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Posted at 07:17 AM ET, 02/21/2012

The GOP’s disconnect on gas prices

While Ed deserves credit for flagging rising gas prices as an emerging Republican advantage, the GOP’s prosecution of it has a depressing familiarity: Drill, baby drill. Those who don’t remember history are doomed to repeat it, I guess.

Gas prices are driven by: 1.) geo-political forces, exaggerated by an active futures market. Day-to-day supply and demand are secondary to speculation about what might happen to supply given the latest in Iran, Venezuela or Mexico; 2.) a falling U.S. dollar; and 3.) the market’s conclusion that “peak oil” has arrived with the coming on line of India’s and China’s automobile ownership.

To further demonstrate the disconnect between traditional laws of supply and demand when it comes to gas prices, consumption in the United States is down and production is at a six-year high.

As in many areas of the world’s economy, the United States can no longer impose its will on energy prices. Indeed, in this area, one would have thought we would have learned a lesson more than a generation ago when OPEC brought us to our knees. But it seems not. Republicans, as they so often do, turn the Robert Kennedy quote on its head: They see a world that once was, and cannot be again, and say, “Why not?”

By  |  07:17 AM ET, 02/21/2012

 
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