Examiner predicted it in January; WSJ's Strassel has primer on why $5 gas is coming soon to a station near you 

Here at The Washington Examiner, we've been predicting $5-a-gallon gas since at least this Jan. 6 editorial proclaimed it in the headline.

And, as we explained in this Feb. 27 editorial, you should be assured that skyrocketing energy prices are NOT the result of the Middle East crisis, but rather are the calculated consequence of President Obama's energy policies.

Now The Wall Street Journal's fine columnist, Kim Strassel, has pulled together an excellent roundup of all the reasons why gas prices are heading toward the fiscal stratosphere, as are other fossil fuel costs as well, including a timely reminder of this assertion by Obama's Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu:

"Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." As Strassel notes, Europe is paying upwards of $10 a gallon for gas these days.

Strassel's column is significant because she points out that the political impact of high gas prices is almost certainly going to be mainly on Obama and the Democrats, with all their spinning the causes as linked to the Middle East notwithstanding:

"Democrats are already desperately spinning the press on why none of this will matter politically. Yes, the party took heat for its antidrilling policies in 2008, but it won't be the same this time. Americans, they say, just witnessed an oil spill; they are okay with a drilling ban. And so long as economic recovery stays on track, no one will sweat an extra buck a gallon. And so on.

"The Democrats are right about one thing: It won't be the same as 2008. It will be politically worse. Nobody should forget the extraordinary public fury over $4 gas in 2008. The rage was enough to take Mr. Obama's flailing presidential opponent, John McCain, and propel him ahead in the polls, where he stayed until the financial crisis. Remember also that when oil prices peaked in July 2008, the unemployment rate was 5.7%."

The WSJ has put Strassel's column outside the paywall and it is well-worth reading, which you can do here. I've been saying for months that energy could well be THE decisive issue in 2012 and Strassel's column is the most comprehensive explanation of the political backstory here I've seen yet in the popular press.

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Mark Tapscott

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