Could the Presidential Candidates Really Make a Difference in Gas Prices…

Gas prices have been a hot topic here on BikeCommuters. So I’m curious to know if either McCain or Obama have the guts to stand up and lead the nation to be less reliant on foreign oil, produce our own fuels, make public transportation a system that everyone can use, provide incentives for bike commuters, and encourage companies to create technology that will boost mpg and in turn creating jobs for millions of Americans.

I know it sounds like a long shot, but who knows…


17 Comments

  1. Ghost Rider June 9, 2008 5:34 pm 

    I’d venture to say that McCain was proposing some sort of “gas tax holiday”…hardly a way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and such a holiday would only cause us to pay for this break in the future.

    We’ll see what happens, won’t we? Hopefully something good will come out of a new administration (but I’m not holding my breath).

  2. Iron Man June 9, 2008 7:03 pm 

    I’m no fan of anyone running. I’m so tired of making a “well he’s better than the other guy” vote. I wonder if the guy to solve this country’s energy problem isn’t in Washington DC, but rather some Joe in his workshop tinkering away. A Henry Ford for this century. Like the guy that found a way to burn saltwater, look it up on YouTube. That’s the kind of guy to solve our energy woes, not another politician.

  3. Moe June 9, 2008 8:53 pm 

    I think the question should be “which of these two will support bike commuting” instead of lowering gas prices.

  4. Ghost Rider June 9, 2008 8:59 pm 

    At least Obama rides a bike! Of course, so does Georgie.

    I’m totally with Iron Man — I’m tired of settling on a “lesser evil” and think that politicians are NOT the answer to our many environmental problems. Big Oil is just too powerful for a politician to brush off…

  5. Smudgemo June 9, 2008 9:52 pm 

    I wouldn’t get too down on the politicians, they are only giving us what we want. Suburbs, roads, cheap consumer goods, low-mpg automobiles, fast food, low taxes.

    Who’s going to get elected by saying that we are jacking the gas tax to $3/gal to be like Europe, or we are going to raise your taxes to pay for stuff you don’t get a say in? Nobody.

    And there are plenty of people that will fight to the death to avoid changing “The American Way of Life”, so don’t expect things to change overnight with a new administration. Even if we do get change, it’ll take time.

  6. Smudgemo June 9, 2008 9:58 pm 

    Oh, and to answer the question, yes. A president can make a difference. Obama armed with a heavily Democratic congress could make great strides in policy change.

    He’d have to fight large corporations and their media, but if he can convince enough people that these changes are in their best interest, then we might see people actually asking what they can do for their country, not what their country can do for them.

    At least then I could consider my commuting more of a patriotic gesture and less of something to avoid spending any money on car companies and oil companies.

  7. Evan June 9, 2008 11:10 pm 

    I’m sure a lot of you have seen the new GM promo where they “lock you in” at $2.99/gal.

    I understand all of us are reliant on oil to some extent, but the idea of that makes me sick. Let’s hope whoever the new president is will work to find a solution that doesn’t perpetuate the problem!

    If you’re a fan of Obama, I found this website today: http://www.obamaspoke.com/

    I’ve always left spoke cards to the hipsters, but it’s a creative way to get the message out.

    I think I’m going to make a big one that says “$0.00” to go with my zero per gallon sticker from http://www.zeropergallon.com/stickers.html

  8. Mike Myers June 10, 2008 2:24 am 

    Does anybody actually believe any politician will stand up to an entity which has as much money and power as BIG OIL?

    Money and getting re-elected are the name of the game. “Fighting large corporations” doesn’t happen.

  9. 2whls3spds June 10, 2008 2:45 am 

    I have several acquaintances that ran for and held political offices at the local and state level. Every one of them went in with the best of intentions to make a change or a difference. Most of them told me later that you are fighting a major battle in any attempt to change the status quo. Politics is a system and there are way too many people that know the system and use it mainly for the betterment of their personal wealth and those of their cronies. It has little to do with party lines. The only way we will ever see real change is to impost term limits on everyone, eliminate lobbyists and PAC’s. We no longer have government for the people by the people. We have the best government money can buy….capitalism at it’s finest…follow the money trail.

    Any changes that happen are going to come from the bottom up, grass roots is where it is at.

    Aaron

  10. Wayne Myer June 10, 2008 6:01 am 

    No career politician can make any real difference. They are too concerned with getting re-elected and the money needed to do so.

    Even worse, the office of the president is seen as the person that can effect change. Wrong. Since Teddy Roosevelt, the OotP has been seen as this cult of personality. This is supposed to be the person that balances the legislative branch and manages foreign affairs.

    We need to get the senators in line if we want to see real change, i.e. set up severe term limits and short sunsets on the inanity that they pass.

    Even still, the politicians have no business mucking around with gas prices. This will only make things worse. And I don’t even have a car!

  11. Mike C June 10, 2008 6:43 am 

    If something happens with gas prices, it will have little to do with whoever gets the presidency and everything to do with the oil commodity bubble bursting. Only way I could see it is if some of the deregulation enacted by Clinton and Bush administrations is reinstated… and I don’t see that happening any time soon. I hear of a gas tax hiatus, I hear of taxing record oil company profits, but I hear nothing of regulating the oil commodity market… Forget the evil oil companies for a moment, why are the financiers getting such a pass on this one?

  12. Franky June 10, 2008 7:01 am 

    Corporations are running this country, politians are just bought puppets in the foreground executing the corporations agenda and filling their pockets.

  13. Dave June 10, 2008 7:07 am 

    I would love to see some encouragement for commuter choice from the top rather than, say, a war with Iran. Although both would have the effect of reducing vehicle trips. The reasons might be different…

    Honestly, I think that real change comes from the local (and to a lesser extent state) government level. They are the ones with real, short-term influence over commuting incentives and biking conditions on the roadway. They are the agencies that need to make a real difference. Problem is, half of the local and state governments in the country are out of money or in the red.

  14. Iron Man June 10, 2008 7:11 am 

    I nominate my bicycle for President. It’s proven to me to be consistent and reliable, it has totally changed my life, it saves me gobs of money, it’s reducing air pollution, it’s trimming my waistline, it makes my wife desire me more, and it looks sexy fast in red. But then again it was made in Taiwan and you can’t have a foreign born president. Oh well.

  15. lady clay June 10, 2008 9:21 am 

    If I remember my research for the primaries correctly, Obama was the only candidate on either side of the aisle to mention cycling in his transportation plans.

  16. Ben C June 10, 2008 10:21 am 

    Politicians make promises we want to hear so we can vote for them. How can a person make promises when they are not in office?

    Since people like to go where the money trail leads them, lets see a candidate that would put most of the infrastucture funding for cycling. Lets see how many people will follow that trail. It may lead them away from their vehicles.

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