I know of 3 reasons the enviromarxists are directly responsible for current gas/oil issues (it's not a "crisis" Not yet.). In order of importance:
1. Refining. We have not built a new refinery in this country since 1976. If we found oil bubbling up out of convenient natural springs in every backyard, it would do us no good. The U.S. refineries are maxed out, so any new crude would get put on a waiting list. Besides capacity, these things are 30+ years old! Do you have any machines around your house (car, computer, refrigerator, water heater, etc.) that are that old and still work well, if at all? These older refineries are terribly inefficient compared to what we could build today, and require much more intensive and expensive maintenance than a more modern facility would. The enviromarxists, through lawsuits and sympathetic lawmakers at all levels, have successfully prevented all attempts to build more refineries or to even upgrade existing refineries (costs to meet environmental regulations are prohibitively expensive). President Bush has suggested converting abandoned military bases to refineries to no avail. Land that is already secured and set up for large-scale industrialization must sit vacant because the vocal leftists will not allow practical solutions to prevail if they would be performed under a Republican administration. A final complication with refining is the variety of blends that must accomodate the various regulations by state: Gas that could be sold in Kansas can't be sold in California. Gas that would be just fine in Rhode Island isn't allowed in Illinois. And on and on. All the different blends mean market pressure and the dilution of available gasoline for consumers.
2. Drilling. Most would think this is the biggie, but I see Refining Capacity as the major contributor to current and future woes. Drilling is second -- we're all familiar with the enviromarxists' opposition to drilling anywhere, whether it's ANWR or the multiple offshore fields. At some point the external supply will be unavailable and/or unaffordable. Considering that it takes years to find, drill, and develop a workable site, later rather than sooner means more painful for all when the hit comes. America is a land of vast natural resources (or so all the textbooks say). These resources have to be used in order to be resources; otherwise they're just dirt, rocks, etc. I'm as much for clean air and water as anyone, and I don't want unnecessary damage done to beautiful lands and environments. I also know that SOME damage is necessary (how many trees did the developer have to clear for the land on which your house sits? How many trees did it take to build? How about the tar for the roof, or the insulation?), and it can be controlled. Modern techniques allow for more efficiency and less damage. Face it. We have to start drilling NOW.
3. Taxes. The Statist/Leftists' best friend. The surcharges and taxes levied on gasoline continue to rise, and they make up a significant portion of the per-gallon charge we pay at the pump. This is actually part of a larger problem for another essay, but BIG GOVERNMENT MEANS BIG TAXES EVERYWHERE IN LIFE. At some point we have got to get a grip as The People and demand less, not more, from our government, and in so doing, PAY less, not more.
It's simple folks.....build more refineries, drill for more oil, repeal the taxes. The first two are most important, since failure to do either or both eventually leaves the third irrelevant. Yes, we need to develop alternative sources like nuclear, fusion, etc. In the meantime, however, everyone has to get to work on time. The trucks that bring the latest Birkenstocks and Coldplay CDs and DirectTV systems to the mall have to have affordable and available fuel. The airlines are getting strangled by cost/pricing pressure. Meals-on-Wheels won't go to the po' folks without something in the tank.
This is serious -- it's not just Joe Dude whining about $3 or $4 gallons of gas....once the real crisis hits, we're going to see companies closing or not delivering as much. Transportation will become prohibitively expensive. Tourism goes away. Unrest within our civilization leads to rationing and riots. Dominoes fall, and Atlas Shrugs.
Read Atlas Shrugs, or Dune (melange = oil). I'm sure there are more, but those are the biggies off the top of my head.
More importantly, elect true representatives. Make the calls. Stand up to the enviromarxists. We have to build refineries and drill. Guess what? Then we can leave the Middle East like the Lefties want.....