Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

Former House Speaker and current Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has promised voters that gasoline will be $2.50 per gallon after he becomes president. In fact, Gingrich thinks he may even be able to get the price down to $1.20 per gallon. “His promise to go the moon is easier to achieve,” says Michael Lynch, president of the oil consultancy Strategic Energy and Economic Research. “We may see $2.50 per gallon gas again, but not because of anything that any president does.” Gingrich’s pitch is attractive to consumers who are confronting pump prices that average $3.83 per gallon and which are expected to go even higher later this year. Why doesn’t Gingrich promise free daily ice cream and cake for everybody while he’s at it?

Sadly, Gingrich has apparently gotten some traction among voters with his specious promise. After all, who does not hate high gas prices? A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll reports that two-thirds of Americans disapprove of how President Barack Obama is handling the gasoline situation. In addition, only 38 percent approve of his energy policies, down from 55 percent in August 2009.

Why are gasoline prices going up? It’s simple—because oil prices are going up. The price of crude oil accounts for about three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline. Taxes account for another 12 percent or so; refining is about 6 percent; and transportation and distribution is another 6 percent. So what accounts for the higher price of petroleum? Again, it’s simple: demand and supply.

Read more at Reason.com.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

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