Republican presidential candidates have renewed a common claim: Unleashing American oil drillers could give cash-strapped motorists relief at the gas pump.
Leaving aside the question of whether cheap gasoline and heavy gasoline consumption are sustainable behaviors that considers the fuel needs of future generations — would this actually work?
Well, we don’t have to argue and speculate. There is data. The Associated Press has taken a look at that data. The answer seems to be clear: There is no correlation between U.S. oil production and fuel prices.
Closer to home, we might also take note of the fact that today’s average gasoline price in Bellingham — $4.17 for regular — is painful but has not yet exceeded the previous record of $4.50. That record was set in June 2008, after almost eight years with a former Texas oil man in the White House. (Data from AAA Washington.)