It is quite popular in some groups these days to protest against big government and government interference in private business. How ironic, then, that many of these same people are now demanding that the government step in to control gasoline prices.
The government doesn’t control gasoline prices, of course. The prime mover in setting gasoline prices is private contracts for gas futures mostly traded on the Chicago Commodities Exchange. They bid the price up and up in an effort to make their millions of dollars in profits.
Over and over, we hear the cry, “let the free market operate without government interference.” Well, that’s what is happening.
It’s also curious that there are loud demands for greatly increased oil production due to a perception of a shortage.
The actual fact is that the U.S. produces 80 percent of its energy needs at present and is far less dependent upon foreign oil than at any time in history. We are actually net exporters of oil.
If the Keystone pipeline is built, most of the oil will actually go to foreign countries (see China.)
Increased production may be a good thing in the long run, but there is certainly no great shortage for now and greatly increasing production wouldn’t lower gasoline prices a penny.
Sadly, this is just one more area where the American public is being intentionally misled for political purposes.