So, Obama’s response to Republican candidates promising cheaper gas is absolving himself of any responsibility for the current high prices.
As [Barack Obama] traveled to the battleground state of Florida, Obama outlined his “all of the above” approach aimed at boosting and diversifying domestic energy production. He also made clear that as energy prices rise, there isn’t much he or his administration can do to cut them.
“Now, some politicians always see this as a political opportunity. You’re shocked, I know. Last week, the lede of one news story said, ‘Gasoline prices are on the rise, and Republicans are licking their chops.’ That’s a quote, that was the lede,” Obama said, quoting the first line from a POLITICO story published last week.
“Because it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their plan for $2 gas,” Obama said, and it’s a three-point plan to keep drilling. But “the American people aren’t stupid … that’s a bumper sticker, it’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenges.”
Correct, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that a president can’t sign an executive order to make gas prices lower. That said, Obama and the American people know there is plenty a president can do to bring gas prices down.
Let’s look at the facts.
1) Obama has already tried to bring gas prices down. Last year Obama tapped into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. If he felt totally powerless to impact gas prices, he wouldn’t have bothered. That said, tapping the reserves was not even a great approach to bringing prices down.
Quite frankly, it was a dumb idea.
2) President Bush brought $4+/gal gas down to roughly $1.60/gal in 2008. You don’t have to take my word for that either. Look at this chart.
Now you might ask, “Why did gas prices plummet in the second half of 2008?” The answer is simple. President Bush lifted the offshore drilling ban in mid July. Without any new drilling, that act resonated with other oil producing countries, and our gas prices went down sharply.
3) When Obama banned offshore drilling, prices started back up even faster. Yup, soon after Obama banned drilling in Atlantic waters, gas prices went up even faster. There ought to be at least one White Intern who could figure that out.
Now, the real question here is “Why is Obama not doing anything about high gas prices?” Clearly, he has the power to impact prices. President Bush successfully did it. Obama, however, ignores his options, or refuses them. So, what gives? I have two theories. Either this has to do with benefiting his friends his the green energy business, or he’s waiting until closer to the election to quietly get gas prices moving sharply down in order to get as much political advantage out of it.
The question is, how much higher will gas prices get before you can no longer afford to drive? Gas prices impact the prices of many things, and filling up your tank won’t be your only problem. Food and commodity prices will go up even more. Gas prices, if they get much higher, will most likely bring about a double dip recession.