The Gingrich Gas Delusion

Mar 15 2012 @ 6:32pm

Ronald Bailey unloads on Newt's pledge to secure $2.50 gasoline as president:

Why doesn’t Gingrich promise free daily ice cream and cake for everybody while he’s at it? … While it is true that the Obama administration has ruled out drilling on vast areas of the federal estate, the number of oil and gas rigs operating in the U.S. has nonetheless increased markedly in recent years. Indeed, it is not surprising that as the price of petroleum soared so too did the number of drilling rigs. The oil and gas rig count has increased to more than 1,900, up from around 700 [PDF] in 2000. … 

If Gingrich wants to lower oil prices, perhaps he should stop his saber-rattling against Iran.

"If there’s an effective diplomatic outreach here that pushes back the prospect of a military confrontation with Tehran, we probably have something on order of $20-$30 a barrel geopolitical risk premium that could drop out of the oil price very dramatically," wrote Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York in the Financial Times. Oil consultant [Michael] Lynch agreed. "The recent run up the price of oil is almost completely the result of concerns about losing Iranian oil or Iran attacking shipments in the Strait of Hormuz," he says.