NAT GAS Act Needs Your Support

| May 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

Memorial Day weekend kicked off the summer driving season.

It’s the time of year when families pile into their cars for a road trip.  I joined in on the action with a 1,000 mile round trip to LEGOLAND California.

It was a great weekend getaway.  But I’m afraid rising gas prices could eventually put an end to the family road trip.

It was painful enough fueling up in California where gas prices are north of $4 per gallon.  What will happen when gas costs $5 or $10 per gallon… ouch!  High gas prices could effectively end one the great American past times.

The truth is, it’s already happening…

According to a MasterCard survey, retail gasoline demand has declined for nine consecutive weeks compared to the same period a year ago.

In other words, $4 gas is keeping drivers off the road.  And it will only get worse the higher gas prices climb.

But it’s not going to happen this year.  It looks like gas prices peaked early… AAA reported the national average for a gallon of regular gas peaked at $3.98 in mid-May.  Now, a gallon of the cheap stuff will run you $3.78.

That’s good news for road trippers this summer.

But here’s the problem…

Lower oil prices take the pressure off of politicians to form an energy policy.

A few months ago, oil prices were screaming higher.  The price for a barrel of WTI crude oil had shot up more than 30% since the beginning of the year.  And rising prices at the pump were front page headlines.

When gas prices rocket higher, politicians hear about it.  It’s times like this that support for legislation like the NAT GAS Act pick up steam.

Politicians know they’ll get blamed if gas prices climb too high and they don’t do anything about it.  So they’ll co-sponsor legislation that makes them look like they’re doing something to combat high gas prices.

Then, as soon as gas prices come down, they’re no longer front page news.  And politicians pull their support from the bills like the NAT GAS Act.

According to Politco, “Reps. Tim Griffin of Arkansas and Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania quietly removed themselves Thursday as co-sponsors of the NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1380).”

Look, I know this is how politics work.  But guys like this are why we’re all paying too much for gas.  And it’s why the US is the only industrialized country in the world that doesn’t have a coherent energy policy.

It’s maddening to me that we’re dependent on foreign oil.  Yet, the US has enough natural gas to last for 100 years.

I have to ask… Why aren’t we using our domestic fuel sources to their fullest?

We could easily transform our diesel powered truck fleets to be fueled by natural gas.  All we need is the government to push it over the top.  Once the process starts, the momentum will carry it forward.

Converting our truck fleets would cut demand for oil.  It would drive down the price of oil and gas.  And at the same time, it would be a boon for Americans who own land with deposits of natural gas.

There’s no doubt about it, the NAT GAS Act would be great for the US economy.

But now oil prices are coming down.  Politicians are free to quietly slink away from doing the right thing for the country.  They’re pulling their support for the NAT GAS Act.

In the end, the spineless politicians’ unwillingness to act is going to come back to bite us in the… wallet.  We’re all going to end up paying too much at the gas pump.

Don’t let your representatives slink away from taking action.  Let them know you support the NAT GAS Act.  It’s our best chance to preserve the Great American Road Trip, and for that matter, the American way of life.

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Category: Commodities

About the Author ()

Corey Williams is the editor of Sector ETF Trader, an investment advisory service focused on profiting from ETFs and the economic cycle. Under Corey’s leadership, the Sector ETF Trader has become one of the most popular and successful ETF advisories around. In addition to his groundbreaking service, Corey is the lead contributor to ETF Trading Research, where he shares his insights about ETFs and financial markets on a daily basis. He’s also a regular contributor to the Dynamic Wealth Report and the editor of one the hottest option trading services around – Elite Option Trader.

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