**Written by Doug Powers
Now that it’s confirmed in the minds of all but those terminally afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome that rising gas prices this time around aren’t the fault of two oil men in the White House, barring the miraculous, the price of gas will be one of President Obama’s major election year opponents:
Gasoline prices are rising at an almost unheard-of pace, and painfully so in California, where the cost for a fill-up now exceeds $4 a gallon in five cities and is approaching that dreaded mark in numerous others, including San Jose and Oakland.
The statewide average of $3.96 on Friday is 25 cents higher than just a month ago and 46 cents more than this time last year. The price jumped a nickel from Thursday, a huge increase, as day-to-day changes are usually measured in fractions of a penny.
Some oil analysts predict $4.50 a gallon or more by Memorial Day on the West Coast and major cities across the United States such as Chicago, New York and Atlanta. Prices in that range could be a major issue in the presidential campaign, especially if they slow the nation’s economic recovery.
“I give $4.50-per-gallon gasoline on the West Coast better than 50-50 odds,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com. “Some stations could be closer to $5 in remote areas. … It’s just a matter of time before motorists are again ransacked at the pump.”
The rising price of gas hasn’t escaped the notice of Washington. The Associated Press reported Friday that the threat of higher gas prices could lead President Barack Obama to authorize the sale of oil from the country’s emergency reserves, as he did once before.
“We never take options off the table,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday.
The emergency reserve option will be more on the table than ever if we’re heading into autumn without a significant price drop.
While rising gas prices can be blamed on a plethora of factors, points on which the Republican nominee should be relentless are Obama’s opposition to opening up ANWR, the EPA blocking drilling elsewhere in and around Alaska, the Gulf moratorium, Keystone Pipeline denial, and the list goes on. Couple that with billions in loans to countries like Columbia so refineries there can be upgraded there while refineries in the US and Europe are being shuttered and Canada tries to send their oil to China instead of getting the runaround from US officials, and Obama is forced to deal with an election year headache that he didn’t seem to mind bringing on himself for the sake of forcing a “green economy” into existence.
On the topic of energy independence, here’s some common Democrat rationale for opposing ANWR drilling:
“There won’t be a thimble of oil for seven to 10 years,” said a spokesman for Democrats on the Senate Energy Committee.
That was said almost eight years ago. I thought Democrats were the ones billing themselves as the “forward thinkers.”
Here’s the correlation between gas prices and presidential approval going back to the days of Cap’n Malaise (h/t Powerline):
But it’s not even March yet. Amazing things can happen as elections approach. By then, if taxpayer subsidies keep getting upped on Volts, Obama might be handing them out like lollipops on the campaign trail and giving each voter a crisp $20 bill just to take one.
**Written by Doug Powers
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