand. When they do, have affordable electric alternatives available.  

Economic pain is nothing new, but when its cause is deliberate and not evenly felt - look out. Please tell me I am overreacting. I am usually quite optimistic about the future and prefer to be that way, but right now I see anger and the pitchforks are coming out. 

Podcast Episode  Podcast Episode - Part 2


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