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It’s The Oil, Stupid: A Reply To Airline Execs

Friday, July 11, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Nancy Pelosi leads the Don’t Drill Democrats in saying “Drop Dead” to the American economy. From the New York Times:

House Democratic leaders took a hard line Thursday against opening up restricted areas to oil production as Republicans threatened to try to keep Congress in session this summer unless they got a vote on new drilling opportunities.

Meanwhile, my inbox is filling up with an e-mail from senior airline execs urging me to urge Congress to end the speculative bubble in the price of oil.

My response:

Dear Airline Execs:

How spineless. You want me to help you complain to Congress about “speculation,” but you quiver at the prospect of speaking truth to the Congress about the need for immediate, increased domestic exploration and drilling. If you are really concerned about your businesses, employees and especially your customers, you’ll send a second e-mail that bluntly demands drilling on the outer continental shelf immediately. If Congress put together a crash program to increase domestic supplies and backed it overwhelmingly, the speculative fury you wrote me about would dissolve overnight.

You wrote to me: “Since high oil prices are partly a response to normal market forces, the nation needs to focus on increased energy supplies and conservation. However, there is another side to this story because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation.”

While there is certainly a futures market at work in the high price of oil, you and I both know that a focus on prodction now would kill that in a heartbeat. Your limp aside on “the need to focus” is exactly the sort of corporate speak that chills your customers’ willingness to sympathize with you, the same sort of weak plea that pours out from your PR jockeys when massive delays or cancelled flights roll through the system.

Who taught you guys how to communicate, anyway? Simpering pleas and defelections from the real problem won’t rally anyone, much less your extremely ticked-off customer base that just started paying $15 to check bags and $4 for a Coke.

Don’t send me pleas to contact Congress on your behald if you lack the courage to speak the plain truth to the democratic leadership in the House and Senate: We need oil to fly, and we need to get it from wherever it is. Now.

Send another letter to Congress. Tell them to allow drilling on the outer continental shelf. Now. Right now. Then you might get some respect from your customers.

Sincerely,

A Very Frequent Passenger

Meanwhile, here’s the key visual that ought to be in every GOP campaign ad from now until November:

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