Reporting Jason DeRusha
Filed underBusiness, Consumer, Good Question, Local, News, Seen On WCCO-TV, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen, WCCO-TV Shows
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Remember a month ago when people were wondering if voters would take out their frustration with high gas prices on the president?
Not anymore. Gas prices have dropped — big time.
So, are gas prices dropping because of the election?
It’s a good time to gas up – prices hover around $3.20 a gallon.
Not long ago, we were flirting with $4 gas.
But it’s not surprising that some are suspicious of a 60-cent drop in the month just before the election.
Is there a connection?
“No, not really at all,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.com. “If you move the presidential election to the spring time when gas prices are always going up, people would probably cite it, too.”
The questions about presidential politics manipulating prices at the pump aren’t new.
Back in 2006, a CBS news story reported that before the mid-term congressional elections, 42 percent of America thought the Bush Administration messed with gas prices.
Before the last presidential election in 2008, gas was at $3.74 in August.
Just after the election, in November, it was $2.07.
“You’re not getting out the boat, going in the lake in the winter” DeHaan said. “You’re not going to the beach, not having outdoor barbecues.”
He continued: “Why would prices under Bush and Obama be $3 during their presidency if they could control it? If they could, trust me, we wouldn’t be spending billions of dollars on tax relief only to see it undone by energy prices. It’s just stupid.”
So we’re driving less right now, and we’re using winter-blend gasoline, which is cheaper to produce, because they use butane instead of more expensive ingredients that keep pollution down.