No Relief in Sight for Gasoline Prices
It is time to make a real push into developing alternative sources of energy. There is no reason why we cannot develop a more economical, more effective and more efficient source. There are real solutions and they do not have to be driven by the government.
“Nationally, pump prices rose an average of 2.2 cents a gallon to $2.376 on Wednesday, according to AAA â€” 27% above a year ago. In Southern California, where gasoline prices typically run well above the national norm, a gallon of regular hit a record $2.676 on Wednesday, up almost 13 cents from a month ago and 26% higher than the year-ago price of $2.120. Diesel fuel prices also set new records in California and around the country.
The latest jump in crude prices â€” which have climbed 14% in the last three weeks â€” killed a Wednesday morning rally on Wall Street as investors fretted that high energy prices could throttle the U.S. economy.
Economists, however, noted that oil would need to rise to more than $85 a barrel to top the inflation-adjusted peak hit in 1980. That, and the fact that the United States uses fuel more efficiently today, helps explain why the economy has been able to absorb the surge in energy costs.
“We as a nation are not as oil dependant as we were back then,” said Christopher Thornberg, senior economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast.
Consumers in Europe and Japan have been paying close to $4 a gallon for gasoline for years, he added. “To some extent, people are going to have to suck it up and realize this is a new reality.”
The Bush administration said this week that although high energy prices were taking a toll on consumers, they were not slowing the overall economy.
“It’s been a resilient economy, it’s responded well and job creation has proceeded apace,” said Ben Bernanke, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.”