Gas prices should not affect the upcoming presidential election

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, October 9, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Yesterday gas prices in CA rose to an average high of $4.66 a gallon.

This means that California’s average gas price has risen to be higher than that of the nation’s former most expensive gas state, Hawaii, which is $4.39.

The regular gas price average in the U.S. is $3.81 currently, but the cheapest available gas in Long Beach as of yesterday was $4.54.

The highest price reached $4.92 at one point.

Whoa.

Gas has almost become $5 per gallon here in Long Beach.

This is surprising because gas prices normally go down before an election.

In California alone, we are paying towards gas typically 40 to 50 cents more per gallon than anywhere else in the country.

For years, many have pinned the gas price hikes on the sitting U.S. president, blaming him for mishandling the situation.

Even so, gas prices do not greatly affect the vote when election season finally rolls around.

As of last year, the U.S. supply of oil increased the most since 1970.

Under President Obama’s term, the amount of drilling for oil has escalated for 10 percent of the country’s current demand.

According to the Republican Party’s independent energy campaign, the prices in gas will increase if Mitt Romney is elected. While prices will rise, more jobs will be created for drilling, and more oil will be available.

However, as we can see with the Obama administration, the increase of the amount of drilling and oil will not lower these outrageously high prices.

Just as before, prices are more than likely to escalate if we drill more.

As enticing as it is to exclaim “drill baby drill,” the odds are demand will remain the same and be ineffective in lowering prices.

Beyond rising prices, the current gas situation has turned several desperate drivers into thieves. In Roseville, Calif., there were about 1,100 gallons of gas stolen from a Shell station, worth more than $4,500. These gas thieves were caught, yet only 1000 gallons were recovered.

These prices are higher in CA due to a fire at the Chevron Richmond refinery in August, which reduced oil production. This refinery supplies 8.5% of total petroleum products to the Petroleum Administration for Defense District 5, which includes CA.

Prices have also escalated from the organic chloride contamination that shut down the Kelleman-Los Medanos pipeline, which proved 85,000 barels or crude oil a day to supply the San Francisco Bay Area.

We experienced another setback yesterday in our local area, Torrance, CA. The ExxonMobil refinery that supplies 149,000 barrels daily to the LA area suffered from a power outage shut down.

Due to these setback and shutdowns, the low supply will hurt our wallets for hopefully just a bit longer. Energy experts predict that lower-quality gasoline may be introduced to our state, which other US states have already taken advantage of. This gas will cause more pollution, but will ease the severe spike in price. Our state already has high levels of pollution, and this gas should be used only temporarily.

Despite setbacks at the pump, hopefully California residents will be able to separate gas prices from the real issues when voting in this election.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

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4 Comments to “Gas prices should not affect the upcoming presidential election”

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