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Morici: High Gas Prices and the Wisdom of Drilling for Oil
CNBC.com | March 13, 2012 | 11:22 AM EDT

Gasoline prices are zooming passed $4 a gallon, and the nation is hardly freer from the grip of imported oil or closer to robust economic recovery. With his approval ratings dropping precipitously, President Obama is blaming speculators and investigating fraud and at the pump, when this mess is the direct result of failed federal energy policies.

By word and deed, the Obama Administration has sought to limit off-shore oil exploration and development, and hasten the commercial viability of solar, wind and alternative vehicle technologies.

All this is based on two erroneous, but strongly-held beliefs among liberal policymakers, academics and pundits: increasing U.S. oil production would do little to lower U.S. gas prices, and but for the vested interests of multinational oil companies, mankind would have long ago harnessed renewable energy sources and freed itself from the sin of burning hydrocarbons.

Oil prices paid by U.S. refineries in the Gulf do move with global prices, but not in lockstep. Despite a reduction in U.S. refiner capacity, increasing North American production would lower refinery acquisition costs.

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