According to Andrew Olson, the problem is not the price of gasoline, but the value of the Dollar.
In 1980, in Portland, Oregon, I typically filled up, under these draconian conditions, for an average of $1.24 per gallon. Adjusted for inflation, this comes out to $3.18 today. (I filled up in Lodi, NJ, last weekend for $2.92, and that was the highest I’d seen it in quite awhile.) A short year later, however, 9 months after Reagan finished deregulating oil and gas, the price fell to $0.80/gallon.
In 2001 (pre-9/11, pre-war), I could fill up near my home for $1.54/gal. Adjusted backward for inflation to 1981, that price was – you may have guessed it – $0.80. So for twenty straight years, the price (and supply) of gas was actually disgustingly stable, only subject to the effects of currency inflation.
He also notes:
The other day, I saw crude prices hit a peak of $104 a barrel. But that’s about €68. So, if by some miracle, the dollar could restrengthen itself back to par with the Euro (seems like a forlorn hope, I know), the crude price would lower itself accordingly to $68 per barrel, which would mean a savings of about $1.30 at the pump.
The price of gasoline hasn’t changed, but the value of the dollar certainly has. Funny, how no matter how much we want to blame big oil, somehow the price stays stable against a stable form of currency.
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