87°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
Letters to the Editor

Reader replies to letter from Dave Thomas

STEVE SEBELIUS: American government takes two to tango

Former Sen. Harry Reid and President Joe Biden agree that America needs a functioning Republican Party, but the shadow of ex-President Trump still looms over the GOP.

Thomas Knapp: About that ‘rules-based international order’

The Biden administration has taken to frequently asserting its intention to return — versus the Trump administration’s departure therefrom — to something called a “rules-based international order.”

Letters to the Editor

Administration’s plans will likely change America

Letters to the Editor

Human nature has not changed, just circumstances

TIM BURKE: If it seems like prices are rising, you’re right

Is it just my perception, or is the cost of just about everything going up? Indeed, one of the most apparent increases for consumers has been the rising cost of a gallon of gas. Nationally, the Retail Gas Price (RTP) is at a current level of $2.94, up from $2.93 last week and up from $1.95 one year ago. The increase is up 0.20% from the previous week and 50.95% from one year ago.

Letters to the Editor

President Biden’s practice is described as ‘political speak’