It's not in any way illegal to drive a Hummer H3. If you want to drive one, go right ahead. But if you do, you will look kind of clueless if you complain about how much it costs to fill up the tank. The H3 is one of the best-known gas guzzlers on the planet, and if you're in the public eye, maybe you should be aware of the optics of your dissatisfaction with high gas prices when you're tooling around in one.

Which brings us to Congressman Allen West (R-FL), who recently posted to Facebook that:

People have asked me before is there any area where I could praise President Obama? Certainly, he has an impeccable penchant for understanding the power of the bully pulpit. President Obama is also very adept at promulgating deceptive language masquerading as policy, actually just insidious political gimmickry. This "tax policy" is an example as well as today's speech on his "energy policy" shall be. Here is the bottom line, last night it took 70 dollars to fill the tank of my 2008 H3 Hummer, what is it costing you? What does it cost the President to fill his gas tank?

As you can imagine, reader comments on his post are not entirely kind. And then there's this: "There's very little policymakers can do today or could have done in the recent past to upset the price increase. In fact, thanks to a persistently low gas tax, the U.S. remains one of the cheaper places to fill up in the world."

For his part, President Obama is ready for the political war over gas prices. In a speech yesterday, he said:

When gas prices go up, it hurts everybody -- everybody who owns a car, everybody who owns a business. It means you've got to stretch a paycheck even further. ... Now, some politicians they see this as a political opportunity. ... Only in politics do people root for bad news, do they greet bad news so enthusiastically. You pay more; they're licking their chops. You can bet that since it's an election year, they're already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas. And I'll save you the suspense. Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling. ... It's not a strategy to solve our energy challenge.

This wasn't in response to West directly, but it does show the fault lines for the election. Is it November yet?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 75 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've always wondered about people who buy Huge SUV's and never attempt to figure out what that gas is going to cost them. It gives the mileage on the sticker, subtract 3 to 5 mpg for most of these drivers having a lead foot, and you get some really scary gas bills. This is a question of Personal Responsibility. You are Responsible for Your Gas Bill, not the Federal Government. Alan, you can always SELL and buy a Volt or a Prius. This is essentially giving yourself a HUGE Raise. A new Hummer cost about 33k to 50k, so a Volt is right in that ball park, meaning, Allen, You Can Afford a Volt, and pay Virtually Nothing for Gas.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does that bonehead that got kicked out of the military know that it is his own party's people like Jeb Bush, Rick Scott, and Crist that campaign against more offshore drilling off his own state of Florida? While pointing that finger Mr West, you go three more pointing back at you. BTW, I always wonder who those suckers were that bought the H3.
      JeremyD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Florida has some rough terrain, a hummer is almost a necessity to get around there... the winters are especially treacherous. I certainly hope his hummer has 4wd.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hi I am Jay from India..It is really amazing to read that Petrol (Gas) is very cheap in USA and still people in USA are opting as well as supporting for electrics and Hybrid vehicles. In India Petrol costs Rs 70 -74 Per Liter. So considering Rs 72/Liter, price for one Gallon will be Rs 272.54. After conversion in Doller it becomes 5.56 $/Gallon. It doesnt looks much more but in India people have average payment for one month is approx 10,000-20,000 Rs. And they are paying Rs 272.54 per gallon. Amazing economics..right..?
      none
      • 3 Years Ago
      Are David Brock and Media Matters getting this desperate?
      Aaron Schwarz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another windbag hypocrite politician with ideas plagiarized from the Newt Greedingitch's edition of rush limbaugh's oxycotin deluxe GOP energy statements playbook! What a wimpy little tool to complain about the consequences of his choices. He should man up and shut his mouth or he will end up with a book of quotes that makes GW's bushism's sound intelligent.
        Ronald Wolf
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Aaron Schwarz
        Bush and intelligent should never be used in the same sentence.
      floorman56
      • 3 Years Ago
      Laff all you want but with fuel prices this high in the winter farmers are looking and how much do they really want to plant and are planing to cut back. A Lot.. and food prices are already starting to show this
        PR
        • 3 Years Ago
        @floorman56
        If food prices are already going up, then prices for crops will be higher, so farmers should be planting as much as they possibly can to profit on these higher crop prices.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      *pouring new milk down the drain* man, milk is too expensive these days too, i'm really being squeezed over here, how am i going to feed my kids? *continues pouring*
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 3 Years Ago
      With US oil production at the highest levels since 2003 (might be earlier than that now) it should be obvious that what we produce here doesn't appreciably affect world oil prices (which is what you pay for at the pump) - they're trending up and besides economic downturns are expected to climb through the long term. Somebody should explain what that means to Congressman West so he can understand it. We need to get Congressman West into a Volt or a Leaf so he can fill up with $1.25 a gallon electricity and costing far less than that H3 he bought so he enjoy keeping his money here in his pocket.
        Michael Walsh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        3rd time trying to post this. If it doesn't take now, I'm just going to give up. Man, this AOL infrastructure sucks! So, electricity...mine if I paid for it at all (we have solar) would only be $0.69 per gallon equivalent (based on 30mpg), filling my LEAF in the overnight hours. Yours is pretty expensive at $1.25 a gallon!
        Michael Walsh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Wow! Your electricity is pricey. If I were paying for it at all (we have solar), I'd only pay $0.69 cents a gallon equivalent (based on 30mpg) for overnight electricity in this neck of the woods.
          Michael Walsh
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Michael Walsh
          LOL! I see that now...even though my tries were like 10-15 minutes apart! I hear what you're saying about pricing, but even the standard rate here is only $0.12 kWh, so not too much over the $0.10kWh rate for TOU+EV customers charging overnight. PV+EV is a spectacular hedge against energy inflation, and I can't do anything but wholeheartedly encourage the switch, if it fits with your budget and/or lifestyle (or even if you can make it fit your lifestyle with only minor changes).
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Michael Walsh
          Hey Michael you got all 3 tries to post, I appreciate what you're saying - $0.70 a gallon is amazing. I went with an average electricity price so its applicable most places and nobody could complain I was playing with shady numbers (where I'm at there isn't an overnight rate).
        Michael Walsh
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Your electricity is expenisve. If I did actually pay for electricity (I have solar) it would be $0.69 cents for the equivalent of a gallon's worth (based on 30mpg) for overnight consumption (which is when I typically charge my LEAF).
          Michael Walsh
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Michael Walsh
          When you get a utility bill with a negative balance on it, that's free where I come from. Actually it's them paying me, but I won't split hairs. Yes, there was a capital investment on my part, I won't deny that. But it is amortized over the many, many years the system will produce energy, and I can apply the savings on utilities, transportation fuel, and even the part of the mortgage interest tax deduction attributable to the cost over those years. So, yes, essentially free.
          Actionable Mango
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Michael Walsh
          You don't have to pay for electricity? Where did you get free solar panels and free installation?
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      these are the idiots we let decide the fate of the world.. what a piece of work is a man
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        Actually, since you don't specify which politicians, or which idiots, you would have 2Wheel and I (leans libertarian) agree with you on that! :) Personally, I don't mind Allen West, but wow. Dude... really? I mean - Hummer's, although not the worst of the worst on gas mileage, they are a symbol of poor gas mileage. With the exception of the Excusion, he could have owned ANYTHING else and not sounded as bad. We also know most, if not all, politicians have money - so the EASY way to have said this was to find some poor person and use them as an example - "Poor so-in-so - in a wheel chair from saving a poor brown skinned blind child in a wheel chair, crossing the street, had to pay $50 to fill up her wheel chair accessible Toyota Prius...." See, that sounds way better.... And here I am, thinking of this, and am not even in office. Or maybe I should say, "here I am thinking of this, but of course, I am not in office, so I can think of these things." Wow, am I rambling.
      mylexicon
      • 3 Years Ago
      People are angry b/c Democrats have gotten CAFE 2025, yet they still refuse to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling initiatives. The United States needs jobs, and as long as strict fuel-efficiency standards are in place, there is no reason we can't pursue cheaper oil as well. Drilling projects and pipelines create new employment opportunities, and they reduce cost-push inflation that harms the middle class. Furthermore, increasing fuel efficiency and increasing domestic oil supply both reduce the trade deficit. It's as if America is going on a hike through uncharted wilderness. Republicans want to bring water (domestic oil). Democrats want to bring food (alternative energy). If you believe that it is necessary to chose one or the other, you are living in the false reality of American politics. Natural selection is on its way to weed you out. We need both, and we need to quit fighting about it, it makes us look stupid. And no more nonsense about drilling doesn't do anything for a decade. Commodities are sold in futures, some are long-dated. If long-dated futures start tumbling, the price of oil generally starts tumbling. If we are indeed at peak travel, and the American middle class can pay $.05 per mile for fuel ($2.50/50mpg), rather than $.20 per mile for fuel ($4.00/20mpg), our country will be in much better condition. Everyone benefits regardless of their political ideology. That's called progress.
        Ford Future
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mylexicon
        The XL Pipeline is a Pollution Disaster. There's an economic principle called "Negative Externalities", which means the pipeline could have Huge Negative costs on the States it runs through, costs that won't be paid by the Koch Brothers, making it an Economic Failure. 1) TarSands already is 100% more expensive to extract, then pumping real oil. 2) The World is now at 391 ppm, we've already reached 4 degree F temperate increase, and now shooting for 11. 3) US Drought has Real Costs: The southern US drought has dropped cattle inventory to it's lowest point since 1952, meaning next year your Steak will be Twice as Expensive, along with your food. Summary: Crops and Animals need water. 4) The current XL pipeline has a track record of failure. 5) The pipeline is Not Spec'ed to handle this corrosive tar sand. 6) Farmers in these states do NOT want to see their aquifer's destroyed by a pipeline leak. The pipeline will cost the Nation far more then the Profit it generates for XL. But, XL says FU to America. Capitalism is about making money and letting SUCKERS pay the bills.
          mylexicon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          You're in luck b/c I have several economics degrees, and I've worked in the cow business. I understand the principle of negative externalities, but it isn't correct to say that negative externalities create economic failure b/c negative externalities are difficult to measure and trace. The costs that can be measured and traced are allocated by the civil system to the perpetrators. The dollar value of contaminated water is determinable and the perpetrator is easy to trace. If necessary, the states can require insurance, bonds, deposits, or whatever to ensure the safety of their resources. The EPA already said it was safe in its final report. Furthermore, if it isn't flowing through the pipeline, it's coming across the ocean in a tanker. Keystone is not significantly worse than status quo. The problem is imminent domain, but no one is troubling themselves with human rights. This is an oil referendum and a political free for all. As I frequently like to comment, there are no negative externalities like needless political discord. The other issue is that political grandstanding is hurting US/Canada relations. Canada sells all of its oil to the US, and now the Canadian Prime Minister, in order to appease his constituency, is floating the idea that he will run the pipeline to BC so he can do business with the Chinese. We are disrespecting a trade ally, and prolonging the recession by dragging our feet. Approve it or demand a less perilous route. When I worked in the cow biz (about 4 years ago), I worked in an area with a falling water table and irrigation issues. It wasn't putting us out of business. Our cattle operation was becoming unprofitable due to the rising cost of feed (corn), rising livestock medication costs (Mad Cow supply shocks), rising transportation costs, and cost/regulatory issues with slaughter and butchery. The cost of feed has doubled since 2004 so it's not surprising the herd is small. AFAIK, drought is not a major cost issue for many cattlemen.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Firebreather Allen West continually re-asserts his status as pathetic tool. He still thinks he has higher security status than the President of the United States and that China is in control of the Panama Canal. http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/allen-west-china-is-in-control-of-the-panama-canal-one-of-many-falsehoods/politics/2011/05/07/19690 You might be right, EZEE, you probably don't need to put the GOP label on this guy. He's such a fricking idiot, it is self-evident.
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