Three years ago, Krugman talked about energy policy under the Bush administration, John McCain's proposals and how deregulating the oil companies wouldn't make gas any cheaper.
I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher last night, and one of the Republican talking zombies was going on about how the price of gas was so high "because President Obama won't get out of the way and let companies drill." Yadda, yadda, yadda! If I hadn't just read this Krugman column, or known that Republicans lie every single time they open their mouths, I might have believed him:
To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.” More and more, Republicans are telling us that gasoline would be cheap and jobs plentiful if only we would stop protecting the environment and let energy companies do whatever they want.
...[T]he truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.
Why the hydrocarbon boom? It’s all about the fracking. The combination of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing of shale and other low-permeability rocks has opened up large reserves of oil and natural gas to production. As a result, U.S. oil production has risen significantly over the past three years, reversing a decline over decades, while natural gas production has exploded.