I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that gas prices have been on the rise lately, and they’re expected to go higher throughout the summer -- which is like saying we expect the weather to get warmer throughout the summer. Gas prices always rise during the summer for two basic reasons: millions of people are traveling on vacation, and the government imposes a baffling array of different fuel mixtures that are an expensive pain for refineries to comply with. Plus, they’re specific to different parts of the country so shortages can’t be fixed simply by bringing gas in from somewhere else.
Ironically, Democrats who are watching their hoped-for “blue wave” recede like blue-tinted Ty-D-Bowl water swirling down the toilet plan to use higher gas prices as an election year weapon by blaming them on Trump. Alex Griswold at the Washington Free Beacon traces the history of this tactic, which has been used by whichever party is out of power for decades, despite the limited power that Presidents have over trends in the international energy industry. Democrats argue that since Trump blamed Obama for high gas prices, it’s fair for them to blame Trump (and please forget that when Obama was blamed, they argued that Presidents have no control over gas prices.)
I would respectfully disagree with his contention that Presidents have no control over gas prices. While it might be difficult for Presidents to bring them down, they can help drive them up. Obama’s Administration was unprecedented in that it was the first time we had a President who openly declared war on the fossil fuel industry and did everything in his power to restrict drilling and shut down mines, refineries and power plants while showering tax money on well-connected “green energy” companies, like the now-defunct Solyndra. There’s not a lot Trump can do to bring down prices during the summer, but at least he’s reversed previous policies that seemed deliberately crafted to drive them up (remember, when Obama first ran, there were people around him who openly declared that it would be great for the environment if gas cost $10 a gallon and they wanted to do everything possible to make that happen.)
But to add an extra layer of irony to the Democrats’ plan to blame higher gas prices on Trump: the highest gas prices in America are in blue states and can clearly be attributed to Democratic policies. For instance, in California, a whopping 92 cents of the cost of every gallon of gas is taxes. Just last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed another 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax hike that was supposed to pay for fixing the state’s roads; but so far, nearly 28 projects (many of them liberal pet projects such as electric buses and light rail) have been granted money from the tax receipts, and none have anything to do with fixing the roads. It would have been cheaper for California's taxpayers just to go out into the streets and fill all the potholes with their money.
At the link is a list of various government policies, from bans on building new refineries to zoning laws that block new gas stations, that keep fuel prices sky high in blue states like California. See if you can spot any of them that Trump or any other Republicans support.