Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
After reading the "Your Views" column in the Bulletin Saturday blaming President Obama for rising gas prices, I did a quick search on-line and discovered some interesting facts.
Gasoline prices were relatively high in 1980, then dropped and remained fairly stable from 1984 until 2004. The average price nationally rose rapidly starting in 2004, and peaked at an all time average high of $4.12/ gallon in July of 2008, when George Bush was president. Prices then plummeted in January 2009 to $1.61 on Jan. 18, just before President Obama took office.
Under President Bush the average peak price per gallon was $3 in July of 2006, $3.25 in April of 2007, and $4.12 in July of 2008.
Under President Obama the average peak price per gallon was $2.94 in May of 2010, $3.96 in May of 2011, $3.22 in December of 2012, and is currently around $3.60 per gallon. By looking at the trends, we can expect that the price will be high again in July, peak driving season, as it always is. There's no mystery as to why that occurs every year.
On the bright side, under President Obama, United States oil production is at an eight year high. The number of drilling rigs has quadrupled since he took office. More oil has been exported than has been imported. And the 2011 profits for the top five oil companies are at an all time high of $137 billion dollars.
I remember when Bush and Cheney came into office, and one of the first comments that I heard from then Vice President Cheney was that "Americans are going to have to get used to $3 per gallon gasoline." At that time, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.51.
I put the blame for rising gasoline prices not on either presidents Bush or Obama, but on global financial markets, speculators, and the oil companies themselves who seem to close refineries "for repairs" with surprising regularity. Just imagine, if you can, what bombing Iran would do to the price of a barrel of oil.
If you don't like President Obama and the Democrats, you're going to blame them for everything, but it's worth looking at the facts occasionally.
Feb. 25, 2012