Congressman “DoRight” and some good news

My friend Congressman DoRight just called. Remember him from a previous blog? He said he had some exciting news.

According to CNN Money (June 15, 2012),  average gas prices have come down about 40 cents, or 10 percent, since their peak of near $4 a gallon. U.S. drivers will use about 133 billion gallons of gasoline this year. This price drop saves the country and its people $53 billion.

Even though Over a Barrel had called attention to the decrease in the cost of gasoline recently, I was excited to hear from him. After all, in today’s economy, where, without debate, can we find what is an imputed tax cut for residents of the U.S.? DoRight hoped that maybe the savings could stimulate retail sales and investment. I (nicely) warned DoRight that with a return to economic health in the U.S, Asia and Europe, continued tension in the Middle East and the higher extraction cost of oil resulting from drilling in shale and water, over time, oil prices (as many Wall Street analysts suggest) are likely to rise again.

I also asked him to think, seriously, about ways to open the oil market to competition, particularly related to transportation.  We discussed several possibilities like initiating an Open Fuel Standard, increasing competition from alternative fuels like methanol, and significantly expanding the production of flex fuel cars.

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About Marshall Kaplan

Marshall Kaplan is the former Dean of the Graduate School of Public Affairs at University of Colorado and held the Wirth Chair in Energy, Climate Change and Community Development. He also served in the Carter and Kennedy administrations and as an Advisor to Assistant Secretary Floyd Hyde when George Romney was Secretary of HUD. He was a principal in the policy advisory firm of Marshall Kaplan, Gans and Kahn. Marshall has written several books and numerous articles on regional and urban policy, New Towns, poverty, infrastructure, environment and social welfare policy. He was honored by the Colorado ADL for his contributions to the nation and community in the early 1980s.