Things the government should and could do (but won't) to lower gasoline prices

Have you noticed the sharp rise in gasoline prices lately? Well, hold on, it's about to get worse. The sad truth is, it need not be this way. There are a number of things that the government should do, but won't, that would lower our energy costs. It is not what additional things the government could do that would solve this surge in prices, but what it could stop doing that would solve the problem.

There are a number of things that are contributing to higher gasoline prices, and the list below is a very simplified approach, but all of them do contribute to this needless increase to our family budgets.

Elimination of the income and payroll taxes at both the personal and corporate levels. Studies have proven that 23 percent of the price for everything we purchase, including gasoline, is directly attributable to these taxes and the administration of them. To learn more on this go to www.fairtax.org for more information on how this would work.

End ethanol mandate and its attending ethanol subsidies. With the drought and its subsequent increase in corn prices, gasoline prices also increase. Elimination of this costly process would make a significant difference.

Eliminate special "boutique" blends of gasoline. There are numerous "specialty" blends of gasoline required for various parts of the country during different times of the year. Considerable doubt exists over just how much environmental benefit is derived from these blends which are more costly to produce. Eliminating them or at least reducing the number would help reduce costs and increase supply.

Allow for the construction of new refineries. It has been many years since any additional refineries were constructed in the United States, mainly due to governmental (Environmental Protection Agency) restrictions. Allowing for greater refining capacity with more modern and efficient refineries would help reduce costs.

Permit more drilling on land. We cannot control hurricanes and when they come, it causes a shutdown in oil production from offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico -- thus driving up gasoline prices. If the Obama administration would not have taken federal lands "off the table" in regards to exploration and drilling, then we would not be so vulnerable to weather conditions such as hurricanes.

There are other things that should be done, but these I consider to be the top five actions that if the government would take (or stop taking) would greatly relieve us of these burdensome prices at the pump, as well as the ripple effect these increases cause throughout our economy.