BMI’s Burchfiel: Gas Prices Good for Americans, Bad for Environmentalists

Low gas prices are a boost to the economy and a reason for Americans to give thanks this holiday, but they’re bad for environmentalists who want government mandates for alternative energy, according to Business & Media Institute Assistant Editor Nathan Burchfiel.

 

“[T]hese prices are good for the American people, they’re good for the American economy, but they’re bad for environmentalists who want to use the government to make these cheaper, more efficient forms of energy more expensive so that the more expensive, less efficient forms of alternative energy are more appealing,” Burchfiel said on CBN “Newswatch” Nov. 25. “And that’s government manipulation of markets and it’s just not what we need right now in an economy that’s struggling.”

 

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.89 Nov. 25. It was down more than 50 percent from an all-time high of $4.11 in mid-July, and about 40 percent from the Nov. 2007 average of $3.09.

 

But while the media focused on the cost of gasoline while it was rising toward the record high, they’ve missed opportunities to discuss falling prices as a silver lining on the otherwise dark cloud of the American economy.

 

“The people who I think were most surprised by it were journalists in what I guess we call the mainstream media who were predicting $5, $6, $10, $12 for a gallon of gasoline,” Burchfiel said. “This really blindsided them and they’ve really struggled to be reporting it.”

 

“[I]t’s certainly newsworthy to talk about record high gas prices, but where’s the flip side?” Burchfiel said. “Where’s the coverage now about how we’re seeing gas prices lower than we’ve seen in three or four years and that could free up people to travel a little bit more over the holidays – like those people in the video just a minute ago were saying – maybe put a little bit more money back in their pockets. These are things that are good for the American people, good for the economy that the media just haven’t seemed to grasp yet.”

 

But the outlook for gas prices in coming months “isn’t necessarily good,” according to Burchfiel, because of energy policies promised by President-elect Barack Obama and Democrats who control Congress.

 

“President-elect Obama and the leaders of Congress have said that they have a priority of making what they call ‘dirty energy’ more expensive. Things like coal, oil and gas are the things that the environmentalist movement hates and they want to make it more expensive.”

Dan Gainor
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and Vice President for Business and Culture for the Media Research Center