Energy Policy: That gas prices are edging ever closer to $4 a gallon is bad enough. But even worse is the fact that the public blames the wrong villains. No wonder President Obama seems so unconcerned.
Last week’s average price for regular gasoline hit $3.94 a gallon, according to the Dept. of Energy. That’s up 11 cents in just three weeks, and more than $2 a gallon since Obama took office.
So who gets the blame? Obama for cutting oil production on federal lands and killing Keystone XL pipeline, for endlessly berating the industry and offhandedly dismissing oil as “yesterday’s fuel”?
Nope, almost half of Americans in the latest IBD/TIPP poll blame oil companies and Wall Street speculators, the two players that have nothing whatever to do with the pain at the pump.
Twenty-eight percent blame price-gouging by oil companies as being most responsible for rising gas prices. And 18% blame “the actions of speculators.” Just 13% blamed “lack of domestic production.”
But the Federal Trade Commission and the Government Accountability Office have repeatedly investigated the oil industry for collusion or price gouging after previous price spikes. Each time they’ve found the same thing: The industry is highly competitive, and supply and demand, not collusion, set the price of oil.
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