Pelosi to Panderers: Forget About Your Gas Tax Moratorium
As presidential hopefuls John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton continue to trumpet their summer gas tax moratorium plan as the savior of the American driver, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) yesterday put the brakes on the proposal:
First of all, there is no reason to believe that any moratorium on the gas tax will be passed on to the consumer, first and foremost. This has not been the history of a lower gas tax being passed on to the consumer. Second of all, it would defeat everything that we have been trying to do to lower the cost of oil. We could do better by the consumer by not refilling the [strategic petroleum reserve] … I think the biggest answer to our challenge is to invest in renewable energy resources and to do it now.
There’s good reason for Pelosi’s skepticism. Economists say the “gas-tax holiday” would benefit the big oil companies more than consumers. Environmentalists say it would encourage more driving at a time when Washington should be encouraging less. And editorial pages across the country are slamming it as an election-year gimmick.
Not that Pelosi’s message yesterday will end the campaign-trail pandering, but it certainly should. Without her blessing, this thing is dead in the water.