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When the price of gas increases at the pump, there is a lot of speculation as to the reason. Over the years, people have heard several myths as to why prices rise and who is to blame. As a result, there are several misconceptions surrounding this essential commodity. The following is a list of the five most popular myths about the price of gas. Fighting in the Middle East always causes Higher Prices While turmoil in the Middle East seems to be a recurring news story, the fighting may have little impact on the price of gas. The fighting must affect investor sentiment about possible supply disruptions from major oil producers. If the conflict remains contained in a small non-oil producing area, trouble in the Middle East will have little effect on the price of gas. Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will Lower Prices The Strategic Petroleum Reserve contains approximately a 30-day supply of oil. This small amount is not enough to affect prices long-term. While releasing supply may dampen prices slightly, the added demand required to refill the strategic reserve will cause prices to rise, negating any earlier benefits. The Administration Controls the Price of Oil Whether the president of the United States is a Democrat or Republican, the administration does not control the price of gas. For years, one side of the aisle blamed President Bush and now the other side is singling out President Obama. While domestic energy policies can influence prices, market forces determine the price of gas long term. Oil Companies Produce Less in the spring to cause Prices to rise in the Summer Prices rise in the spring as inventories drop due to refiners switching from winter blends to summer blends as mandated by the EPA. Prices also rise during the summer driving season due to the increase in demand. The American Economy Requires Cheap Gas While inexpensive gas helps consumers save money, the American economy has continued to grow in the face of rising prices. Advanced economies in Europe and Asia have faced significantly higher gas prices than Americans. These economies have continued to grow and produce higher standards of living. Economic factors like current supply and demand as well as investor sentiment about future changes are the main driving force behind the price of gas. When supply and demand are tight and investors believe that the situation will continue, prices rise. When the opposite occurs, the price of gas will fall. Information Credit The information from this article is credited to Fusion Resource LLC.
Simon Leufstedt posted a article in Business & PoliticsA few days ago I wrote about Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, the three front-runners in the Republican primary, and just where they stand politically when it comes to our climate and environment. As one can imagine their anti-science positions and climate skepticism didn't result in a very positive environmental record. Now one of the more unknown Republican candidates in the primary have spoken out against his fellow Republican party members for their anti-science rhetoric. It's the former Utah Governor and former Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman who said in an interview on ABC's This Week this past Sunday that the climate change skepticism coming from Romney, Bachmann and Perry is "not a winning formula" saying he "wouldn't necessarily trust any" of his opponents. Since my post last week the three front-runners have attended more campaign rallies and said more crazy things. For example: At a political rally in New Hampshire last week, Rick Perry continued to deny global warming and said that "there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects". Michele Bachmann on the other hand said at a rally in South Carolina that she will make sure that gasoline cost less than $2 a gallon again, if she becomes president. This is of course impossible and Stephen Lacey has a great post about this crazy dream from Bachmann over at Climate Progress. During the interview on ABC's This Week, Hunstman attacked Romney, Bachmann and Perry and said that the Republican party will be on the "losing side" if they continue to attack science. Here is an excerpt from Huntsman's interview where he attacks mainly Perry's stance on global warming, evolution and science: "I think there's a serious problem. The minute that the Republican Party becomes the party - the anti-science party, we have a huge problem. We lose a whole lot of people who would otherwise allow us to win the election in 2012. When we take a position that isn't willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Science - Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man's contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position. The Republican Party has to remember that we're drawing from traditions that go back as far as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, President Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush. And we've got a lot of traditions to draw upon. But I can't remember a time in our history where we actually were willing to shun science and become a - a party that - that was antithetical to science. I'm not sure that's good for our future and it's not a winning formula." He also attacked Bachmann's $2 gasoline promise: "I just don't know what - what world that comment would come from, you know? We live in the real world. It's grounded in reality. And gas prices just aren't going to rebound like that. But just as we are in a static world, that is completely unrealistic. And, again, it's talking about things that, you know, may pander to a particular group or sound good at the time, but it just simply is not founded in reality." Hopefully Huntsman can bring some sanity when it comes to science and climate change to the Republican primary and the coming presidential election. You can watch the full interview with Huntsman here.