Let me start by saying that I was never one of the people that believed that saying “lets start drilling more in America right now” would lower the cost of gas immediately. I’m smart enough to realize that it takes time for new drilling projects to put oil into the system. This has been the main argument from the democrats against increased domestic drilling. What I do find really interesting though is that since President Bush removed the executive ban on domestic drilling on July 14th the cost of oil actually has dramatically decreased in price. You don’t believe me? On July 11th, the Friday before Bush removed the ban, the price of a barrel of crude oil was $147.25. Today that cost is $114.78. And just to get back to the cost of gasoline, here are the prices for those dates too. On July 14th the national average for a gallon of gasoline was $4.11. On August 18th it was $3.74.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to say that President Bush’s action was solely responsible for the 22% drop in the cost of oil and the 10% drop in the cost of gas. At the same time though I think it would be a mistake to think that it didn’t play into it at all.
Of course this is an election year, so I think we should also take a quick look at where the candidates fall in regards to this. John McCain supported lifting the ban, and thinks we should continue to drill more at home, in addition to incentivizing research and development of renewable energy sources. Democrat Barack Obama opposed the lifting of the ban. Although it appears that Obama’s position on the issue may be changing.