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Chart: Even More Proof We Can't Drill Our Way to Lower Gas Prices Chart: Even More Proof We Can't Drill Our Way to Lower Gas Prices

Chart: Even More Proof We Can't Drill Our Way to Lower Gas Prices

by Ben Jervey
May 1, 2011

Yesterday, the office of House Speaker John Boehner posted this graph on their blog, saying that "gas prices have doubled since President Obama took office."

While that statement is factually true, it's also intentionally deceptive. What isn't even factually true is this line from their blog post:

The President’s anti-energy policies are not just driving up gas prices, they are costing American jobs and perpetuating our dependence on foreign oil.

Explain this graph then, Mr. Speaker.

The red line is the average price of gasoline in Canada, and the blue line represents the price in the United States. The green line is the price of crude oil. You see for yourself on GasBuddy.com. As even a first grader could tell you, the three lines—while not equal—follow the same track.

But there is more to it. The United States and Canada are both big oil producers, but Canadians export most of the oil that they produce. NRDC's Deron Lovass, who originally posted a link to the chart above, explains:

And Canada? Canada produces about 3.3 million barrels a day, and consumes almost 2.2 million barrels daily. Canada is a big net-exporter, sending a lot of fuel, for example, into U.S. gas tanks.

Canada, with its vast resources and small population, can’t drill its way out of price runups because they’re shackled to a global oil marketplace. And we are too.

So if we want to know what would happen to U.S. gas prices we were not only to drill more, but to drill so much more that we were able to export, we simply look to Canada. Canada, that nation to our north where they pay more for gasoline than we do, and where their gas prices have tracked ours—up and down, on the wild OPEC roller coaster ride.

Now most of the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less"-spouting public is simply ignorant of the economics here. Unless you really dig in, it's hard to understand why increasing supply wouldn't have much effect on prices. (The short answer: because even our most ambitious oil production possible is such a small sliver of global supply and domestic demand.) But Speaker Boehner and others in Congress who are arguing that we can drill our way to lower gas prices can't claim ignorance. They know better. They are lying.

The GOP has said outright that the message that they're going to be driving for the next month, at least, is that gas prices are high because of the President's policies. As Canada is evidence, this is blatantly false, and a caustic deception of the American public. Boehner's office should be ashamed that they're spending their time and energy misleading Americans and not trying to address the true cause of our high gas prices: the fact that our demand far outstrips supply.

Yesterday I noted that Boehner has received more than $800,000 dollars from coal and oil companies, and that might be clouding his judgement. I also linked to a deliberately deceptive and biased poll he posted on Facebook. Please go and tell him to stop lying to Americans.

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