HolyCoast: Higher Gas Prices and Higher Disapproval Levels

Monday, March 12, 2012

Higher Gas Prices and Higher Disapproval Levels

Higher gas prices are hitting every American in the pocketbook and hitting Obama in his approval ratings:
Disapproval of President Obama’s handling of the economy is heading higher — alongside gasoline prices — as a record number of Americans now give the president “strongly” negative reviews on the 2012 presidential campaign’s most important issue, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Increasingly pessimistic views of Obama’s performance on the economy — and on the federal budget deficit — come despite a steadily brightening employment picture and other signs of economic improvement, and they highlight the political sensitivity of rising gas prices.

The potential political con­sequences are clear, with the ­rising public disapproval reversing some of the gains the president had made in hypothetical general-election matchups against possible Republican rivals for the White House. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.) now both run about evenly with Obama. The findings come just five weeks after Obama appeared to be getting a boost from the improving economy.

Gas prices are a main culprit: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the situation at the pump, where rising prices have already hit hard. Just 26 percent approve of his work on the issue, his lowest rating in the poll. Most Americans say higher prices are already taking a toll on family finances, and nearly half say they think that prices will continue to rise, and stay high.
I've said for months that the President CAN affect gas prices, not by releasing oil from the Strategic Reserve, but by changing the perception of the future gas market. Obama says his plan is to do "everything", but what he really means is we'll allow minimal drilling while pouring millions into unproven technologies that fail as soon as the government funding runs out (see Solyndra and numerous other "green" companies). He likes to brag that oil production is up, but what he isn't telling anyone is that production is coming from private land where the federal government can't stop it. Production from federal lands is down.

Obama can jumpstart his campaign and bring relief to consumers by simply opening up federal lands to drilling, reopening drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, allowing drilling to take place in ANWR, and most of all, allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to be completed as soon as possible. We've got oil piling up in Oklahoma because there's no way to move it to refineries on the Gulf. Producing more oil is pretty useless if you can't get it to the refineries. The Keystone pipeline is supposed to relieve some of those transportation problems.

If he were to do this, you'd see an immediate downward pressure on oil prices and speculators look to the future and see more oil available for the markets. He's cutting his own throat if he chooses to ignore the things that would fix this problem. There aren't enough radical environmentalists to guarantee his re-election - he's going to need a lot of regular folks too.


Nightingale said...

Obama is an ideologue. You can't reason with them.

Sam L. said...

He's getting what he wanted: higher prices.

He got what he wanted: Obamacare.

And that's part of why we are so unhappy.