It’s either a sign of a desperate candidate, proof that some people don’t understand how fuel is priced or a simple ploy to win votes.
Whatever her intent, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has said she would bring back sub-$2/gallon fuel if elected. According to Politico she said:
The day that the president became president, gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today. Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen.
The average price today is $3.57 and slowly falling, thanks in part to the events unfolding in Libya. Of course, if “the president” wasn’t the president gas would still be under two bucks since he’s obviously the sole reason gas prices spiked. He must have failed to understand the “set gas prices” responsibility in the presidential job description; or maybe there’s more to gas prices than who is president.
Perhaps Bachmann would repeal the federal gas tax, now at about 18 cents per gallon, to help achieve her goal. In all actuality, the gas tax needs to be increased, substantially, if we have any hope of reducing our use of foreign oil and creating more fuel efficient vehicles.
Maybe Bachmann would open up drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a way to increase supply and lower the price. Even that, though, wouldn’t help much. If at all. The the Energy Information Administration has said,
Additional oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR would be only a small portion of total world oil production, and would likely be offset in part by somewhat lower production outside the United States. The opening of ANWR is projected to have its largest oil price reduction impacts as follows: a reduction in low-sulfur, light crude oil prices of $0.41 per barrel (2006 dollars) in 2026 for the low oil resource case, $0.75 per barrel in 2025 for the mean oil resource case, and $1.44 per barrel in 2027 for the high oil resource case, relative to the reference case.
So that wouldn’t do it either. Maybe Bachmann is cozy with OPEC nations and has a deal that they’ll increase production as soon as she’s inaugurated. Or maybe she has a secret pact with drivers across the world to immediately reduce consumption, thus cutting demand. Or maybe she has superhuman powers over the shady world of price speculation and can force prices down that way.
The bottom line is no individual person has control over gas prices. As far as I’m concerned, low prices aren’t even good for the country. Good for the individual pocketbooks, yes, but they certainly would not have a long-term positive effect on the USA.
What side of the fence are you on? Even if Michele Bachmann could promise $2 gas, should it happen?