Straight Talk On The Price Of Gas

Five dollar gas is the warning now.  Gas prices are a big campaign issue already.  We’ll look for straight talk on the price of gas.

Maria Harris fills her vehicle with gas at a Chevron filling station Monday, March 26, 2012, in Richardson, Texas. (AP)

Maria Harris fills her vehicle with gas at a Chevron filling station Monday, March 26, 2012, in Richardson, Texas. (AP)

Fifty bucks, maybe more, for a tank of gas hurts.  And boy do politicians know it.

With average gasoline prices now right up against four dollars a gallon, Republican contenders for the presidency have been all over President Obama, laying responsibility straight on the White House.

The president knows very well it’s a hot button.  He’s been out in oil country posing by drill rigs and pipelines, calling for an “all of the above” energy push.

But how much sway does any president honestly have over gas prices?  And what should US policy be?

This hour, On Point:  the price of gas, and American energy strategy.

-Tom Ashbrook


Severin Borenstein, co-director of the Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, where he is also professor of Business Administration and Public Policy

Thomas Pyle, president of The American Energy Alliance, which paid $3.6 million to run an ad critical of President Obama’s energy policy in eight states.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum. Former director of domestic and economic policy for the John McCain presidential campaign.

From Tom’s Reading List

 New York Times  “Across the country, the oil and gas industry is vastly increasing production, reversing two decades of decline. Using new technology and spurred by rising oil prices since the mid-2000s, the industry is extracting millions of barrels more a week, from the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the prairies of North Dakota.”

US News & World Report  “Oil prices drive gasoline prices and current oil prices are high. But $125 per barrel oil today is no more the fault of President Obama than $147 oil was President Bush’s fault in June 2008. There is very little the U.S. president can do to change oil prices over months or a few years. U.S. oil production was up 13 percent in 2011 over 2008, but still remains less than one-tenth of the world oil market.”

Politico “President Barack Obama is peddling nonsense on gasoline prices.First, he insists there are no quick fixes or silver bullets to lower gas prices. But a White House spokesman said last week, “We’re not taking anything off the table.” If there is nothing to be done, then nothing is on the table. On the other hand, if something can help, then it makes sense to pursue all those options. He can’t have it both ways.”




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