Gas Price Myths

A hot-button issue right now, aside from the budget battle is high gas prices. Right now the average for a gallon of gas is $3.81. If that’s not enough, the myths about why they are high and the ideas to bring down costs is enough to make heads spin.

Energy Tribune | Debunking Five Myths About Gas Prices

Ed. note: This piece was first published on Robert Rapier’s R-Squared Energy Blog.

This past week I had an article published in the Washington Post called Five Myths about Gas Prices.I will discuss each particular myth in detail below, but the five myths I addressed were:

  1. Fighting in Libya is sending gas prices higher.
  2. Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a smart way to reduce gas prices.
  3. Oil companies produce less in the spring to make gas prices increase.
  4. The Obama administration is driving up gas prices.
  5. Americans can’t live without cheap gas.

Because such articles go through an editing process and must conform to limits on the length of the article, some topics couldn’t be addressed in sufficient detail. Sometimes during the editing process there is a disagreement over what is and is not a pertinent piece of information. This can result in some misunderstanding of the information I am trying to convey.

The article received 153 comments in just a couple of days, after which commenting was closed. Some of the common complaints were that I didn’t sufficiently explain an issue, or that I omitted certain issues. For instance, one person stated that the issue of seasonal blends is more complex than I stated. That’s true, which is why I have written entire articles on the subject. Some people complained that I left out the role of speculators. Actually, I didn’t, and ironically this was one of the myths that I had been asked to look into. My response was that it wasn’t a myth; that speculation does play a role in oil prices.

Some people believe strongly in myths, and when one is busting their cherished myths they can get angry and view you as a liar and a purveyor of misinformation. I suppose for them that justifies the nastiness that sometimes shows up in the comments. Many people seem to need a culprit to blame for high gas prices, but the issue is more complicated than that.

Read the article here

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