Many ideas are being bounced around Washington on how to handle the high price of oil. There has been talk of federal government regulation of the oil industry. Senator Ben Nelson says that is a very gray area. He says he’s very cautious about over regulating. “I’m very cautious about the windfall profit tax because we can outsmart ourselves in trying to do something here that creates a longer term, bigger problem if we are not careful.”
There is also a letter on its way to OPEC that Senator Nelson signed. “Because you provide oil to us, you should be subject to our antitrust violations and you shouldn’t be able to have this cartel. It is against the United States law and you serve it so you ought to comply. The obvious answer is that they can stop sending us oil and what do we do. What is the enforcement capability.”
Senator Nelson says it appears that gas prices will continue to rise unless something is done fast. “I asked today at the Nebraska breakfast how many people thought that gas would go to five dollars a gallon and virtually every hand went up, including members of our delegation because we see what is happening. And, if we don’t get ahead of this with a study, we are going to be chasing it for a long time because there is no one solution.”
Senator Nelson says in many ways the government is to blame. “We want to do it safely, but does it take 42-months to issue a permit? Government creates its own problems when it is bureaucracy stalls the process. I’m glad that in South Dakota, they are working for a new refinery.”
Nelson says it all comes back to a workable energy policy where we don’t make mistakes to dampen our future.