44°F
weather icon Clear

Is Congress trying to bring gas lines back to Nevada?

I was my 14-year-old daughter’s age when the first gas lines appeared in 1973, thanks to the newly created Mideast oil cartel that we would soon know as OPEC and President Richard Nixon’s ill-advised effort at government control of oil prices.

For those who weren’t born yet, instead of whipping into your neighborhood convenience store, driving immediately up to a pump and filling your gas tank for less than a buck a gallon, you actually had to wait in bumper-to-bumper lines, often stretching down the street and around the block, to “put a tiger in your tank.” (Ask your grandma).

It was around this time that the liberal mantra about taxing the oil industry’s “windfall profits” began to take root.

The Iranian oil crisis of 1979 brought Round 2 of the gas line scourge.

President Jimmy Carter succeeded in making a bad situation worse by imposing gas rationing, which in turn resulted in gas line waits of hours to get just a few drops of gas – no more filling up! – every other day depending on whether your license plate ended in an odd or even number.

Panic set in. Fistfights broke out at the pumps. The economy fell into a severe recession. A living nightmare. Fortunately, Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980 and immediately jettisoned the Nixon-Ford-Carter oil price controls.

“By 1986,” the Washington Times reported in a 2006 retrospective, “the deregulation of the petroleum industry led to record production levels and a glut of oil that drove prices down to $10 a barrel.”

That was the good news. Unfortunately, in 1980 Congress decided to stick it to “Big Oil” and implemented the threatened “windfall profits tax.” Here’s how the Washington Times reported on how that worked out…

“By the time it expired in 1988, the tax had generated $40 billion in revenue instead of the $175 billion estimated by the Treasury. After oil prices collapsed in 1986, the tax produced no revenue at all.

Well, it’s déjà vu all over again.

Thanks largely to our highly efficient domestic energy industry, John Burnett in U.S. News &World Report recently pointed out that the United States now stands “as the world’s largest producer of oil and gas, surpassing energy superpowers in Russia and the Middle East.”

As such, pump prices have plunged since last summer (though they’ve begun to creep back up again recently in Nevada).

Alas, like a bad cold sore, congresscritters – who never seem to learn a good lesson about bad policies – are back in Washington, DC rattling the cage about imposing new taxes on oil and gas producers. Is it going to take Round 3 of gas lines to get these misguided people to wake up and smell the petroleum?

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grassroots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.MuthsTruths.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Tim Burke: Due diligence required when buying a ‘mobile home’

Manufactured homes are an affordable housing solution for many Nevadans, but there is still a certain stigma and prejudice toward manufactured homes by the public, governing agencies and financial institutions. An estimated 5.6 % of all Americans, or 17.7 million people, live in manufactured homes, commonly referred to as “mobile homes.”

VICTOR JOECKS: AOC makes the case for right-to-work laws

Congratulations to avowed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for publicly demonstrating how right-to-work laws protect free speech.

Tim Burke: Has social media fueled our rush to judgement?

To see examples of the ever-increasing rush to judgment, take a look at any form of social media today and read the comments posted.

STEVE SEBELIUS: Democrats reluctant to give up redistricting power

It took Nevada Democrats 20 years to win the governor’s mansion in Carson City and both houses of the Legislature at the same time. They don’t want to give up the power of redistricting now.

Tim Burke: It’s time to get serious about term limits

Wild horses are a symbol of the Old West and part of our western heritage. The picturesque image of wild horses roaming free has been romanticized in books and movies for generations.