Chuck Norris is stepping into the ring to fight high gas prices. He penned an article with a 12 point plan for congress, which boils down to the title “Congress, Get Off Your Gas, and Drill”. Chuck Norris’s plan follows a simple economic principle if you increase supply the price will go down. Of his suggestions most go toward as the title suggested increased drilling in areas were drilling is currently not allowed and building oil refineries.
So would the average economist think this is a good plan? I don’t think so given the strong reaction against cutting the gas tax. When Hilary Clinton and John McCain proposed a gas tax cut, no one could find an economist for it. Economists tend to believe that the externalities of using oil are such that price of oil should be about where it is and taxes shouldn’t be lowered. That is the more oil we use the more pollution and traffic created so cheap oil might not be best.
Economists also note that in the short run prices will rise as people can’t change their gas usage that much. But after a while people move closer to their jobs and buy more fuel efficient cars, so demand for gas starts to decrease. This will bring back down the price of gasoline.
I have not researched Chuck Norris’s proposal individually, so there may be some places increasing supply makes sense, but I think focusing on demand is going to be the key way to solve the gas price problem in the long run.
One final note. Chuck Norris fact, Chuck Norris can eat a free lunch.