The Price of Gasoline: Who’s to blame?

When talking about gas prices, many Americans become frustrated, due to the usually high prices we have to pay. However, it seems that nobody really knows who’s REALLY to blame for this, although they’re more than convinced they’ve figured it out. As always, through the years, Americans have chosen to blame the President. Not just Obama. This started long before anybody even knew who Barack Obama was. Former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama have been in office during what has been arguably the worst period for gas prices in recent years. Because of this, they take the blame. What’s worse, is they rarely can have any control over it.

First off, gas prices are determined by the average price of oil, per barrel. Because the U.S. has been known to get oil from other countries, the supply of these countries determines how much we get. It’s simple supply and demand, in this aspect. However, that’s not the only factor. Some of the biggest problems are natural disasters in places that serve as sources for our oil (U.S. Energy Information Administration). The state of the economy also has an effect on this (U.S. Energy Information Administration).

The President can only have a direct effect on gas prices in one way: To approve and/or change an energy plan. Barack Obama’s administration passed an energy bill that cut down foreign oil imports by 10% in 2011. (CBS News) This can have a positive or negative effect on gas prices.

But, the point of this is, it’s not easy for a president to have an effect on gas prices. Even in the campaign for the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama spoke in Ohio, and told them “You’re paying $3.70 a gallon for gas – two and a half times what it cost when President Bush took office” (NPR). He was obviously able to convince people it was the president’s fault, then, but now he wants people to know that there’s nothing he can do about it. Funny how that works, huh?

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=1&t=10
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-most-think-president-can-impact-gas-prices/
http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/03/13/148518457/blaming-presidents-for-higher-gas-prices-misses-bigger-picture

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