Politics at the Pump

by Gerri Willis

Five dollars. Get used to seeing that number because that’s how much a regular gallon of gas may soon cost. I'm not talking years from now. I'm talking weeks.

Experts already expect prices to hit the four dollar mark, and then exceed it sometime this summer, or even as early as Memorial Day weekend.

The average price right now stands at $3.52. That’s up 14 cents from just a month ago, and 39 cents a gallon from this time last year!That has a direct impact on your wallet.

Let’s do the math. The average American drives 12,000 miles a year, and the average car gets about 17 miles per gallon.

So, at the current price, that means the average American spends about $2,400 a year on gas. That’s already a lot, but if that price hit's five dollars, the cost skyrockets to $3,500 a year.

The reasons for the spike are many - everything from unrest in the Middle East to maintenance on refineries in this country.

No matter what the cause of the rise in prices, one man will get blamed for it: The President, and I’m not just talking about Obama.

Take a look at this chart from Gallup and the Energy Information Administration:

There is a remarkable correlation between a president's unpopularity and high gasoline prices. Dating all the way back to the Carter Administration.

Not exactly what you want to see in an election year.

But here's the thing. This President in particular should be taking a lot of the blame.

For one, the day President Obama was inaugurated the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84.

If you look at the price today - $3.52 - that's a spike of 90%!

But despite the obvious, the White House maintains they are doing everything they can to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase production here at home.

Are they serious?!?

Let’s look at the facts shall we?

In 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, this President issued a moratorium on all new oil drilling until further notice.

That lasted six months.

Besides the obvious loss of jobs, wages, and tax revenues, this ban severely hurt U.S. production of oil.

An LSU economist said the losses in output totaled more than $2 billion.

Then, even after the moratorium was lifted in October of 2010, the President continued to delay permits and leases until March of 2011, and it wasn't just in the gulf. He’s also ended the sale of drilling leases off the east coast.

But, perhaps the most glaring example of this president not doing enough for gas prices: not agreeing to the Keystone pipeline that would have carried gas and oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Instead, he played politics with consumers’ wallets... Again!

One thing this President can claim is a renewed focus on all things green.

From solar plants to wind farms to electric cars, it seems this is all this administration can think about.

But a large amount of the solar companies he gave taxpayer dollars too are either bankrupt or closed completely.

And, those electric cars this President rants and raves about, the cars that are so good the White House needs to bribe people upwards of $10,000 to buy them, the cars that are so good some catch on fire, turns out they're not that great for the environment!

A new study by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville shows these cars are actually responsible for more pollution than gasoline vehicles.

Plus, for those old-fashioned regular cars, the White House has insisted on fuel efficiency standards which the National Automobile Dealers Association argues will add $3,000 to the price of a new car by 2025 pricing a lot of buyers out of the market.

From day one, this President has consistently put policy over people.

His obsession with green cars and companies has cost Americans billions with little to show for it.

Not to mention his refusal to see the evidence right in front of his face.

That's a big reason for our continued pain at the pump, And it's just going to get worse. At least until November...