By Lee Coleman of Aloha, Oregon. Lee is a former member of the Oregon GOP's state policy board and a founder of the Oregon Log Cabin Republicans. He is now the Democratic candidate for state representative in HD-26. Previously, Lee contributed "Bush's Social Security Plan: Unfair and Disastrous".
What's going on with gasoline prices is this: It's Enron all over again.
The oil companies are deliberately gouging the public, just as are the drug companies, and the health care industry, because they know they can get away with it.
The Bush-Cheney doctrine, as far as industry is concerned, is laissez-faire capitalism as free as possible from any rules or regulation.
When it comes to gasoline prices, Democrats have a perfect opportunity to score big points in the coming congressional elections by telling the public that if they want controls put back on the oil company gougers, they can do so only if they elect Democrats to the House and Senate BOTH.
Karl Rove understands the potential lurking in this area. That is why his puppet, George W. Bush's April 22 radio speech emphasized that gasoline prices were too high (blaming the Arabs) and that he now supports alternative fuels and fuel cells. He's trying to fool people into thinking that there's no way out other than buying less oil and so was his puppet, Senator Nelson (Florida), who supplemented the radio broadcast.
We can not let Rove and his puppets get away with this bit of misdirection. We have to attack the problem where the problem is: in the oil company executive offices. Enron was a perfect model for these rogues. The only thing Enron messed up on was its own internal fraud and the losses caused by the fraud; the oil companies are not likely to follow that route. But they do have to be controlled.