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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Will Saudi Arabia Fall Also

The possibility of having Saudi Arabia fall should send chills throughout the world. Even the dullest knife in the drawer, besides me, has to see the devastating impact it would have on the world.  The Saudis have been the rationale counterweight to those in OPEC who have been pressing for higher and higher prices and/or lower production.   The large amount of petroleum  that lies under their sands allows them to be the "big dog" when it comes to pricing and production.  And so since 1973, we have had a somewhat reasonable and rationale market based oil price.

However, should this vast oil resource fall to a new government who was not as responsible and temperate, we might see prices that today would be unimaginable. Could that happen?  I believe so.

Today, Henry Bloggett on Tech Ticker/Yahoo Finance interviewed Fadel Gheit with Oppenheimer & Co. who unequivocally said the Royal Family would fall. Scared yet?

So let's say that Fadel is accurate with his prediction.  Do you share the opinion that whomever replaces the Royal Family will be significantly less hospitable to the United States, Europe and Israel?  I do.

What does that mean for our "recovery."  In the last couple weeks we have seen gas go up by double digit percentages and that was with Libya's 2% of the world production effected.  If 10% (Saudi's percentage) were to go off-line and radical regime were to take over, could $8 or $10 per gallon gas be out of the question?  I think not.   The recovery would end with a bang. Inflation (if gas were included in the calculation) would jump into regions we have not seen since the 70's or maybe even worse.

Let's hope that Fadel does not know what he is talking about!  Here is a summary of what he told Henry:

As Libya descends into full-on civil war and protests spread across the rest of the Middle East, all eyes are focused on Saudi Arabia, which produces more than 10% of the world's oil.

So far, protests in Saudi Arabia have been limited. But our guest, Fadel Gheit, a managing director at Oppenheimer & Co., thinks that may soon change.

The root cause of the Middle East unrest, Ghait says, is inequality. Decades of autocratic rule have increased frustration that the vast wealth of the oil-producing countries in the region is in the hands of a small privileged few, and this frustration is finally boiling over. Although governments are making small concessions designed to quell this frustration, Gheit believes the yearning for freedom and democracy is unstoppable.

He says it is hard to predict whether the violence that consumed Libya will spread to Saudi Arabia and other countries, but he believes the protests will. And, eventually, he believes, the regime will fall.

Secure Israeli Borders More Important Now

With the upheaval in the Middle East over the past few weeks and the appearance of new potential conflicts in Oman and Saudi Arabia, Ari Harow wrote in the Jerusalem Post yesterday a very thoughtful argument against any withdrawal from Judea and Samaria to the 1967 armistice lines.

I have been a critic of any "land for peace" agreement.  In my not so humble opinion, the peace Israel will get will be punctuated by the whine of the rocket.  You only have to remember the Gaza experience to realize that this does not work.  As Ari points out, the high hopes for democracy in Gaza are gone. Do we expect any different in the West Bank or if there is a further pullback?  I do not think so.

Tell me what you think. Here is the article:

The Indefensible Case for Withdrawal

ARI HAROW - The Jerusalem Post, March 2nd, 2011

With the Middle East at an historic crossroads, a pullback to the 1967 armistice lines is a risk we simply can’t afford to take, and which the likes of Hamas are all too eager to exploit.

The Middle East is in the midst of an historic upheaval. But despite the Arab street’s clear demands for regime change, there are still those who insist that a withdrawal from the West Bank is the recipe for regional stability.

They could not be further from the truth.

In reality, moves to delegitimize our presence in Judea and Samaria, and ultimately to hasten our withdrawal to the 1967 armistice lines, would prove catastrophe for democratic hopes in the region. If there is to be any progress, it must be grounded in the concept of defensible borders.

As the world waits for Libya to become the latest tyranny to tumble, it is far from certain that democracy will follow Muammar Gaddafi’s exit. Similarly, the path to freedom and truly representative government in Egypt and Tunisia is paved with uncertainty.

Democracy ranks alongside military rule, theocracy and numerous other shades of autocracy as possible outcomes.

Lebanon is the most recent reminder, if one were needed, that the Middle East version of democracy is tenuous at best, forever at the mercy of antidemocratic forces. Lebanon is a regional rarity, enjoying free elections for a multiparty parliament.

Yet in January, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah engineered the dismantling of prime minister Saad Hariri’s government, replacing him with a stooge for the Shi’ite terror movement. Abusing the tools of democracy, Iran has strengthened its stranglehold on the country. Only five years ago, Lebanon appeared poised for freedom after its “Cedar Revolution” had ousted Syria. It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to picture the “Jasmine Revolution” and the “Facebook Revolution” deteriorating in similar fashion.

ISRAEL TOO has been guilty of placing its faith in half-baked democracies. The unconditional withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 was heralded as an opportunity for the Palestinian Authority to institute freedom, prosperity and the rule of law. Instead, previously thriving industries in Gaza were left to rot, and poverty remained. Seizing the opportunity, another Iranian proxy, Hamas, seized the reins of power, violently overthrowing Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah, whose officials fled for their lives. More than five years later, the Negev still faces Hamas rockets.

With Hamas dedicated to our destruction, the international community urges greater trust to be placed in the hands of Abbas. Yet his regime is anything but a model of good government. Abbas’s term as PA president expired more than a year ago, and parliamentary elections are similarly overdue. Abbas, seemingly terrified his tenuous rule will be the next target of Arab uproar, scrambled to call elections last week.

And yet this failed democracy is the regime that so many insist we empower by withdrawing from the West Bank.

Even if Abbas were willing to genuinely reform his authority, introducing genuine checks and balances and democratic principles, the clear danger remains that Hamas, backed by its Iranian patrons, will repeat its Gaza trick.

With the Middle East at an historic crossroads, a withdrawal to the indefensible 1967 armistice lines is a risk we simply can’t afford to take, and which the likes of Hamas are all too eager to exploit. A pullout from the West Bank would surely only encourage the Iranian- inspired fundamentalists who hope to add our eastern flank to the trophies of Gaza and Lebanon. Regionally, other extremist forces such as the Muslim Brotherhood would gain inspiration from a perceived Israeli capitulation, fuelling their own appetite for power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and other countries whose futures have yet to be determined.

Withdrawal threatens not only Israel, but also Western illusions of peace and democracy in the Middle East. A pullback to the 1967 lines would leave the region’s only genuine democracy exposed at a time of immense uncertainty.

In doing so, reconciliation and genuine peace would become even more unlikely. Any future Israeli-Palestinian talks must therefore be predicated on the necessity of defensible borders.

If not, the dream of a democratic triumph will become more distant than ever.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Middle East Update

I know that some of you are interested in the events in the Middle East. We have seen the riots in Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya.  However, there are more things happenning in that part of the world than we hear from the media.  Today, I saw the following article which updates us on other countries that are also experiencing riots and protests.  For example, did you know there were riots in Kuwait and in Saudi Arabia or Oman?

A very large portion of our oil comes from this region and if that oil flow were to be disturbed, it would have dramatic effect on each one of us. We all need to pay attention and for that reason I am attaching the article to this posting.

Tell me what you think. Here is the article reproduced in full.

A Middle East on the Edge

Ryan Mauro - FrontPage Magazine, March 2nd, 2011

Almost every single government in the Middle East is on the edge or is in danger of severe destabilization. Protests continue to spread throughout the region and beyond in a domino effect that may be on the scale of the collapse of the communist East Bloc. However, the outcome may not be as positive as it is still very uncertain who will fill the power vacuum.

The revolution in Libya continues despite the horrific violence used by Qaddafi’s forces. Local police and military personnel continue to defect as the opposition advances towards Tripoli. There are frequent unconfirmed reports that the defected personnel and armed demonstrators are planning to travel to Tripoli to intervene. Qaddafi has offered no concessions except for a payment of $450 for every family. Europe is taking the lead in helping the Libyan opposition with France and the U.K. endorsing a no-fly zone over the country and Secretary of State Clinton says the U.S. is reaching out to the opposition. There were protests in Tripoli following Friday prayers last week and it should be expected again this week.

Opposition groups have publicized several dates for rallies in the region. On March 1, the Iranian opposition plans major protests after the arrests of the two top opposition leaders, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi. The regime was too afraid of a backlash to make this move until now, with the top prosecutor saying they would be put on trial “once public opinion is ready.” The regime may very well have over-played its hand this time, as a letter allegedly written by senior Revolutionary Guards officers in early February has surfaced where they said they would not open fire on protesters and demanded that the regime change its behavior.

On March 8, protests are going to be held in Kuwait by the Popular Action Bloc and Kuwaiti Progressive Group to try to force the resignation of the Prime Minister. A Facebook group is calling for protests throughout Syria on March 11, though there will likely be protests in front of the Libyan embassy before then. The Syrian security forces arrested 14 people and dispersed a gathering of about 200 people at the embassy recently. The regime is also preparing another aid package to appease the population. Anti-Assad graffiti is now appearing in Damascus and the regime is saying that the holiday of Nowruz on March 21 will not be celebrated, something the Kurds are not going to take lightly.

March 11 is also the day that Saudi activists are planning a protest in the Kingdom in favor of free elections, particularly for the Shura Council, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the release of political prisoners, an independent judiciary and significantly, changes to the religious order. Protests are also being planned for March 20 in Saudi Arabia. A letter has been signed by 100 businessmen, activists and academics calling for the creation of a constitutional monarchy and the reformists received clerical support from Sheikh Salman al-Ouda. King Abdullah has reacted to the pressure by announcing a massive $36 billion aid package and promising to spend $400 billion by 2014 on education, health care and infrastructure.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his supporters are holding protests against Hezbollah on March 14. There were protests over the weekend already in Beirut where at least 500 gathered against the sectarianism of the government. One report said as many as 4,000 assembled and also demanded secular rule. Protests will be held the next day in the Palestinian territories to demand unity between Fatah and Hamas. In Gaza, Hamas just stamped out a demonstration of dozens of Palestinians for the release of political prisoners and freedoms. A Facebook group has been created to organize a protest in Qatar on March 16 to demand the resignation of the Emir, the cutting of ties to Israel and Iran and the dismantling of a major U.S. base there.

The unrest dramatically spread to Oman over the weekend when 2,000 protesters assembled in Sohar. They rioted, setting fire to a police station and supermarket. About 500 of them blocked truck deliveries to the port and the security forces intervened, killing between two and six people. Sultan Qaboos bin Said responded by announcing that $390 would be given to the unemployed every month and 50,000 government jobs would be created. A government delegation is being sent to negotiate with the protesters.

The protests in Bahrain continue to escalate with the largest one yet being held last week with over 100,000 participants. The government has released 308 political prisoners, shook up the government and allowed Shiite opposition leaders to return to the country. This has not stymied the protesters, who have now blockaded parliament.

The story is similar in Yemen. On February 25, over 100,000 protested across the country, including 30,000 in Sanaa. The opposition says it will not relent in its demand for the resignation of President Saleh and will not accept a unity government with his party. Eight members of parliament have quit his party and 59 are said to soon follow. A very powerful tribal chief, Hussein al-Ahmar, has joined the opposition and is calling on Saleh to step down. The President still has significant tribal support, though, as the northern tribes have confirmed their support for him and 11 tribal chiefs declared their endorsement for him on Sunday.

Protests of a much smaller size continue in Jordan. On February 25, protests were held in Amman. The government said there were 6,000 but the opposition said it was over 10,000.The Muslim Brotherhood played a major role but the rally was supported by 19 other parties and organizations. King Abdullah is slowly losing the support of tribes, with one staging a small protest and 36 tribal officials signing a letter calling for limits on his power.
Iraq saw nationwide protests on February 25 despite Prime Minister al-Maliki’s pleas not to join them, claiming they had been organized by Al-Qaeda and Baathists without giving any evidence. Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani and Iranian ally Moqtada al-Sadr also said Iraqis shouldn’t take part, but they did anyway. Al-Maliki gave another concession and gave a 100-day deadline to all of his ministers to clear out corruption and carry out reforms or be dismissed.

The revolution in Libya seemed to provoke some protests in the Arab countries of Africa. Algeria had its first protest since the state of emergency ended. The Algerian press said about 500 turned out in Algiers but the opposition says it was above 5,000. Whatever the true number was, the protests have still declined from what they once were. Tens of thousands protested throughout Morocco as well in favor of limiting the power of King Mohammed VI even though the main Islamist organization was not involved. A protest against voter fraud was prevented in Sudan when over 100 security personnel surrounded the headquarters of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

The Middle Eastern uprisings have spread well beyond the region, as reported here last week. Protests were again attempted in China over the weekend and the Cuban government is putting greater pressure on a group of mothers of political prisoners. A group of over 80 students ended their hunger strike in Venezuela after the government agreed to release seven political prisoners and negotiate further with them. There have been brief clashes in North Korea and South Korea is trying to spread the word to Kim Jong-Il’s population about the revolutions in the Middle East. In Vietnam, a democratic opposition leader was just arrested after calling for an uprising to overthrow the communist government.

A decisive point in history may be unfolding at this moment. As these governments teeter, forces for genuine democracy will battle the Islamists to write the next chapter. A new Middle East is being created but no one knows yet what it will look like or what it will mean for the West.

Oil Policy Needed

As if a response to my blog of February 18 entitled "While Congress Dithers Oil Prices Spike" Republican Congressman Phil Roe of Tennessee writes the following on the Hills Congress Blog today.  I am wondering if he was listening or are some of our Representatives awake?  Tell me what you think of Congressman Roe's blog article.

Here it is:

We need a comprehensive energy plan

By Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) - 03/02/11 02:14 PM ET

Unrest in the Middle East is causing gas prices to skyrocket, with oil prices surpassing $100 per barrel. This price spike threatens any economic recovery in our own country and underscores our nation’s need for a common sense, comprehensive energy plan that moves us to sustained energy independence.

Our country is too dependent on foreign oil. In the short-term, we must take steps to ensure our nation is not held hostage to the prices set by the Middle East. That means we need to look for new sources of oil wherever we can find it, including Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf and from shale in the west. With the need to create more jobs in our country, development in the former moratoria areas of the Outer Continental Shelf and other restricted areas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Rockies would directly create 160,000 new jobs by 2030, according to ICF International.

We need to use American innovation to accelerate technology that burns coal more cleanly because it is the most abundant energy source in our country. We also need to build new liquefied natural gas facilities, which will increase our natural gas supply.

Nuclear technology is the cleanest way to produce energy, and expanding our nuclear power is a crucial part of a comprehensive energy plan. Ultimately, we must increase the amount of nuclear power because it is reliable and emission-free. Expansion will also facilitate job growth.

Over the long run, I believe alternative energy sources, like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric and agricultural products and technologies are part of the solution. However, it’s important that we recognize that many of these technologies are, at best, years from being widely available and not yet commercially viable, which means that we will continue relying on more traditional energy sources for quite some time. Any energy policy that simply ignores our existing energy sources is one that could cause great economic harm.

As part of a comprehensive energy policy, we also have to recognize that burdensome environmental regulations are often at odds with our goal of producing more energy. No one I know wants to harm the environment, but new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and regulations are unnecessarily slowing development and having a negative effect on American jobs. The EPA has a reputation for over regulating, while ignoring potentially devastating economic consequences. Instead of penalizing businesses, why not incentivize companies with tax credits to reduce their own emissions? This way, we are not punishing American workers and sending jobs overseas, which would happen under the EPA’s proposed cap-and-trade plan. Tax credits have proven effective time and again at producing desired change in business.

Energy independence is one of the greatest goals we can achieve as a nation. The solution to reduce rising energy costs involves looking forward, not backward. Bringing down the cost of energy will not happen overnight, but is essential to consider ways we can all make our own use of energy more efficient. I stand ready to work together with Congress and the Administration to come up with logical solutions that lead us to energy independence – all while working to reduce our emissions, grow our economy and enhance our national security.

Glaring Ignorance

One of the most glaring pieces of media misinformation (or willful ignorance?) regarding oil is that we never hear about its other uses other than gasoline.  There a many products of petroleum  that do not go into your car. Why do we only  hear about gas guzzling cars and how we need to go to econoboxes, hybrids or electrics.

I received the following information regarding the uses of oil and found it very interesting.  How about you? Many of the products are made of plastic which is a petroleum product.  If you take a look around your home, how many products are made of plastic. I was blown away when I started thinking about it. You will see that over 6000 products and that might be on the low side come from that barrel of oil. So the next time you hear a news report about the oil crisis and our need to reduce our driving, remember that only is a part of the story.  As Paul Harvey used to say, here is the "rest of the story".

Mr. Obama says Americans can not depend on oil any longer. We must look at windmills
and solar~~~~ Can the wind or the sun do all of these things ???
One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:

Diesel fuel

Motor Oil

Bearing Grease


Floor Wax

Ballpoint Pens

Football Cleats





Bicycle Tires

Sports Car Bodies

Nail Polish

Fishing lures



Golf Bags



Dishwasher parts

Tool Boxes

Shoe Polish

Motorcycle Helmet


Petroleum Jelly

Transparent Tape

CD Player

Faucet Washers




Food Preservatives



Vitamin Capsules










Panty Hose



Life Jackets

Rubbing Alcohol



TV Cabinets

Shag Rugs

Electrician's Tape

Tool Racks

Car Battery Cases





Insect Repellent

Oil Filters




Hair Coloring


Toilet Seats

Fishing Rods


Denture Adhesive


Ice Cube Trays

Synthetic Rubber


Plastic Wood

Electric Blankets


Tennis Rackets

Rubber Cement

Fishing Boots


Nylon Rope


Trash Bags

House Paint

Water Pipes

Hand Lotion

Roller Skates

Surf Boards



Paint Rollers

Shower Curtains

Guitar Strings



Safety Glasses


Football Helmets





Ice Chests



CD's & DVD's

Paint Brushes




Sun Glasses


Heart Valves









Artificial Turf

Artificial limbs



Model Cars

Folding Doors

Hair Curlers

Cold cream

Movie film

Soft Contact lenses

Drinking Cups

Fan Belts

Car Enamel

Shaving Cream



Golf Balls



A total of 6000 by-products~~~~ Google it !!

Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than

250 cubic feet of natural gas per day each!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Israel Aid threatened?

Will Americans vote with their feet and stop Foreign Aid to the Middle East except Israel or will there be a move by the White House to establish a "level playing field" stop all aid to the region?  The following article discusses how Americans feel about the region and foreign aid.

What is your opinion?

Most Americans Favor End To U.S. Foreign Aid To Middle East, Except Israel

Scott Rasmussen -, February 28th, 2011

Egypt has long been the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, but despite its apparent turn toward democracy and similar ongoing moves in neighboring countries, most Americans want to end that aid to all Arab nations in the Middle East. Just over half favor continuing foreign aid to the number one recipient, Israel.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 20% of American Adults think the United States should continue providing foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East. Fifty-eight percent (58%) say that aid should come to an end. Twenty-one percent (21%) are not sure.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans, on the other hand, favor continued foreign aid to Israel. One-in-three adults (32%) oppose further aid for Israel, while another 17% are undecided about it.

New Republican Senator Rand Paul has called for an end to all foreign aid, including the $3 billion the United States gives annually to Israel, as part of a package of deep spending cuts he is proposing. But given Israel’s strong bipartisan support in Congress, Paul’s proposal isn’t likely to gain ground. Egypt has been receiving slightly less than $2 billion in aid annually, with several other Arab countries in the region getting a smattering of millions.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Americans think the United States should stay out of the ongoing political unrest in Libya and other Arab nations, but only 29% think a change of government in any of these countries will be good for America. In fact, most Americans now fear that the political unrest roiling these countries may get this country into another big war.

Higher-income Americans are more supportive of aid to Israel than those who earn less. They also view aid to Arab nations in the Middle East more favorably, but a majority of those in virtually all demographic categories think aid to these countries should come to an end.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans believe America should end all foreign aid to Arab countries in the Middle East, a view shared by just a plurality (48%) of Democrats and 50% of adults not affiliated with either major party.

Similarly, 61% of Republicans support a continuation of foreign aid to Israel. But Democrats and unaffiliated agree by a much narrower 46% to 34% margin.

Americans have consistently said in surveys for years that Israel is one of the top U.S. allies. The Jewish state is also one of only five countries worldwide that most Americans think the United States should help defend militarily if it is attacked.

By contrast, just 40% of Americans regard Egypt as an ally of the United States, and it’s by far the Arab country that Americans have the highest opinion of.

Just 24% think the change of government in Egypt will be good for Israel.

The United States has often used foreign aid to encourage friendships in the Middle East, even though those countries lack democratically elected governments, but 60% of Americans agree it is more important for the United States to be allies with any country that best protects our own national security than it is to be allies only with countries that have freely elected governments.

Still, 76% of voters also feel it’s generally good for America when dictators in other countries are replaced with leaders selected in free and fair elections.

With President Obama maintaining a relatively low profile as political unrest spreads through the Arab world, the number of voters who rate his handling of national security issues as poor has hit its highest level since the beginning of December.

Most voters don’t think the president’s proposed $3.7 trillion federal budget includes enough spending cuts, and despite House Republican plans to cut substantially more, a plurality of voters don’t think the GOP goes far enough either.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on February 21-22, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

While Congress Dithers Oil Prices Spike

With oil approaching $100 per barrel and the pundits predicting much higher rates, where are those who criticized President Bush II when we were experiencing the same during his administration?  It appears as if they are political hacks who only complain about the other party.

I remember those news clips assailing Bush to "do something" about these high oil prices and the damage it was causing the American people.  Bonnie Erbe reported on the website on October 31, 2007 that seven Democratic Senators had written to  Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to cut the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  Where are those Senators today? Painfully silent.

Larry Elder wrote an editorial in the Washington Examiner on December 30, 2010 which said in part "During President George W. Bush's administration, we constantly heard demands to hold the President accountable for "Big Oil's price gouging." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., just two years ago, knew exactly whom to blame for "skyrocketing" oil prices: "The price of oil is at the doorstep; $4-plus per gallon for oil is attributed to two oilmen in the White House and their protectors in the United States Senate."  So where is Nancy now? And did I miss it that Obama is an oil man?

This is one of the reasons I really hate the way our government seems to work now.  We have so many politicians and so few statesmen/stateswoman.  If Nancy's statement were true in 2008, would it also be true in 2011?  One would think so.

Instead we get the "let's bash the other guy now he is in power" syndrome.  Why don't we INVESTIGATE the reasons for high oil prices, find out if there are culprits and correct the situation rather than grandstanding the issue. For that part, we don't investigate anything. We hold hearings which are about as constructive as letting your kindergartner drive your car.  It may go somewhere, but you probably will not know how you got there and will not like the outcome.

So, we have $100 oil going to $150, $200, or $300 and what are we doing?  Some would say nothing.  Actually, that is not accurate.  We have cut oil exploration in the Gulf, the East Coast, the West Coast, Alaska, and North Dakota. We have seen  oil rigs move to South America. We have not seen any new refineries built in the past 40 years? Why should we drill when we can get cheap oil from politically stable areas like the Middle East or from dictators like Hugo Chavez? Yup, that makes a whole lot of sense.

Yet, our Congress and President are doing nothing to encourage drilling, encouraging refineries to be built, opening up Federal lands to exploration, or even looking at new ways to propel our vehicles, heat our homes and to make plastics. Why can't we have a Manhattan Project to solve this energy problem. Have you heard of such a proposal from either party, I have not.

However, in the meantime while Congress dithers, oil prices are going up at the pump some 20 cents in the past week.  Why is there no concern now?  Can we not expect a government response until the price gets above $5, $7 or more?

  My guess is that they will not respond until it drives the economy into the ditch again and somehow it will be the other party's responsibility.  Why not get responsive, now. If not, let's wholesale remove a bunch more of these "public servants" until we get their attention.