The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline today is $3.82. Zero Hedge brings to our attention today this startling fact: Gas prices have never been higher on this day in history than they are today.
Sure it's a pain at the pump, but TD warns that gas prices don't just affect your pocketbook:
[F]or every penny rise in pump prices, more than $1bn is added to the household spending bill (assuming driving habits are unaffected - which brings its own set of unintended consequential events). And in the past month alone, gas prices have increased by precisely 30 cents.
Here's the graphical bad news:
Given that gas prices are increasing at a steady rate similar to last year, how is Obama reacting? He's patting himself on the back, naturally:
Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years... Under my administration, we have a near-record number of oil rigs operating right now -- more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined... We've opened up millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration where appropriate and where it is done safely, and we've approved more than 400 drilling permits since we put in place new safety standards to make sure that we don't have the same kind of spill that we had down in the Gulf a couple of years ago.
There's so much wrong with the president's repeated assertions. The United States is producing more oil and gas today, but it's no thanks to the Obama administration. Increased production on private lands in North Dakota, Texas and Alaska have bolstered U.S. oil production, but production on federal lands and offshore has been stagnate. If these federal areas were open to more production, there would be much more to brag about. Because the administration has refused to open/completely closed areas to exploration and production and cancelled/delayed lease sales, oil production in these areas has been reduced, jobs have been lost and economic activity has suffered. (Coincidentally, the states using private lands for production are enjoying remarkably low unemployment rates.)
Obama has also failed to lend his clear support the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that could pump upwards of 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada into America's Gulf Coast refineries.
So while the president thinks it's unreasonable for voters to hold him accountable for fluctuating gas prices, the truth is that his administration could be doing much more to help ease Americans' pain at the pump... if only he were willing.