The Presidential Debate and Gas Prices: With the government’s inability to significantly reduce oil prices, what policies might be pursued to alleviate pressure at the pump? How well can the free market address the problem of high gasoline prices?
Speaking broadly to the US about energy (with accuracy) requires something that is in short supply domestically: an actual awareness of where the US stands in relation to the rest of the world. With people blaming Obama or the DOE for gas prices, these statements are more a reflection of the divisive neurosis that permeates US political discourse, rather than being useful in explaining why gas prices are what they are. For that matter, they offer no inclination for exploring real options to make the cost of transportation easier.
To further unpack the ‘gas prices’ question, we should ask not simply how to make gas prices lower, but if gasoline via crude oil is the best way to fuel transportation.
The free market will (or ‘may’) address ‘the problem’ by presenting competing solutions for the issue of how to meet transportation needs. A tipping point that has not yet been reached is something superseding the utility of oil in this case – yet there are advances in electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and hopes for alternately fueled vehicles.
But until there is a force compelling enough to change oil’s dominance, there won’t be any changes. That change will be related to, however, the perception that “lowering gasoline prices” is the main concern for the everday American.
(And kudos to Joel Brown for succinctly responding to the Dept of Energy – Gas Prices question: “the DOE does NOT have the charge to lower gasoline prices. Its impact is at the leading edge, not retail.”)
What are your thoughts? Check out the discussion over at OurEnergyPolicy.org
With the government’s inability to significantly reduce oil prices, what policies might be pursued to alleviate pressure at the pump? How well can the free market address the problem of high gasoline prices?
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