Who or What Is Responsible For High Gasoline Prices?

The average price of regular around the country was $1.80 when Obama took office. It’s around $3.80 today. What’s the cause? Obama says it’s greedy oil companies making record profits, or speculators, or us because we drive too much and we don’t own the right cars. Reality is different.

Consider this:

On July 11, 2008 crude oil hit a record high of $145 a barrel. On July 14, 2008 George W. Bush signed an executive order lifting a Federal restriction on offshore drilling off the coastline of the United States. Four days later, on July 18, 2008 crude oil had dropped to $129 a barrel. By October 3rd it fell below $100 a barrel and by the end of 2008 oil was $45 a barrel. The chart at right [compiled by metalprices.com] shows how dramatic the drop in price was. It is important to note the Bush’s executive order did not put on drop of additional crude oil in the market because the Congressional ban remained in effect. Nevertheless, the price of crude fell off a cliff.

On February 8, 2011 Barack Obama reversed Bush’s executive order and reinstated the Federal ban on offshore drilling. Crude oil was $86 a barrel on that day. By March 4th it was back over $100 a barrel and stood at $112 four days ago. Obama has also contemptuously defied a Federal court order to lift his ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and Obama’s energy Secretary Ken Salazar has instituted a highly restrictive policy on offshore leasing. The EPA shut down drilling by Shell Oil off the coast of Alaska.

The blame for soon-to-be $5 a gallon gasoline is clear. It’s not the oil companies who would expand supply if Obama would let them, it’s not speculators who are merely reacting to what Obama and his minions are doing, and it’s certainly not us for not driving little match box cars with rubber band motors. It’s Obama and his disastrous economic policies. As long as those policies continue, higher and higher gasoline prices will continue. He could take action today that would almost immediately begin to lower those prices. History proves it.

Coming next: The $5 loaf of bread. Who’s fault do you suppose that is? Wheat futures are selling at $8 a bushel. They were $3 just a few months ago. If Obama thinks oil companies making profits are to blame for gas prices, then aren’t farmers to blame for the high price of a loaf of bread?

UPDATE: Could a three-inch lizard shut down the West Texas oil and gas industry? Should we start thinking about $10 a gallon gasoline?

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