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Gasoline Prices fall below $5.00 mark October 3, 2006

Posted by chuckwh in News and politics.
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CNN reports that the national price for regular unleaded gasoline dropped 9.8 cents over the past week to $4.91 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly survey of service stations. Meanwhile, the price of corn oil has dropped below about $6/gallon, with the corn oil shortage of last winter finally tailing off.

Republicans, of course, are calling the drop in gas prices election time shenanigans, but President Gore is taking the high road by saying that high gas prices “only highlight the need for renewable energy policies, which this administration has made the nation’s highest priority.”

Still, with inflation surging towards the 10% mark, it didn’t, before yesterday, appear that slightly lower prices at the pump would prevent Republicans from retaking the House and Senate.

That was yesterday, though, and Pedogate may be changing things, at least in the House.

But still, there can be little doubt that Republicans have done a good job skewering the President for something largely out of his control.

When Gore managed in early 2002 to get the excise tax on gasoline raised from 18.4 cents/gallon to 65 cents/gallon (with the help of a substantial number of Republican votes, it should be noted), prices rose almost instantly from under $2 to nearly $3.50/gallon. How the oil companies managed to turn 60 cents into a buck and a half should be studied by business schools worldwide.

Many Americans may be having misgivings about rising fuel costs, but many others are quickly adapting. Toyota and GM both have six month waiting lists for their new hyrodogen-powered cars, and the nation as a whole is awash in large scale renewable energy projects.

The fact is, the nation’s economic prosperity is currently about the same as it was during the height of the boom years under Clinton, despite the inflation, which I see as part of the energy tax we’re paying as we enter the twilight of the fossile fuel era.

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