The Politics of Gasoline Prices
As gas prices continue to rise, so does the political rhetoric in our country. The price at the pump causes an economic crunch on everyone. Not only is it more expensive to drive, it also costs more for everything else. Any product transported using fuel has been or will be increased. The plight of the American people seems to be a signal to politicians that they should ramp up their empty promises and condemnations.
Rick Santorum says the latest recession was caused by high gas prices in 2008. This doesn’t work since the recession started in 2007. He goes on to say it’s the president and government’s fault that energy prices are so high. Here he lumps all forms of energy into the blame game because he can’t simply blame the president for the price of gas.
Newt Gingrich promises to bring down the price of gas to $2.50 if he’s elected president. Chicago Tribune writer Frank Schell put it best when he said, “As president, he would have about as much effect on the price of gas at the pump as he would on the speed of the Earth orbiting the sun.” Mitt Romney seems to be the only sane one in this conversation when he acknowledged the price of gas is determined by supply and demand, and what’s going on in various regions.
Political unrest in Egypt and Iran has dramatically dropped the supply of oil to Europe. The people in that country still need gas so they go to Saudi Arabia and other markets to get oil. This in turn causes the price of oil to rise because the demand is higher than the supply. A fire at a BP oil refinery in Washington shut down production of 225,000 barrels a day, around 2.5% of U.S. production. Even with more offshore drilling, the amount of oil needed is outpacing the availability.Continued on the next page