Record-Setting Gas Prices as Summer Ends
The AP is reporting that gas prices for August 20 penciled out at $3.72 a gallon, setting a record for that date. AAA is warning that there are likely to be several other single-day records set before Labor Day.
AAA says drivers paid an average of $3.72 per gallon Monday, which is the highest price on record for Aug. 20. The auto club says more daily highs are likely over the next few weeks.
The national average has risen nearly 12 percent since July 1 because of higher oil prices, and some problems with refineries and pipelines. But it has stabilized over the past few days and many analysts still expect the price of gas to fall after Labor Day.
Meanwhile, oil prices are falling as concerns resurface about Europe's economy. Benchmark oil fell 61 cents to $95.40 in New York. Brent crude dropped 44 cents to $113.27 in London.
The increase in central Illinois has been about 38 cents a gallon since early Summer (personal observation). Everytime I've bought gas in the last couple of months, I've heard people complaining about the price of fuel. The distress is universal. I would say that the price of food and fuel are causing a lot of people great concern, as we are spending 15% more for food than we were in the spring. Couple that with the rising cost of gas and you have the two most important household budget items pretty much spiraling out of control.
It's hard to gauge the political impact of high food and fuel prices because many voters don't connect their pain necessarily to the government - or Obama. A WaPo poll taken last March shows that only 21% blame the administration for high gas prices while 28% blame the oil companies and 25% blame oil producing countries. Still, Obama got horrible numbers for his handling of the energy problem with more than 60% disapproving.
It's up to Romney to show the voter why his policies will lead to lower costs while showing that the president's policies bear a lot of the responsibility for high gas prices.