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Gas prices down for the 24th straight day; Update: GOP keeps the heat on

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 11, 2008 07:49 AM


Thanks for nuthin’, Nan!

This is a small relief and we need more access to American oil ASAP to bolster our energy independence and security, but it is good news nonetheless:

Retail gasoline prices fell on average almost a penny overnight, extending declines for the 24th straight day, a survey of gas station credit card swipes showed Sunday.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gas fell to $3.818 from $3.826 the previous day, motorist group AAA found. That’s down more than 7% from the record high of $4.114 that gas prices hit on July 16.

…Oklahoma and Missouri remained the states with the lowest gas prices. The average price in these two states is $3.58 a gallon, down a penny from the previous day. South Carolina is next lowest, with average prices of $3.61 a gallon, down a penny from the day before, AAA found.

Meanwhile, gas prices fell nearly 15 cents in the past two weeks, the publisher of a national survey of self-serve regular gasoline prices said Sunday. The latest Lundberg Survey, carried out on Friday, tallied prices at thousands of gas stations across the country. Publisher Trilby Lundberg put the average price at $3.8472. The average from the previous survey, from July 25, was $3.9959.

The last time gas prices fell by such a margin was in July of last year, Lundberg said. The survey from July 27, 2007, showed that self-serve regular gas prices fell more than 17 cents from the previous survey to $2.8843. Lundberg attributed the recent 14.87-cent drop to a decline in the prices of crude oil. On Friday, crude oil closed at $115.02, down more than $30 from its peak price of more than $145 last month, she said.

Indur Golkany and Jerry Taylor add some helpful perspective:

By June of this year, disposable income had risen by an average of $1,627 per person over last year’s figures, according to the Department of Commerce, while the average person’s real expenditures on gasoline increased by about $490. Our incomes are still outpacing gasoline price increases. The problem is that our incomes aren’t outpacing the increase in gas prices lumped together with increases in everything else — air conditioning, food, etc. Our homes, meanwhile, are losing value.

But gasoline is more affordable than it was during the early 1960s, an era fondly remembered by many as halcyon days of cheap fuel and gas-guzzling American cars. We’re overlooking that context because it’s easier to remember 1998, when we saw the lowest inflation-adjusted gasoline prices in recorded history.

Politicians would do well to remember these historical facts, as well as consumer psychology, when discussing gas prices with voters. Failure to do both will likely result in a government eager to score political points with the electorate by doing exactly the wrong thing.

Are you listening, Gang of 10?

***

The House GOP revolt continues into its second week.

Wanna sign this open letter to Pelosi?

An Open Letter to Speaker Pelosi

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

On Friday August 1, 2008, at 11:23 a.m., your Democrat majority in the House of Representatives adjourned the House for five full weeks.

House Republicans believe that Congress should not go on vacation until we take action to lower gas and energy prices for struggling American families.

For the last two months we and our House Republican colleagues have used every tool at our disposal to try and get you and your Democrat majority to vote on legislation to lower gas and energy prices by expanding environmentally sound domestic production of oil and natural gas, improving energy efficiency, and encouraging the development of alternative energy technologies.

Many of the proposals we have asked you and your Democrat majority to allow us to vote on are bipartisan proposals that we believe would enjoy the support of a majority of the Members of the Congress. Yet because you and your Democrat Leadership personally oppose these proposals, you are not allowing them to come up for a vote. This past Sunday, you even told George Stephanopoulos that you will never allow this vote to occur….

In protest of you and your Democrat majority not allowing an up or down vote on producing more American energy, we and our House Republican colleagues were prepared to take to the floor on Friday, August 1, 2008, and speak to the nation. Rather than allowing that to happen you and your Democrat majority adjourned the House, turned off the television cameras, shut off the microphones and turned out the lights. Nearly 50 House Republicans remained on the floor of the House in defiance speaking to those citizens gathered in the galleries and to the media.

Today we have again returned to the Capitol to continue speaking to the thousands of Americans from all across our country who are visiting the Capitol. We would have preferred if instead we were joined by our colleagues to have a true debate on this issue that ended in an up or down vote.

We think it is unconscionable that Congress has gone on vacation before we have addressed the high gas prices that are crippling our economy and hurting millions of families. We are asking that you reconvene the House from your five-week vacation and schedule a vote on legislation to increase American energy production. Let us be clear, we are not asking for a guaranteed outcome, just the chance to vote.

Signed by: John Boehner, Republican Leader; Roy Blunt, Republican Whip; Adam Putnam, Republican Conference Chairman; Eric Cantor, Chief Deputy Whip; and Members of the House Republican Conference

Sign here.

***

Update 11:23am. Keeping the heat on. Just got e-mail notification…GOP Rep. Mike Pence will be on the Rush Limbaugh Show at 12:30 p.m. EDT to discuss Republican efforts on the House floor to bring an up or down vote on a comprehensive energy plan that includes domestic drilling.

c

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