The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Expect the Perennial ‘Energy Trader’ Scapegoat


With gasoline prices slated to reach an all-time high in 2013, we can expect President Obama to make another pledge to crack down on nefarious energy traders who are driving up prices of oil and gasoline. After all, he made that pledge in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

So why are gas prices rising? The Post lists several reasons, including Middle East tensions, but this one seems key: “Several refineries have been shut down for routine maintenance, and in the eastern United States, several refineries simply went out of business in the past year.”

As you often hear, the United States has not built a new oil refinery since 1976. Hess closed down its last refinery in New Jersey earlier this year. There’s an effort to build a new one in South Dakota, but that effort has been tied up in paperwork, permits, and lawsuits for six years and now people doubt it will ever be built. There’s now talk of a potential one in North Dakota.

Tags: Gas Prices , President Obama


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