Gas Price Trends Pre-Election

As I had observed a few years ago, gas prices tend to drop dramatically just prior to an election and will go up afterward.

This election season seems to be no different. In the last month, I’ve seen prices go from $3.50 a gallon to lows around $2.35 per gallon around Tucson. Is a drop of $1.15 a gallon within that short amount of time really due to people not driving as much? My hunch all along is that it’s all greed: futures market speculators and oil execs seem to be making record profits this whole time, how can it be anything but greed?

Interestingly, oil was trading above $140 per barrel (31 gallons) as recently as June 2008, but is now being sold for close to $60 per barrel. Again, is that price really due to actual demand? If so, how could demand have dropped so sharply that it warranted a cut by more than half of the high mark price? I, for one, know that my own use of oil has dropped enough that I only have to fill my car once a week now; previously, it was more like 1.5 times per week.

My only hope, with prices falling rapidly, is that “green”-er technology and more energy efficient vehicles don’t get lost in the noise. Our country really does need to be independent of fossil fuels for not just economic reasons, but for strategic security reasons as well. My own state of Arizona has enough sun all year and enough land that is unoccupied that it could easily create solar facilities to handle all of our energy needs as well as those of surrounding states!

Food for thought: The Pickens Plan is run by T. Boone Pickens, an old Oil Billionare, is trying to get Washington to increase the use of wind, natural gas, and biodiesel (non ethanol, hopefully) resources; he’s even putting his own money into the mix to help in the effort. I’m still unsure as to why he doesn’t mention solar at all in his plan, but at least it’s helping to get America independant from foreign oil and onto more “green” sources of energy.



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