Friday, September 12, 2008

Steve Beshear: A day late and a dollar a gallon short

Earlier today, Gov. Beshear issued an emergency declaration invoking Kentucky's price-gouging laws against excessive gasoline prices -- AFTER the price per gallon had risen to near-record levels as Hurricane Ike approaches the Gulf Coast.

Good timing there, Steve, especially since we've heard reports of gas nearing $5 per gallon in some Kentucky locales.

Rumors were rampant across the state Thursday night that a huge jump in gas prices was imminent the next day. Yet Beshear waited until midday on Friday, when prices had already spiked, before he took action.

Had Beshear had any foresight, he would have issued the declaration on Thursday evening, which might have helped prevent today's huge increase.

As it is, we don't expect state officials to do anything even if gas continues to rise. We are, in general, free-market devotees but we've never believed gas prices follow free-market principles. For once we'd like to see our state leaders grow a set of testicles and issue an executive order freezing prices, or better yet, repealing them to yesterday's levels.

With his emergency declaration, Beshear can act concerned but in reality he hasn't done anything that will matter to the average Kentucky gasoline consumer.


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