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Gas prices could fall by 50 cents this summer; Democrats try to end Big Oil's tax breaks

Gas prices in San Francisco

Gas prices are not just the bane of consumers, who feel the pain at the pump, but also of politicians, who may get punched out at the polls if they are seen as being part of the problem.

Donald Trump, once he saw that banging the birther drum could only last so long, brazenly promised that if he were president and the United States was involved in foreign wars with oil-rich countries, he would "take" their oil after the conflict ended and the U.S. had won.

The Republican billionaire feels so strongly about this that if you disagree with him, even if you regularly appear on the GOP-friendly "O'Reilly Factor," Trump will call you a sad fool.

Although such made-for-TV bickering may be entertaining, Fred Rozell, the retail-pricing director at the Oil Price Information Service predicts that gas prices, which that typically balloon in the spring and fall in the summer, will drop by approximately 50 cents in the coming months.

Gas station owners, Rozell told the Associated Press, were caught on the wrong end of the dipstick recently as wholesale oil prices rose faster than they could adjust their retail prices. That trend will reverse this summer, Rozell predicted.

"So station owners will be watching each other this summer," Rozell said. "When one guy drops, so will the other."

A 50-cent drop in gas prices is estimated to save U.S. motorists about $189 million a day.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats this week will attempt to push through legislation that would end $21 billion in tax breaks being given to five oil companies (BP, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron and Conoco Phillips) and redirect those funds to green energy alternatives.

On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing during which Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is expected to ask executives of major oil companies why American taxpayers need to add to the coffers of those companies, which have known little else but record profits over the years.

"Big Oil certainly doesn't need the collective money of taxpayers in this country," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) told the New York Times. "This is as good a time as any in terms of pain at the pump and in revenues needed for deficit reduction."

A few weeks ago House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) seemed to agree that this is probably not the right time for the U.S. to be handing billions of dollars over to Big Oil.

"We're in a time when the federal government's short on revenues," Boehner told ABC News late last month. "They ought to be paying their fair share. Everybody wants to go after the oil companies and frankly, they've got some part of this to blame."

RELATED:

In rural Alaska, $8.60 for a gallon of gasoline

Gas prices could reach $4.25 nationally by Memorial Day

President Obama asks Congress to eliminate tax breaks for the oil industry

-- Tony Pierce
Twitter.com/busblog

Photo: A Union 76 station in San Francisco. Credit: Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (4)

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Now we can be just like Paris where everybody rides scooters and gas is 7$/gallon. Its so romantic to be riding with your lady through the streets of 'gay Paris'. That is until you get clocked by a Peugot who is in more of a hurry than you and can afford the gas bill.

The main concern regarding gas prices should be the overabundance of speculation in the oil/gas futures market by investor riffraff. Its amazing how politicians are playing political football with this issue and yet aren't even close to the real issue. Schork reported there are 4 times the number of speculative trades by people not taking delivery as 2008. Chilton is a commissioner who is also trying to solve the issue as seen here:

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4670102/fraud-manipulation-driving-up-oil-prices

No general economic recovery, no housing recovery until the investor riffraff gets out of the market. Its an antitrust, anti free market issue at its core.

It seems a yearly trend for gas to go up a dollar, make us suffer, then go down half a dollar six months later and make us feel like we are now getting cheaper fuel...Am I alone in this thought?

The title of the article is very misleading considering the two topics have little to do with one another.

Gas prices could drop $2.00 a gallon but they won't since Congress and the Big Bird Obama don't care about the low and "soon-to-be-obsolete-middleclass" voters. They are both in the pockets of Big Oil and beholding to the Saudi's that funded the 9/11 attacks and funded the hiding of OBLaden for 10 years. They take our money and make us look like fools. OF COURSE WE ARE!!!!!! there is no getting around it. We are a greedy society who's only goal is to out do the Jones' in income and personal property. To hell with everyone else. The national debt is a figment of the Fed Res and the IMF and global bankers all 7 of them that hold this country and others by the ba--s (cahones) . Well as they say, Life Sucks then you die.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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