This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Debate Comes Up Empty on Gasoline Prices

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Tuesday night's Presidential debate brought energy policy and gas prices into sharp focus, at least for a minute.

Both sides made some important points and both had exaggerations in their stories. But let's see what the real facts are.

A question emerged whether the U.S. government can or should try to control the price of gasoline, certainly a question that affects all of us and particularly powerful as a political question.

In broad strokes, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, correctly pointed out that gas prices have doubled under the Obama administration and promised to lower them, although much of the policy changes he mentions would do little to help.

Even complete North American independence of crude oil, an unrealized wish of every administration since Richard Nixon, wouldn't help entirely relieve the U.S. of its participation in our global energy market. Under the financialized mess that the global oil markets have become, the U.S. consumer is forced to bear the burdens of Europe and China.

Complain if you want, but it's unfortunately true.

So domestic production is, at best, a partial answer to high gas prices but on this score there were some interesting points that were made last night:

Romney truthfully stated that production on federal lands was down, but President Obama correctly pointed out the 40,000 federal leases that have gone unexplored and undrilled and is largely why the Interior department has rescinded many of those leases.

Obama correctly stated that oil production in the United States is up -- specifically, by more than 1.5 million barrels a day since 2007, a turnaround in U.S. crude production that had been sloping downward for almost 25 years.

However, Romney was almost surely correct that those gains had been made mostly in spite of the current administration and not because of it. It has instead been the fast advance of new techniques to find and extract oil from new wells and extract more oil from old wells that has revitalized production here in the U.S.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $109.50 -1.16%
FB $92.47 0.08%
GOOG $639.16 -0.50%
TSLA $226.72 -2.26%
YHOO $32.37 1.57%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,050.75 +138.46 0.82%
S&P 500 2,013.43 +15.91 0.80%
NASDAQ 4,810.7880 +19.6360 0.41%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs