Sunday, February 19, 2012
Rising Gas Prices in an Election Year
And just remember, after George W. Bush allowed for offshore drilling, gas prices fell and by Election Day 2008, I saw prices in New Jersey as low as $1.79/gallon.
In a normally lower priced time of year, gas prices have gone through the roof because of a higher per barrel cost of crude oil. Driving around New Jersey today, I observed the higher prices, and when I was in Washington, DC last weekend, I observed them even higher; around $4.20/gallon. Especially in an election year, you'd think the president would try to change that, but his policies have only made the problem worse. Between the suspension of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the rejection of the Keystone Oil Pipeline and an unwillingness to explore for and/or use domestic supplies, he's only made the problem worse.
As summer rolls around, these high prices will only go higher because of summer blends and in a year when there is an unstable Iran (who can close the Strait of Hormuz), an unstable Egypt (who controls a key transportation corridor) and an unstable Libya, the situation can be further complicated.
Not only are individual Americans hit hard, but so are other companies who will pass the higher costs on to the consumer by raising prices or fares. Any illusion of economic gains created the government will be wiped away and send this economy into a tailspin.
The Republican who runs against Obama must remind Americans that this president allowed for oil prices to run out of control, but must also make the case for real solutions to allow for lower energy costs in the United States, as that lower price will be another factor to getting the American economy back on track.