Getting To $2.50 Gasoline - A Marketplace Final Report

In this second and final look at how to achieve Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's promise of $2.50 gas, Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal reports on a subsidy strategy discussed in The Atlantic. Earlier he presented a price controls approach.
March 11, 2012, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The Atlantic magazine took another track: $187 billion a year in government subsidies" from the one presented by Marketplace's Sustainability Desk on Feb. 27.

Jordan Weissmann, an associate editor at The Atlantic, determined that $2.50 gallon gas could be achieved with $187 billion in federal subsidies. Of course, that would conflict with Newt's goal of a smaller government, as would the price controls of the Nixon era suggested by Economist Paul Sullivan at the National Defense University in Marketplace's earlier Sustainability Report. (Podcast available).

However, that does not deter the candidate.

"If you would like to have a national American energy policy, never again bow to a Saudi king and pay $2.50 a gallon, Newt Gingrich will be your candidate," he said to cheers (in Burlingame, CA on Feb. 24).

However, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reminded the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 6 that "even if we produce as much as we consume, we'd still have to pay the world market price for crude."

From AP via ABC News: Congress Debates Rise in Gas Prices _ Again: "Waxman and other Democrats said the best way to combat rising oil prices was to reduce U.S. dependence on oil. "There's no silver bullet," he said.

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Published on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in Marketplace (American Public Media)
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