Let’s go back to Newt Gingrich. He has said that $2.50 is the max that people would pay for gas, if they follow a simple step by step outline of how to do it, and the plan is posted on newt.org. His plan is short on concrete solutions, unless you include changing the name of the Environmental Protection Agency to the Environmental Solutions Agency as a concrete step.
He does propose new taxes on oil and gas producers to fund research, but how he reconciles that with his free market doxology is beyond me, except for the fact that he calls the new taxes “royalties.” Consistency has not always been Gingrich’s strong suit, so it is not surprising that while he is railing against blossoming deficits, he is also saying we can afford to “Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing to give them an incentive to allow offshore development.”
The most concrete thing that he proposes is that we should “End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.” It’s a permutation on “drill, baby, drill,” and as a sound-bite it shares the same virtue, i.e., simplicity. But will it work? Of course, not. Here’s why.