On National Review online there are a couple of good postings about energy policy that are worth reading in their entirety. First, the editors make the simple point that if Congress really wants to lower gas prices over the long term, they need to take action to help increase the domestic supply of oil

But if members of Congress really want to mitigate the effects of high oil prices as much as they claim they do, they could start by letting oil companies bring America’s vast untapped supplies to market.

We’re not just talking about the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) – which Congress stupidly keeps off-limits even though proposed oil exploration there would only affect approximately 2,000 of its 19 million acres – though opening just that 0.01 percent of ANWR to oil and natural gas development could supply 5 percent of America’s oil per year for 12 years before it starts to decline, according to Energy Department estimates. The Outer Continental Shelf – also off-limits to drilling – likely contains billions of barrels of additional oil and natural gas reserves. While Fidel Castro’s Cuba saw no compunction about leasing its share of these waters to the Chinese, the U.S. continues to forbid oil and natural gas exploration in its share.

Critics of proposals to open these areas for business argue that they will take up to 10 years to bring any new supplies online. Of course, they were using this same argument 10 years ago, and if they hadn’t prevailed then the U.S. would be less dependent on foreign oil today.

Of course, it doesn’t look like this is going happen. Congress prefers to complain about high gas prices and pass bills that attack energy producers, but do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices. And as Chris Horner writes, Congress is considering so-called cap-and-trade legislation that’s only certain effect will be increasing the cost of energy:

In sum, Lieberman-Warner is a price-hiking, job-exporting gesture that, as in Europe, will do nothing regarding the climate and likely won’t yield any emissions reductions. Its goal instead is to demonstrate our seriousness of purpose, in the hope that doing so will prompt developing nations to follow suit – despite the fact that those nations have serially and adamantly stated that they have zero intention to do so.

Sometime the policy world can be just plain depressing…