In those six weeks, the only significant energy policy change at the White House was to make new coal production nearly impossible and thus vastly increase the cost of electricity. So, it is hard to assign this slight dip to the president after a record 75 straight weeks of prices exceeding $3.00. However, it is true that the president is not entirely responsible for gas prices.
Market and economic conditions play a large role. With unemployment creeping back up, new global turmoil and summer travel on the wane due to a sagging economy, demand is surely dropping. But that does not mean, and has never meant, that the president’s policies or Congressional action does not play any role in gas prices.
After three years of adding regulatory hurdles and blocking exploratory access and development, President Obama’s policies are helping keep prices higher than necessary. Having only three percent of federal land available for oil exploration is not a “market condition.”
But we are in luck. There are several steps Congress can immediately take, and President Obama can immediately support, that will help alleviate the pain felt at the pump by American families and would create economic growth, and importantly, jobs.