I was at the gas station today and found myself once again mentally cursing Obama as I watched the dials frantically spinning. Fair? Unfair? How much does the President have to do with the cost?
In broad strokes, oil prices are set by supply, demand, and futures contracts. If people believe the price of gas is going to go up, due to reduced supply, increased demand, a war in the gulf, etc., the futures price will increase and vice versa.
On the future supply side, Obama has had an influence on gas prices. By saying “no” to drilling permits offshore, “no” to drilling on federal lands, and “no” to the Keystone Pipeline, he’s sent a very clear signal about what the government is going to do to future supply (strangle it). In fact, he’s flat out said that he’s got nothing against the price of gas increasing. His energy secretary, Steven Chu, wanted higher gas prices to encourage more conservaton… until he saw how politically unpalatable that view was.
So while Obama may not be able to control what happens between Iran and Israel, he isn’t completely helpless when it comes to the price of gas. His latest response, however, is lame: a new commission to investigate the rising prices. The answers are already out there. He just doesn’t like them.