As President Bush lifted the ban yesterday on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in the United States, Democratic leaders in Congress pounced, saying that such drilling would have no effect on prices.

Someone needs to send an economics professor to teach a Congressional class on “Supply and Demand.”

What Democrats apparently hope we’ve failed to learn in their pathetic government-run schools is that the law of supply and demand is one of the major factors, if not the major factor, in determining the price of goods and services. If no one wanted oil, it would be cheap. If we had an overabundance of oil, it would be cheap. As it stands now, however, everyone wants oil, and OPEC controls the world’s supply (thereby making it scarce). High demand + low supply = $4 gasoline.

As banks fail, the housing market crumbles, and average Americans struggle to fill up their gas tanks, Democrats in Congress are more concerned about the Caribou and some “not in my backyard” stance on drilling.

Well, drill in my backyard. I’d be more than happy to sell my property to an oil company that wanted to drill for oil in my backyard. I’ll plant my tomatoes elsewhere.

The Democrats (and some Republicans, to be fair) are simply bowing to the environmental lobby. These are the people who literally want to starve us to “save the planet.”

I’ve also heard the excuse from some in Congress that anything we do now won’t have an immediate impact. Again, in the hopes that the government-run schools have failed us miserably – and they have – these Congressmen are betting that we won’t understand the concept of speculation based on future supply. Prices are set based, at least partially, on speculators’ notions of what the future holds for the oil market. If they see a decrease in future supply, they send prices soaring; if they see an increase in future supply (or reduction in demand), they’ll bring prices down.

Congress just wants to convince us that “there’s simply nothing we can do to lower gas prices…except buy a Hybrid and install solar panels on our rooftops.” Noble things, sure. But how do I afford to save for a Hybrid and some solar panels when it costs me $65 every couple of weeks to fill up my van?

Congress needs to vote to lift their ban on offshore drilling. End of story. Americans need to begin to take care of Americans, rather than sending our money to OPEC-controlled countries, thereby putting us at the mercy of dictators. Well, I mean dictators of other countries – we’ll still be at the mercy of our own dictators in Washington.