The Campaign Spot

Americans Paying $33 More Per Month for Gas Than Last Year

This morning, Obama adviser David Axelrod cheerfully spotlights a Bloomberg story declaring:

The U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency, a goal the nation has been pursuing since the 1973 Arab oil embargo triggered a recession and led to lines at gasoline stations.

The recent increased use of fracking, shale-gas technology, and directional drilling are all wonderful developments — all opposed, of course, by the president’s Green allies. The article talks about the boom in North Dakota, which makes one wonder why the administration wouldn’t want the Keystone XL Pipeline to expand our energy production and transportation capacity.

Meanwhile, all of this surging production still isn’t helping consumers, and that’s likely to be the factor that most moves perception of the economy and votes in the year ahead:

Last month turned out to be the most expensive January ever at U.S. gasoline pumps, boosted by growing economic strength.

January is typically a month of falling gasoline prices because fuel demand falters in the slower travel weeks that follow the year-end holidays.

Not so this year.

In January, retail gasoline prices averaged $3.37 a gallon, according to the Oil Price Information Service, a private fuel information service. That compared with the previous record average for the month of $3.095 a gallon, set last year. In 2010, January gasoline prices averaged just $2.71 a gallon.

The new record meant more pain in Americans’ budgets. A typical household, burning about 50 gallons of gasoline a month, paid about $168.50 for that fuel in January, or $33 more than in January 2010.

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