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President does not have impact on rising gas prices

Posted at 6:30 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 19:49:37-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many of us drive past the gas station and see gas prices going higher and higher in the last few weeks.

Johnny Hernandez was visiting The Island on Friday from Maryland. He said gas is more expensive out in Maryland, but finds it to still be expensive in Corpus Christi.

“I find, myself, whenever I fill my truck — because I have a truck about this size — I spend about $80,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said people in Maryland are noticing gas prices are going up, and believe it’s because of political policies affecting pipelines.

“The gas prices in Maryland are fairly higher just because it’s in the Eastern Seaboard," he said. "The pipeline stuff — everybody’s scared of that still, so it’s just higher there.”

A picture of President Joe Biden was found earlier this week at a gas pump at the Shell station on Park Road 22. The picture of the president is pointing to the gas pump price with the words “I did that.”

So does the president or his policies affect the price of gas?

David Smith, a political analyst, said — in short — he does not, regardless of political party. He said some policies based on the president’s party could affect gas prices, but not too much.

“It's not so much a short-term decision or implementation, but a long-term impact, and we won't know what the roles are of the party or the president until that time period has elapsed,” Smith said.

Smith said things that do affect gas prices are natural disasters, hurricanes, and the pandemic. Some, however, plan ahead.

“Knowing that Biden was going to be elected, a lot of the oil and gas companies had pre-planned for that event and had secured permits for drilling in federal-protected lands,” Smith said.

Smith said the upcoming holidays are affecting gas prices because more people will be traveling. He said when refiners go back to work at full capacity or almost at full capacity, gas prices should be going down.

Jim Lee, an economics professor at TAMUCC, said there is no statistical evidence pointing to a correlation between oil policy and the president in power. He said gas prices are impacted by supply and demand on a global scale. He said this is the highest gas prices have been in about seven years.

“Gasoline prices are not affected — at least, permanently — by any government policy," he said. "Globally, you need to understand OPEC may have some inference but then again that’s not going to be permanent."