What the President Can Do About Gas Prices

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

Chew on This: The Story Behind Your Hershey’s Halloween TreatsBusiness

It was one of the most heated exchanges of last night’s debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, yet neither really answered it.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were asked the question last night, but both dodged. CNN says that’s because the answer is: not much…

The truth is that politicians and the government, for the most part, have very little real control over gasoline prices.

The price Americans pay at the pump is tied to the crude oil market — a global system largely beyond the reach of Washington.

There’s no gas price lever in the White House or Congress. If there were, it would be a safe bet to say everybody would leave it permanently on low to look good. It is true gas prices have risen under Obama, and CNN explains why.

“During recessions, demand for gasoline plummets as trucks pull off the road, companies cut back on travel and laid off workers drive fewer miles,” CNN says. In mid-2008 right before the recession hit – while President Bush was in office – gas prices reached an average of $4.12 a gallon. (The photo at right is from May 2008 in California.) Then they fell off a cliff along with the rest of the economy later in the year. That’s when Obama came into office.

But “since early 2009, the economy has haltingly improved, and demand for crude has risen. It has also spiked in the developing world — especially in China, India and South America,” CNN says. So prices went back up along with demand.

The U.S. does have an oil stockpile of about 727 million barrels – an amount the world would burn through in about a week. Increased drilling would only drop prices up to about three cents a gallon, according to a study CNN cites.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 7 Ways to Save More at Big Lots

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,724 more deals!