U.S. exports of distillate fuel (which includes diesel) reached a record 656,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2010 and have grown every year since 2003 Image credit:USEIA, U.S. distillate fuel exports continue to grow
All a Bachman Administration, backed by a Tea Party dominated US Congress, would need to do to bring gas under $2/gallon is to ban the export of gasoline from US refineries. The threat alone would initiate a price collapse. No problem. Well, maybe a little problem with campaign donors but what's a little disagreement between friends once in awhile?
Have a look at that graph. It is rich. Key points: "Drill baby drill" is so yesterday. Export value and keeping the balance of trade up are so tomorrow.The Keystone Myth, Totally Debunked.
'The Keystone XL pipeline will make the US less dependent upon Middle Eastern despots.' Brian helped destroy this myth with his recent post: US Plans to Export Oil from Keystone XL Tar Sands; It Won't Improve Energy Security (Those who still think we'll overcome foreign oil dependency by developing internal oil resources probably grew up hearing people around them chanting "America...love it or leave it' and thought they were "right on.")
Bankers and economists dominate policy making and they don't give a crap about the environment
All government economists seem to care about is maintaining a favorable balance of trade (generally done by increasing export sales while import consumption rises). This is why the Keystone XL got approved by the State Department. This is why hundreds of pipeline protesters got busted and their message ignored (It makes the economists' job easier that balance of trade is not one of those angry-people issues that Tea Partiers would have on rally signs.)
It's easy to laugh at Bachman's naivete or to be upset with Obama. At the bottom of the tar pit, however, lie government economists, backed by an Administration obsessed with improving the economy, and measuring progress only with the metrics that interest economists.
Probably the best thing could happen for the environment would be to have Bachman be elected President. She'd fire them economists.
Foreign policy dimension.
China has no extra fuel to sell but they do get the attention of South American governments with infrastructure investments. This helps China get access to strategically important South American resources like metals, fisheries, & farmland.
The US has fuel from Alberta Tar Sands oil, distilled in Gulf Coast refineries, to offer. That's about it. Thousands of foreign policy wonks work for the US State Department, which had final say over the oil pipeline. Economists, I guess, were not the only obstacle to common sense.