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The Recent Rise in Gas Prices

Ace February 26, 2012 0

Over the past week we’ve seen the gas price hit a record high at about a dime a gallon increase this past week. AAA reported Friday that the new regular average had rose to $3.65 across the nation from the $3.53 it was at a week earlier. At some parts of the state, like California, prices will be as high as $4.00.

In the meantime Syrian uprising and political tensions between Iran and the West over the nuclear program aren’t playing as big of a part in the increasing prices as we’d think. Energy specialists are concerned that the biggest culprit lies here at home and that the U.S. isn’t refining as much gasoline as it used too.

On Wednesday night, during NPR’s All Things Considered, senior energy analyst Fadel Gheit spoke about unprofitable oil refineries being closed down in recent years. He explained, “We have 700,000 barrels of refining capacity in the last three months. That is almost 5 percent of U.S. gasoline production now offline.”

There are only two things that the rise in gas prices will help and that are the auto industry and this election year. The rise in prices will have more people looking into hybrids and plug-in cars.

Furthermore, with the new election year there will be powerful political debates over the energy policy and many oil interests will be pushing hard for more domestic energy development

The GOP has quickly utilized this new gas price increase as a tool against President Barack Obama. Most analyst say the president has no control over the rising costs at the pump. The biggest burden is we the people will see prices rise into the summer and be the ones to reap the burden.

Obamas plan is to recover 75% of the nations potentially offshore oil and gas resources from the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic Ocean. The idea is to double passenger car mileage by the year 2025.

The President also noted that his administration has already leased millions of acres for drilling and that the current output of oil and gas from imports has fallen under his watch. He also added mention of his goal to improve renewable energy by approving construction of 10 gigawatts of wind and other renewable energy this year.

However the Republican party has responded to Obamas ideas stating that the rising production comes from state and private lands controlled by the Federal government. The GOP feels that Obamas policies will hurt the development of federal lands and water.  The House Republicans also approved a bill this month that would allow drilling in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This bill would approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would carry Canadian tar sands crude refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Environmentalist and the Democratic Party that controls the senate feel that this would be environmentally destructive.

We’ll just have to sit tight and wait for the next few months to roll by. I’m thinking a lot more car pooling and commuting with my motorcycle.


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