With the price of oil soaring to more than $100 a barrel, many Americans are making a shocking decision on how to fill up their vehicles. Americans who live near Mexico are sometimes driving across the border for gas where prices are on average $1.20 per gallon cheaper. There are conservative and liberal solutions to our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
The constant fighting in the Middle East points out that the price of oil will always fluctuate. The civil war in Libya is only the most recent conflict in the war-torn region. Simple logic states that in a free market economy, the price of oil would stabilize in America if domestic drilling were increased. However, the Obama administration has consistently curtailed oil production in America.
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico provided the administration with the perfect excuse to curtail domestic oil drilling. While the media showed photos and videos of oil-laden fish and pelicans, gas prices began their ascent to current levels. An increase in production would also spur economic growth by providing Americans with more jobs. And with a drop in energy prices, Americans would increase spending.
For Americans who are opposed to increasing oil production, there is also a more environmentally friendly solution to rising fuel prices. In 2009, the Obama administration enacted legislation that gave certain new home buyers up to $8,000 in federal tax credits. Although there were abuses, tax breaks are always an incentive for American consumers to develop new purchasing habits.
Congress should consider passing legislation that would give consumers tax credits for purchasing hybrid or electric vehicles. If Americans are punished with exorbitant taxes for purchasing dangerous products such as tobacco, then they should be rewarded for making wise purchases. Automotive companies should also receive incentives for producing more fuel efficient vehicles. This would decrease demand for oil and gas prices would fall. Regardless of ideology, solutions are available for rising gas prices.
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