What a Shame

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2022

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If paying $3.99 a gallon made me angry last week, how am I going to feel this week? Another question. How are working folks and families going to get by if the price of gasoline continues to rise as predicted? The price of gasoline is the tail that wags the dog. It’s the canary in the coal mine. As a rising tide lifts all boats, rising energy prices inflates the prices of all goods and services.

The current administration seeks to blame the Russian-Ukrainian war for the rise, but that’s a dog that won’t hunt. The prices on everything from soup to nuts, including gasoline, have been rising ever since the first day when President Biden nixed the Keystone Pipeline and banned any new drilling for oil and gas. That one act, alone, put many thousands of Americans out of work and started the ball rolling downhill.

Now, the great United States of America has been reduced to begging other nations to do something we could do ourselves, to produce more oil. Let me try to wrap my head around this.

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The Good Lord blessed this North American continent with plenty of resources. Our neighbor to the north, Canada, has the 3rd greatest oil reserves in the world and would be glad to sell to us. Instead, we are going to try and cajole Venezuela after we find a way to turn our eyes from their human rights abuses.

Or maybe we talk nicely to the King of Saudi Arabia. Or the mullahs of Iran. Maybe we continue to send Russia a billion dollars a month so they can buy more ammunition for their Ukraine war.

Our country doesn’t have as much oil as those nations, but we have enough to have been, not just energy independent fourteen months ago, but an actual exporter of oil and gas.

We were on a trajectory that, if the cards were played right, we could have been the supplier of oil and gas for all of Europe. Imagine the change in Europe’s current circumstances if that were the situation. There might not be a war in Ukraine with the possibility of that war expanding into many of the European nations. Instead, the prosperity and power of the United States would be 180 degrees different today.

It’s not the power of our nation that I desire, it’s the prosperity and the positivity. Using our God-given natural resources to prosper appropriately would lead to a nation that has a positive outlook for the future. That has always been the strength of our nation, an even greater hallmark than our power.

Instead of feeling upbeat about our future, I get the sense that we are discouraged. My ninety-one year old mother, after hearing the bad news on television, asks a good question. “Lynn, what can we do?”

I sought an answer that exhibits faith and confidence, then realized that faith and confidence are in short supply these days. A resigned “Not much” was about the best I could do.

That’s not the way America used to answer its challenging questions. Ronald Reagan built his political career on calling the nation he loved so much “a shining city on a hill.” To be honest, Reagan did not create the reference; it’s a biblical reference from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

I read the Great Communicator’s Farewell Address this morning and his final words sought to clarify what he meant. Reagan said, “…in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God blessed, and teeming with all kinds of people living in harmony and peace…”

What a shame that the shining city on a hill has lost its luster. And so quickly.