Says Sen. Chambliss: "Make no mistake about it: Congress, and especially the Democrats in Congress, are to blame for skyrocketing gas prices."
I wish everything was so simple. I'd work fewer hours.
Unfortunately some people have more complicated explanations for the rise in gas prices. Mideast tensions, the weak dollar, increasing demand for oil in China, commodities speculation, oil company greed, unrealistic expectations from American consumers - take your pick.
So I asked Chambliss' office if his "It's the Democrats' fault" stance is an over simplification. His campaign says it's putting together a more detail response to this question, but campaign spokeswoman Michell Hitt Grasso said the senator "does not deny that there's increased demand."
"But with increased demand you must have increased supply," she said.
The senator's statement refers to various Congressional votes to block drilling for domestic oil, as well as former President Bill Clinton's veto to block drilling in Alaska in 1995, she said.
Chambliss' office also sent me some comments he made on the Senate floor today. His strategy for moving forward seems a bit more nuanced than "blame Democrats."
We’ve got to continue down the road of researching and developing more alternative fuels. We have seen the development of ethanol primarily in one region of our country -- the Midwest. The unintended consequence that we've seen is that food prices have increased due to the demand for corn. That’s why we have to move to develop the means to produce ethanol from cellulosic-based products.
We’ve also got to implement conservation practices from an individual and household standpoint. We have put some measures in place that will direct the automobile manufacturing industry to develop automobiles that get higher miles per gallon. We also need to encourage some personal measures to make sure that we truly do have conservation practices in place.