Gas Prices

It’s been in the news a lot lately and now I got this email:

Ok, so let’s investigate these “soaring” gas prices.  I went ahead and checked out gas prices before President Obama took office.  That is, before the start of this GOP graph.  Here is the result:

Now, you can easily see how the GOP tries to trick you.  The prices dove to levels that haven’t been seen in about 8 or so years (note, this is crude oil but it should be about the same):

Now, under what President prices started to go up?  President Bush in his first term.

Ok, so we now have established that President Obama didn’t create the rise in gas prices, but what has he done to counter them?

In order to answer that question, we have to look at what causes gas prices to rise.  First of all, the US does have a lot of oil and this can be used for gasoline.  Other places on this planet also have oil.  So what does that mean?  Well, if other places can sell us oil at a cheaper rate than we can produce, we will do that, as well as, produce some of our own to consume.  The point is, producing a large amount of the oil in the US–oil dependency–will cause prices to rise.

Another reason is that there are other countries that want a lot of oil and thus, they will pay more for it.  Take China for example, they need a ton of oil to support their massive economy.  And what happens when they demand a lot of oil?  The prices go up.  This is a big cause of increasing gas prices.

Now there are other things that can cause prices to fluctuate, war (yes the ones we are in), oil spills, etc.  But what do these all have in common?  The President can’t directly control prices like many people think.

So, let’s look at what President Obama has done about this:

barackobama.com,

American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years, and we are less reliant on foreign oil than at any time in the last 16 years. Natural gas production is at an all-time high.

Now, republicans always complain about how he has reduced our national security by relying on others for oil, etc  Here you can easily see that is not true:

So then, what has President Obama done?

He has lowered the dependence on foreign oil, increased production at home, all while keeping prices consistent or lower to the previous 4 years.  Republicans wanted independence from foreign oil, wanted more oil production at home and wanted gas prices lower.  This has for all practical purposes been done by President Obama.  And now, what has the delusional party acknowledged?  That prices are higher than the day President Obama took office.  That’s how you lie with statistics.

This is exactly how the republicans treat anything a democrat does, regardless of weather or not they wanted it.  When they get everything they asked for, it’s still not good enough.  So the question really is, are they actually that delusional?  I think it varies, but overall, it’s an overwhelming yes.

Now I should note, that a gas tax would be helpful.  See here: http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/03/the-benefits-of-a-gas-tax.html

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