• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Gas Prices at All-Time Christmas High

    Americans hitting the road this week are likely to encounter the highest-ever price for gas at Christmas in history. According to figures from AAA, the nationwide average for regular unleaded is $3.21 per gallon — an increase of 23 cents over last year’s Christmas record.

    This marks the second straight year Americans are paying more at the pump during the holidays. The price in 2009 was around $2.60 per gallon and jumped to about $3 per gallon at Christmas last year.

    These higher prices aren’t grabbing headlines as they once did, but that doesn’t mean Washington should ignore the issue.

    As part of its North American Energy Inventory report, the Institute for Energy Research recently outlined steps that policymakers could take to reverse America’s decline in energy production.


    Among the ideas:

    • Removing barriers to drilling. Less than 6 percent of federal lands and 2 percent offshore are open to exploration, limiting the potential of Americans to produce energy here at home.
    • Developing shale resources. America has the world’s largest supply of shale resources — the oil and gas found in rock formations underground.
    • Stopping excessive regulation. The government has slowed down and even halted offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies 30 percent of domestic oil production.

    There’s also the added benefit of more revenue for the federal government with increased energy production, a point Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) stressed on last week’s Scribecast.

    Heritage’s Nick Loris recently commented: “Allowing access for exploration and creating an efficient regulatory process that allows energy projects to move forward in a timely manner will not only increase revenue through more royalties, leases, and rent; it will also create jobs and help lower energy prices in the process.”

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Gas Prices at All-Time Christmas High

    1. fxgeorges says:

      Or, it could be that growth rates of population and energy needs is well ahead of supply.

    2. steve h says:

      Still a buck less than it reached under Bush Jr.

    3. Ron says:

      Odd, where I live gasoline is lower right now than it has been in over a year. I can get it for $2.98.

    4. PaulC37 says:

      3.21 is the low for the year

      The avg price was ~ $3.76 per http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/gasoline/margins/inde

    5. TimAZ says:

      Why would the regime turn their back to a revenue stream that would also benefit Americans? You might also ask yourself why the regime insists on saddling Americans with higher taxes creating even greater unemployment and greater dependence on govt. for the meager survival of the individual? Could it be the Cloward and Piven strategy at work? Had enough yet?

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Do we really expect this bunch in Washington to listen to anyone that wants to help reduce this nation's rising fuel cost? My annual road trip from South Louisiana to Western Nebraska cost $150.00 more for gas than last year. How many time must it be repeated that the Obama administration has openly boasted they want to drive fuel prices to equal that of Europe. Well that another promiss Obama is keeping, along with his plan to have energy cost "skyrocket" while destructing of our way of life.

    7. Lori says:

      Chicagoland gas stations were called by their county offices today to increase their gas prices by $0.30 per gallon. This was confirmed by a radio station calling one of the county office. The station owners do not get to keep the increase. Their profit averages $0.07 per gallon.

    8. Ldot says:

      I remember my liberal friend, like all liberals, bashing Bush when the gas prices were $2.50/gallon at the end of the Bush Presidency. But now, not a peep out of them or the State Controlled Media….the hypocrisy of the left continues. We could end all this unnecessary expense by drilling in OUR OWN COUNTRY. I wish the oil companies would ignore this anti-American administration and just start drilling. B.O. circumvents Congress and the Constitution constantly, I say the oil companies circumvent b.o. He is nothing but a public servant, and not a good one at that.

    9. Dan says:

      The discussion is always about increasing supply, which is fine, but nobody seems to ask what sets the price. The "markets" you say? Well, classic supply and demand does not seem in evidence here. Many suppliers and many buyers would be wonderful, but looking at the ups and downs in both barrel price and retail price swings over the years look more like a manipulated market. The most interesting point was the summer of '08's $140 a barrel price then a couple months later $30 a barrel just in time for the election. No big supply or demand news was in evidence, why the change? (hint: we will see a repeat of this in 2012) Recent studies showed in a typical day's trades on the NY Merc one hedge fund had 60 percent of the trades, but nobody asks who are these guys are. I predict the SEC and CFTC will for some reason decide to do their job next fall and look for manipulation. The manipulators holding the price up will back off and the floor will fall through when genuine supply/demand takes hold. So we will have a brief period of relief courtesy of politics, but later in 2013 we will be back to the largest ripoff in human history: energy prices.

    10. Mutantone says:

      And again can some one any one tell me why then we are selling our gas overseas? are they getting the same prices as they would here or or they gouging the US taxpayers by artificial shortages?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.