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Rhetoric in the public debate on gas prices is heating up from politicians this week. Unfortunately, oil and gas apologists continue to push misinformation on the American public.

Instead of exporting American resources so that oil companies get richer, let's use our oil at home to the benefit of all Americans.

There is another simple step we can take to help American families whose pocketbooks are hurting because of high prices at the pump. We should end the billions in special tax breaks to Big Oil and reinvest those funds in transportation solutions, high tech vehicles, and the next generation of renewable fuels.

Let'™s consider the facts about gas prices and energy development.

Oil and gas drilling
Oil and gas drilling in America is its highest level since Ronald Reagan was in office. Over the last four years, there appears to be a direct correlation between gas prices and drilling activity. Higher prices means more drilling, but more drilling has failed to lower gas prices.

Domestic oil production
Earlier this year, the Associated Press found that there is no correlation between how much oil is produced and the price of gas. In fact, domestic crude oil production is at its highest level since the late 1990'™s.

Over the last four years, oil production has increased right alongside the price of gas. Clearly, we need an all-of-the-above energy policy that goes beyond oil.

Public lands
The Congressional Research Service found that oil production on federal lands is higher in 2011 as compared to 2007.

Oil and gas companies have also failed to develop more than 20 million of acres of public lands that are already leased for oil and natural gas. According to a May 2012 Interior Department report, the oil and gas industry had conducted production or exploration activities on just 56% of public lands leased in the U.S.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's an economic response (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert

    Gas prices drive incentive to drill more  in the US because people can make money off of it.

    The best way for the government to help prices at the pump are to require more fuel efficient cars (i.e. C.A.F.E standards) and encourage alternative energy.  The only oil companies that this actually hurts are the ones that were too stupid to diversify into cleaner markets, and they deserve to be obsolete in the 21st century and fail.

    I hate hate. I love the look in peoples eyes when they realize, for the first time, that they have power.

    by 4democracy on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 12:30:02 PM PDT

  •  In CA, statistics show that fuel usange is way (0+ / 0-)

    Down (a little less that 45% down). So availability isn't the issue.

    I am not buying that the industry didn't spike prices. We'll see.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 01:40:41 PM PDT

  •  Obama let Romney get away with his lie (0+ / 0-)

    that gas prices have doubled since he became president.  I seem to recall paying about the same with Bush was in office.  So does my brother, and he's about the least political person in the country.

    All Obama had to do was say "No it didn't.  And anybody who was around during the Bush years knows it didn't.  Quit lying you vile sack of shit!"

    Okay, so maybe not that last bit.  That was for me.

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 02:24:17 PM PDT

    •  Not a lie, but a bit deceptive (0+ / 0-)

      Inflation Adjusted Gasoline Prices

      Year    Price
      1958    $2.35
      1968    $2.21
      1978    $2.26
      1988    $1.84
      1998    $1.41
      2008    $3.39
      2011    $3.48

      Romney is correct in saying the price was around $1.85 (2009 dollars) when Obama was sworn in, but it is a bit deceptive. Gas was over $4/gal during the summer of '08, but when the economy collapsed demand declined sharply and prices collapsed to the above figure.  As the economy has slowly grown, prices have increased -- but to treat the 1/09 pirce as the "norm" when it is the price from the worst of the economic collapse is deceptive.

  •  Free Markets (0+ / 0-)

    President's do not control oil prices, there is a free-market that does that.

    But laws of economics suggest that if we have a greater supply, then prices should be lower.

    If the GOP wants to shout about fixing numbers, then how come gas prices are so high if production has never been higher??......

    Wait for it....because oil companies give donations to Republicans......

    •  Idiots (0+ / 0-)

      Because you are confusing oil production with gasoline production.  Increased oil production acts as a drag on the price of crude oil which is a component of gasoline.  But, there are many other factors which impact the price of gasoline - beyond the price of crude.  For example -- gas taxes, local environmental requirements impacting the "mix" of gas required for a particular market; and available refining capacity.

      Seriously, I know most of are smarter than this.

      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

        Please explain how,

        "Increased oil production acts as a drag on the price of crude oil which is a component of gasoline."

        All things being equal, more supply = lower prices.

        •  You are correct (0+ / 0-)

          By "drag" I meant it lowered the price of the "crude" component of gasoline.  But, it is only 1 factor of many impacting the price of gasoline.

          For example, if the price of flour went down would you expect a cut in the price of doughnuts?  Maybe.  But, what if the price of sugar or labor went up simultaneously?

          In this instance -- the price of crude averaged

          2011  87.48
          2010  71.21
          2009  53.56
          2008  91.48

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