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What's the real answer to rising gas prices?
March 19th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

What's the real answer to rising gas prices?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The gas price saga is like the movie "Groundhog Day."

We've been here before. Many times.

President Obama says gas prices make things harder and Mitt Romney says Obama wants higher gas prices.

When gas prices get to a certain level, it becomes the president's fault.

Happens over and over. The president's response (doesn't matter who the president is - they all do the same thing).

Name a commission to look into speculation, call to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. (That's not what that oil is meant for).

And threaten to remove the subsidies enjoyed by the big oil companies. (The subsidies are never touched.)

Sometimes some oil is released from the strategic reserves. Sometimes this results in a temporary decline in gas prices. Small and temporary.

The commissions looking into speculation don't do anything. They discover there is speculation - super sleuths that they are - but we already knew that. It's like the government commissions to reduce the deficit or cut spending. Meaningless.

And if you think the government is going to get aggressive cutting oil company subsidies in an election year, you're dreaming. You know how much money these outfits donate so their subsidies are left alone?

It's all a three-card monty game designed to lure the sucker citizens (you and me) into thinking the government really cares and is actually doing something meaningful.

Nothing is further from the truth.

We'll pay the higher prices until the market decides they're high enough, and they turn around and come down. That's how markets work - as opposed to the government, which doesn't.

Here’s my question to you: What's the real answer to rising gas prices?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Gas Prices
How much will rising gas prices affect your vote for president?
March 12th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How much will rising gas prices affect your vote for president?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans' pain at the pump could translate to pain at the polls for President Obama come November.

The national average for gas now tops $3.80 a gallon.

According to AAA, gas prices are almost at - or above - $4 a gallon in nine states - plus the District of Columbia.

Hawaii has the nation's most expensive gasoline at $4.44 a gallon.

Wyoming has the cheapest gas prices at about $3.30 a gallon.

As history has shown time and again, rising gas prices usually wind up hurting the guy in the White House.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows President Obama's ratings falling as gasoline prices rise.

The poll shows almost 2/3 of Americans say they disapprove of how the president is handling gas prices. That's the lowest rating he gets on any issue in this poll.

Also, most Americans say higher gas prices are already affecting their family finances.

And almost half say they think gas prices will keep going higher.

When it comes to the economy, 59% of Americans give the president negative ratings.

If gasoline prices continue their upward march they could impact the outcome of the election.

Exit polls from Super Tuesday showed almost 8 in 10 voters said rising gas prices were an important factor in their vote. And that's before summer driving season gets under way.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, Americans on average say gas prices of $5.30 to $5.35 per gallon would force major life changes.

Most Americans say they want the president and Congress to take action on rising gas prices.

Here’s my question to you: How much will rising gas prices affect your vote for president?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Gas Prices
Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?
February 29th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Gas prices rose for the 22nd day in a row, inching ever closer to a national average of $4 a gallon.

According to triple AAA, the nationwide average is now $3.73 a gallon.

Gas prices are up 14% percent so far this year.

Gasoline is already topping $4 a gallon in several states including California, Alaska and Hawaii and there are reports of $5 gasoline on Long Island. Some suggest we could see gasoline top $6 a gallon.

Gas prices are mainly rising due to soaring oil prices. The market is reflecting fear that tensions with Iran will lead to a war and disrupt oil supplies.

Signs of an improving economy, growing worldwide demand and speculators have also driven oil prices higher.

We've been here before:

In the 1970s, the Nixon and Ford administrations imposed price controls on gasoline. They were reacting to rising gas prices caused by OPEC's cuts in production.

But what followed was long lines at gas stations and an artificial shortage of gasoline.

Experts say the most likely outcome of price controls is gas rationing, like what we saw almost 40 years ago.

People panicked to make sure they didn't wind up without gasoline and gas stations only stayed open a few hours a day to empty their tanks.

Since they couldn't raise prices, they would close shop after selling out.

And those who didn't want to wait in long lines bought gas on the black market at steep prices.

But as gasoline prices continue to climb and consumers feel a more intense pain at the pump, there could be pressure on the government to intervene once again.

Just today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is skeptical "about the reasons for the increase in gas prices." She says it deserves "careful attention" from Congress. Good luck with that.

Here’s my question to you: Should price controls be imposed on gasoline?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

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Filed under: Gas Prices
If gasoline hits record prices this summer, how much will it hurt President Obama's re-election chances?‬ ‪ ‬
February 14th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

If gasoline hits record prices this summer, how much will it hurt President Obama's re-election chances?‬ ‪ ‬

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans' pain at the gas pump could mean pain on election night for President Obama come November.

The national average for regular unleaded gasoline is now $3.52 a gallon, according to the Energy Department. That's up more than 4 cents a gallon from a week ago, and experts are predicting that this summer, gas prices could go higher. Much higher. Think record highs.

Gasoline could top $4 a gallon by June, and in some places it could be near $5. Big cities like Chicago and San Francisco could be especially hard hit.

According to AAA, the all-time high U.S. average was $4.11 a gallon in the summer of 2008. We could easily hit a new record as summer driving season kicks into high gear and Obama gears up for the fall campaign.

Consider that when Obama took office in January of 2009, the average cost for a gallon of gas was $1.79. Gas prices have almost doubled since he took office, and they're headed higher.

There are several reasons for the jump in gasoline prices - including the possibility of war in the Middle East. There's also the closing of refineries, along with the increased demand for gasoline as summer travel season approaches. Plus the government requires a switch from cheaper winter gas formulations to more expensive summer ones.

But all those reasons aside, whether it's fair or not - the American motoring public has always tended to blame the guy in the White House for high gas prices.

Here’s my question to you: If gasoline hits record prices this summer, how much will it hurt President Obama's re-election chances?‬ ‪ ‬

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST

April 26th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Bigger issue for you if election were today: gas prices or Middle East?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Violence rages on in the Middle East. Fighting continues in Libya. In Syria, a human rights group reports that more than 400 people have been killed over the past few weeks.

We're still engaged in Iraq, still fighting in Afghanistan. Now everybody is wondering what to do about Syria. At last word President Obama was "considering sanctions." Whatever that means. His strategy and leadership skills are increasingly being called into question, and the chorus of critics is getting louder.

While the problems continue to multiply in the Middle East, many Americans are just trying to figure out how they're going to pay for their daily commute to work. Gas prices are off the charts with predictions now that they could hit $6 a gallon this summer. We're already about 25 cents away from the record high reached in July of 2008. Rising oil prices and the falling value of the dollar don't offer much hope for relief anytime soon.

The president's been talking a lot about gas prices lately, working the topic into speeches in Virginia, Nevada and California last week. He also announced a task force led by Attorney General Eric Holder to seek out fraud and manipulation of gas prices. That's what the politicians do every time gas prices spike. They start looking for an imaginary boogey man.

Today the President wrote a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to repeal preferential tax laws for the oil companies. That'll happen.

House Republicans have announced they are planning to hold hearings and will introduce legislation in response to high gas prices. In an interview with ABC News yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner said high gas prices could cost President Obama re-election.

He might be right. The president's approval ratings are near an all time low.

Here’s my question to you: If the election was held today, which would be the bigger issue for you, gas prices or the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Gas Prices • Middle East
March 10th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

How are rising gas prices affecting your way of life?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In case you hadn't noticed, it may soon be cheaper to buy whiskey than gasoline. Thursday morning the national average price for a gallon of gas stood at $3.53. That's an increase of 39 cents over the last three weeks alone, according to the Energy Department.

And it's not going to get better any time soon. The government predicts the average family will spend $700 more for gasoline in 2011 than in 2010, a 28% increase from last year. That's no small chunk of change when the median household income in this country is about $49,000 a year.

So how high will it go? According a new Gallup Poll, 37% of Americans think prices will hit $3.75 – $4 a gallon in their area. More than a quarter of Americans think gas prices will exceed $5 a gallon. Only 8% of Americans think gas will be less than $3.75.

But before we collectively hyperventilate over this news consider this: In Europe most people pay the equivalent of $7.50 to $8 a gallon. In Greece, gasoline costs about $8.45 a gallon.

The cheapest gas is in OPEC nations like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Egypt because it's heavily subsidized by the governments there.

Here’s my question to you: How are rising gas prices affecting your way of life?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Gas Prices
June 11th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

How will your life change if oil reaches $250 a barrel?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Experts predict the price of oil could soon hit $250 a barrel. Already, a barrel of crude is trading at almost $73 dollars - which is up from the lows of $30 a barrel only four months ago.

Prices are going up for lots of reasons; the big one is a new report that shows the world's proven crude reserves have fallen for the first time in 10 years. Demand for oil has gone up for the first time in 10 months; and as the global recession begins to wane, demand for energy is only expected to increase. Plus, it's the start of the summer driving season.

And, since oil is traded in dollars - a further decline in the value of the U.S. currency could also push oil prices higher. If oil prices keep going up, it's possible that could erase the glimmers of economic recovery we're starting to see.

Some analysts say they wouldn't be surprised if oil hits $80 or $90 a barrel soon; while the chairman of the Russian energy group Gazprom is repeating last year's estimates of $250 dollars barrel.

Meanwhile, rising oil prices mean rising gasoline prices. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is now $2.63, according to AAA. Gas prices have increased for 44 days in a row now, with the average price jumping almost 30 percent a gallon since the end of April.

Here’s my question to you: How will your life change if oil reaches $250 a barrel?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Gas Prices • Oil Prices
January 6th, 2009
12:41 PM ET

Lower Gas Prices: Asset or Liability for the U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Go figure. Gas prices are actually down since President Bush took office eight years ago.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the average price per gallon last week was $1.59. When adjusted for inflation, that's 9% less than when President Bush took office and considerably less than the cost last summer which was more than $4 per gallon.

Gas prices are starting to creep up a few cents now. Oil prices have risen in response to the fighting in Gaza, and there are predictions that after declining for 5 months gasoline could cost $2 a gallon by spring.

Meanwhile, consumers are only too happy to spend less at the pump. People are now spending $25 a week on gas instead of $75. That translates to a savings of about one billion dollars a day for American motorists, according to AAA. They say high gas prices contributed to the recession, and lower prices could help turn things around by leaving people with more cash in their pockets to spend on something besides gas.

The downside is that lower gas prices take the emphasis off developing alternative energy sources and breaking our dependence on imported oil.

Here’s my question to you: Are lower gas prices an asset or a liability for the U.S.?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Economy • Gas Prices
November 17th, 2008
03:10 PM ET

Plunging gas prices changing driving habits?

 How have plunging gas prices changed your habits?

How have plunging gas prices changed your habits?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Oil prices continue to slide, closing below $55 a barrel today. That's a pretty far fall from the July record high of $147 a barrel. Iran is calling for OPEC to cut production by at least 1 million barrels a day to try to shore up prices. That's on top of the 1.5 million OPEC cut last month. But the head of the cartel says it's not going to happen...not this month anyway. They're still trying to figure out what impact the last cut had. OPEC, which produces about 40 percent of the crude oil in the world, had hoped the move in October would slow the fall in prices. It hasn't.

And that's made drivers here pretty happy.

Gasoline prices have fallen for the last 61 days in a row to a national average of about $2.09 a gallon. According to AAA, the last time the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline dropped below the current price was on March 31, 2005.

This is good news for cash-strapped Americans, but not-so-great news for the whole alternative-energy, let's-wean-ourselves-off-foreign-oil movement. But Americans will take what they can get, and for now filling up is like getting a tax cut.

Here’s my question to you: How have plunging gas prices changed your driving habits?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Gas Prices
November 11th, 2008
06:05 PM ET

Should the gov’t impose a gas tax to curb consumption?

 At a gas station in Ohio, the price of a gallon of regular gas dropped to $1.89 yesterday.

At a gas station in Ohio, the price of a gallon of regular gas dropped to $1.89 yesterday.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The majority of Americans want change, which explains the recent election results. But there is change and there is change.

When it comes to our cars, we have a hard time with the whole concept.

We like to drive and have a long history of having relatively cheap gasoline. But when gas prices hit all-time highs this summer–$4 a gallon and even higher—many Americans had to cut back.

A lot has changed since then.

Oil prices are hovering around 19-month lows and gas prices have dropped for 55 days straight. Forty-six states and District of Columbia now report gasoline selling below $2.50 a gallon. That's the good news. The bad news is there’s evidence we're getting back behind the wheel and returning to our old ways.

What to do? President-elect Obama wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions when he gets to the White House in January. One way to do that is to put a hefty tax on gasoline, big enough that it would force down consumption.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government impose a gas tax aimed at holding down consumption?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Gas Prices
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