The price of oil peaked at a record $67 a barrel yesterday. That’s bad news for all of us. High gas prices hurt American families.

But drilling for oil in the Arctic Refuge wouldn’t offer any relief. Why? Because the price of oil is set on a global market. Even by the most generous estimates, the amount of oil beneath the Arctic Refuge would amount to just a trickle in that market. A Middle Eastern country deciding to cut its production even slightly could more than offset any price reduction from expanded domestic drilling.

Consider this, too: America, by far, consumes more oil than any other country in the world. But the rest of the world is catching up. The number of cars on the world’s roads will quadruple in the next fifty years, largely thanks to the booming middle classes of India and China. They want just as many cars as us! And all those cars will need gas, which means more demand — and higher prices — for oil on the world market.

(Did you know there’s no guarantee that any oil produced from the Arctic Refuge would even stay in the United States? It could be exported to India, China, or elsewhere.)

We need to solve the problem at its root — which means reducing our nation’s thirst for oil. Here’s an idea: how about taking back the billions of dollars in senseless taxpayer subsidies for big oil companies already enjoying record profits at the pump? How about using that money instead to expand incentives for Americans to buy cars that go farther on a gallon of gas?

We could start tackling those ridiculous gas prices today.