The stock market started off 2012 with a strong rally, but so did gasoline prices. The January increase was listed as one of the steepest ever and had market forecasters calling for prices as high as $5 per gallon at some point in 2012. The average price of gas has yet to reach that price, based on a national average, but it could still happen if the summer driving season comes in more active than expected, or if Middle East tensions increase again.
With the presidential election set for later this year, politicians are getting active in advocating ways to lower prices at the pump. Below are three ways that Obama could advocate to lower gas prices. The short-term impact might be minimal, but it could help the U.S. lower prices over time and also depend less on more volatile supplies.
Push Toward Domestic Energy
In March 2011, the White House released some details on a plan to secure the nation’s energy future. Its first point was to expand domestic oil and gas production. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique that sends a mix of water, chemicals or sand into the ground to break apart rock and release gas. Drilling for oil can be done in a similar fashion that utilizes new techniques and technologies that allow for the oil to be extracted from wells that were thought dry under older methods.