There’s a viral picture floating around Facebook that’s a snapshot of a gas station with prices the day President Obama took office. The station owner snapped the photo recently, but these were pretty close to the prices when Obama took office. Whoever originally came up with the idea was genius! Now, truth be told, gas prices did skyrocket under Bush, but they were down at the end of his presidency. Obama hasn’t be-friended many of those in the oil industry and has been very reluctant to allow oil drilling on public lands. In addition, he still hasn’t allowed the continuation of the Keystone Pipeline which would not only guarantee our self-reliance on gas and oil, but would also guarantee that we’d never again be held hostage by OPEC. While the “green” lobbyist remain active in Washington, millions of gas-guzzling cars continue to roar across American highways. If you’re “green”, then lobby for a serious tax credit on energy efficient vehicles, solar panels, and wind mills installed in all homes across America. Then, advertise the heck out of it through Facebook, Google Search, etc. This will get everyone moving in the right direction. Yes, we’ve had some energy credits, but they weren’t high enough to move people to action. Sweeten the pot, and see what gets done!
One might ask if it’s fair to tie gas prices to American presidents? The real answer, is no-not really, because there’s a ton of market forces in play when it comes to the price of oil. OPEC typically sets production quotas, our own oil producers cap oil producing sites for later production, demand goes up and down, etc. Outside of allowing oil companies the ability to drill on federally controlled lands, our president typically can’t control the price of oil. They can, however, set MPG standards for vehicles though, which lessens demand. In theory, this would drive gas prices down over time as demand weakens. These standards have steadily increased over time with mileage improvements consistently being demanded by the American government. Car makers are faced with the challenge of improving mileage in their vehicles every year with many of them going to a hybrid concept and some are converting them to natural gas. In fact, there’s a major push for semi truck manufacturers to convert their rigs to natural gas which is incredibly abundant in the United States and much cheaper than diesel.