High gas prices

High Gas Prices – Mission Accomplished!

The Promise

In January 2008 – one year before he took office – Obama said that under his [energy] plan, prices of electricity will skyrocket!

A year later, in January 2009, he was sworn into office as President. 

On December 12, 2008, the Wall Street Journal published an interview with, Dr. Steven Chu, Director of the Lawrence National Laboratory (Obama’s future Secretary of Energy) in which he declared as a national goal to bring gas prices up to European levels.

Dr. Chu said: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels of Europe…“.

Raising U.S. gasoline prices to European levels, said Chu, would encourage — or, more accurately, force — Americans to move to neighborhoods closer to work and dump their trucks and SUVs for Chinese bikes and scooter-like Smart Cars.

Six weeks later, on January 21, 2009, he was sworn into office as President Obama’s Secretary of Energy. 

The Premise

We ended 2008 with an average U.S. retail price of $1.67 for all grades of gasoline. In contrast, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline that summer was $6.78 in Greece, $8.24 in Italy, and $9.39 in the Netherlands – a whopping $7.72 higher than in the U.S. – according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average U.S. household purchases 1,100 gallons of gasoline per year.

This means that a $7.72 price increase per gallon would cost the average American family an extra $8,492 per year

The Reality

Since Obama took office, gas prices in America more than doubled.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in February 2009 was $1.928. On April 8 2012 it rose to $3.929 – a whopping 103.79% – more than double!


In fact, while just barely, Obama has seen an even higher gas price increase than Carter dealt with under his administration.

Gas Price Change
Average Price in February of First Year of Presidency
Average Price in Last Month of Presidency
Carter + 103.77% 0.637 1.298
Reagan – 66% 1.382 0.918
George H.W. Bush + 20% 0.926 1.117
Clinton + 32% 1.108 1.472
George W. Bush + 20% 1.484 1.787
Obama, Comparing Current Price as of April 8, 2012 + 103.79%
1.928 3.929

Mission accomplished! Well, almost. We’re not yet at $9 a gallon, but we’re on track getting there. 

The Affirmation

On February 28, 2012 Secretary of Energy Mr. Chu reaffirmed this policy: When asked ‘point blank’ whether it was the overall policy of the Dept. of Energy to lower prices of gasoline in America, he answered: “No!”

In testimony before Congress, when Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) asked Chu whether it’s his “overall goal to get our price” of gasoline lower, Chu interrupted him and said: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.”



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