Rising gas prices are nothing new

by Rolf Westgard

Drivers cringe while watching the dollar total rise at the gas pump. Their complaints mount in newspaper letters and at the offices of their state and federal

The current turmoil in the Middle East reminds us how dependent we are on others for oil supplies.

This is not a new problem and the solution to it has been obvious since the 1970s.

The only U.S. president in the last 75 years with a technology background was Jimmy Carter. He proposed some drastic energy conservation measures and a 60-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax, with proceeds going to public transportation and alternate fuels. Those actions could have made us much less dependent on foreign oil today.

However, Carter was defeated in the 1980 election, reminding political candidates that voters prefer government officials with easy, short-term no-tax solutions. So drivers, donâÄôt look to blame St. Paul or Washington, D.C., this time. Just look directly into your rearview mirror.