Gasoline prices, for a variety of reasons, and in a number of cities, are increasing, causing much (understandable) consternation among American drivers. Not surprisingly, this phenomena has garnered considerable media coverage: “Gas prices hit new heights in metro area,” blared the Atlanta Journal and Constitution; “Gasoline Prices Soar To Highest Point Yet,” roared the Washington Post; “Gas Prices To Spike To Record High, More Fuel Woes May Lie Ahead,” declared the Boston Globe.
A quick look around the country shows that, relative to more economical times, drivers are indeed paying more per gallon: New York, $1.76, Savannah, $1.55, Atlanta, $1.55, Miami, $1.67, Phoenix, $2.11, and Los Angeles, $2.07. And drivers are mad: “I don’t like it,” Donna Deemu told the Telegraph of Nashua, New Hampshire. “This is like a consumption tax on consumers,” said Fred Dixon of Lake Oswego, Ore., where he recently paid $1.95 for a gallon of gas.
FACT: If drivers are fuming now, they’ll be downright apoplectic if the Lieberman-McCain climate change bill ever becomes law. Under Lieberman-McCain, gasoline prices, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Energy Information Administration, would soar to rising heights, with no relief in sight. “Delivered energy prices for the transportation sector increase significantly in the S.139 case compared to the reference case,” EIA found. “In the S.139 case,” EIA says, “gasoline fuel price in 2001 constant dollars increases by 40 cents per gallon (27 percent) above the reference case price.” From 2008 through 2025, prices go up steadily, reaching, as EIA reports, a zenith of $1.90 per gallon in 2025.
No doubt, then, will one still hear shrieks and cries of “Big Oil” gouging consumers at the pump.