Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sid Salter: Soaring gas prices illustrate why GOP expect gains in the 2022 midterm elections

 Over the last 30 years, the highest U.S. gas prices were recorded at $4.114 per gallon by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2008 as the nation struggled in the Great Recession. Thankfully, we’re not back to that level – yet.

But the EIA has posted national average gas prices in the $3.384 range in recent days. That’s the highest average price per gallon since the $3.812 posted in October 2012.

Because of Mississippi’s status as a producer in the Gulf Coast energy market and the proximity to Gulf Coast oil refineries, state gas prices have traditionally trailed the national average price per gallon for gas. That’s still true, but state gas prices averaged $3.065 last week.

That’s well over a $1 per gallon more at the pump than prices posted a year ago.

While the traditional consumer behavior has produced higher gas prices in the summer and lower prices in the fall and winter, that hasn’t been the case so far this year.

The respected Kiplinger Economic Forecast for energy markets had this assessment on Oct. 26 as penned by Jim Patterson: “Drivers continue to see the highest gasoline prices in about seven years, with little relief ahead. The national average price of regular unleaded is up to $3.39 per gallon, up a nickel from last week and more than a dollar higher than this time last year.

“The strong global recovery in oil demand, coupled with a slower rebound in oil production, has pushed up crude oil prices, which in turn means higher prices at the gas pump. We look for a small dip in gas prices by year-end, but even that would leave motorists paying over $3 per gallon, on average. In some markets, prevailing prices will remain closer to $4. Diesel is also up sharply, now averaging $3.61 per gallon. That adds to rising freight shipping costs, given that most goods travel on trucks and trains powered by diesel.”

Along with a fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill, Mississippi’s senior U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker laid the blame for soaring energy price squarely at the feet of Democratic President Joe Biden:

“These rising gas prices are a direct result of President Biden’s energy agenda. Since taking office, Mr. Biden has systematically dismantled President Trump’s policies that helped the U.S. become energy independent. In his first week, President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would have brought oil to American refineries and supported up to 11,000 jobs. Later, he cut off the expansion of a tremendous source of American oil and natural gas by suspending new drilling leases on federal lands and waters. He also rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, which will kill energy jobs while doing little to protect the environment.

“Democrats in Congress have plans to escalate this assault on American energy. Their massive tax-and-spending proposal would include “Green New Deal” style tax hikes and other restrictions on traditional energy sources, which would likely result in higher energy costs for American households,” Wicker said.

The economic facts about higher gas prices suggest that Capitol Hill Republicans may be laying the blame on Biden a bit thickly. In 2020, the global pandemic with reduced travel and lockdowns resulted in high supply and low demand for fuel. OPEC reacted to that with reduced production. In 2021, the economic recovery and relaxed or eliminated travel restrictions re-established high demand for fuel, and prices rose.

Energy analysts also throw Hurricane Ida and supply chain obstacles into a less-partisan explanation for high gas prices. 

But where Wicker and his GOP colleagues are likely onto something politically lies in the post-Virginia gubernatorial election analyses of liberal media voices like The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd and Democratic operative James Carville. They agree that Biden and the Democrats are in trouble heading into 2022.

Carville talked about how Democratic “wokeness” derailed the party’s message in Virginia. Dowd wrote this revealing observation: “While the Democrats wallow in a family food fight, Americans are still stressed and exhausted from the whole Covid ordeal, confronting high gas prices and stymied from getting the appliances and Christmas toys they want.”

At $3.40 a gallon for gas, the “Green New Deal” touted by the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party is an extremely tough sell. In the Gulf Coast oil patch, it’s a virtual “no sale.”

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Anonymous said...

Wicker, as usual, is wrong to blame Biden. None of the actions cited by Wicker have affected current gas prices, because none of them have impacted current supply. Gas prices were extremely low during the peak of Covid because demand was down. Now that people are driving more, demand is way up and prices follow demand.

Anonymous said...

@9:16 AM - Thank you for your insight, President Joe Xiden.

Few on here likely remember the gas lines and odd/even days under Jimmy Carter.

Anonymous said...

Just a year ago they would pay you x amount a Barrell to store oil….

Now it’s whipsawed back up which is good actually.

Now producers can produce and fields can reopen though that’s a lengthy process. Financing may be hard as oil supply places folded over the last 12-18 months.

But jobs are now available in that sector and wages for real people are rising too.

We have 4 billion coming to MS for much needed infrastructure work. Roads and bridges and hopefully water structure improvement in all areas.

It’s coming together Despite the manufactured angst visible on cable talk shows.

Anonymous said...

I agree Wicker is just playing politics. But the reality is, this happens every 4-8 years WHEN there is a Democratic President. Not saying it's BECAUSE there is a Democratic President, maybe it's the other way around: it's all part of the same repeating pattern that is not unintentional.

Anonymous said...


You must drive a Prius or a Subaru with a Coexist sticker on the back.

Supply and demand are well in play as a contributor to today's energy prices. Biden and his "limousine liberal" friends on the left have taken concrete steps to reduce the supply. They are blinded by their green agenda and hatred of the energy industry.

What do you think happens when the trucking company has to pay more for diesel? Everything you buy increases in price.

At least the foolish actions of the left will inflict the pain of inflation on their voters. Problem is, it hits everyone else as well.

Anonymous said...

9:16, guess you don't remember the low gas prices even before COVID??????

Oh well, selective lying by Dim-O-Krats continues on a daily basis. Sounds like you need a refresh nap like Sleepy Joe.

Anonymous said...

LOL Yeah Sid, high gas prices are the only problem I have with the Biden "freak show" administration. Gas prices aren't even in my top 5 problems with these anti-American socialists.

Anonymous said...

It will go past 4 dollars then magically ,right before the 2022's it will begin to drop and with it everything else. It will not secure the DEMS being re-elected but they will sure claim the "Green New Deal" did it. All these words and it really matters how ? Fact: Half of this country that votes are idiots and the other half put up with the scam. A hand full of moderates from both sides are the only reason we aren't extinct. There is a slim chance someone like Desantis/Noem could usher in another 20 years. Personally I do not believe we should allow Trump another crack at it. He's simply to damn middle schoolish with his way. He lost due to cheating but wasn't professional enough during his reign to be believed by the right ones. Sorry but true.

Unknown said...

Shutting down those oil pipelines, while good virtue signalling, is now bad optics.

Anonymous said...

I drive a Tesla and own $TSLA so I am laughing at all of you trailer park losers!

Anonymous said...

Why the hell is anyone surprised the price of gas is up? Every democrat they let grab a microphone told us before the election the price of fuel would go up. Do people really have such a short memory?

It is very easy to understand. The people making the decisions about the price of fuel are the people who do not have to buy their own fuel. Anyone ever seen a politician spending their own money for gas? We now have a president who has never in his life had to buy his own gas. Maybe some people will remember this the next time the news media decides to pick our next president. Remember, when you spend years in your basement hiding you may not be the best person to make decisions for people who actually work for a living.

Anonymous said...

Global Warming is the new religion and the people that have perpetrated this hoax are no different than the Taliban.

Anonymous said...

COVID had NOTHING to do with gas prices 16 months ago. Nothing! You might as well claim the Department of Wildlife affected gas prices by shutting down state operated lakes to fishing.

Anonymous said...

Gas prices were extremely low during the peak of Covid because demand was down.

Crap. Gasoline was down pre-Covid.

Anonymous said...

I must say not many here realize that Gas prices are high because Ida totally shutdown refining in south La. for 2 months. They are getting back on line and running full throttle to build back up supply and surplus expect prices to drop shortly it’s already dropping in NE Mississippi . Not to mention OPEC limiting production.

Anonymous said...

But, but, but liberals care so much about the poor and racial disparities they say! Give me a break! Who are more affected by liberal policies blasting inflation through the roof than poor families who can no longer afford fuel for their cars, groceries for their bellies, and heat and lights for their homes. I never cease to be amazed by people who vote against their own pocket books.

Anonymous said...

Demand was most certainly down and it's not like every one claiming otherwise couldn't get the actual data.
Nor do any Republicans seem to remember when gas was over $4 a gallon when a Republican was in office.

I don't suppose any of you party loyalists read anything about the effects of hurricanes on the supply or how many wells are leaking millions of gallons a day.

I'm beginning to believe we have incompetent representation as it's hard to tell who is lying or who is just too lazy and dumb to learn the facts.

Anonymous said...

I seldom listen to the MSM. For years, they've beat the drums of "blue waves" due to demographics, as they are shocked to find that America's working class still struggles and has higher priorities than pronouns.

They beat the drum on truck drivers all being "replaced" due to the imminent deployment of 80,000 pound semis driving themselves. Now, we have predictable supply chain issues that they laugh at.

They beat the drum on electric cars, as the electrical grid can barely handle day to day life and their Soros-type investor class makes it difficult for energy suppliers, as they jet off to their many homes and yachts. Oblivious to the fact that everything they own is mined or grown, by a working man or woman.

And these same sit on their assets scumbags don't understand that the poor folks that have to plow their road in Aspen can't afford to live there and have to drive over the mountain due to housing speculation and the idle rich lifestyle.

They'll be so shocked when the lights go out and torches and pitch forks arrive and their armed bodyguards are suddenly "on vacation."

Left, right, and middle, the uber rich need to understand how the world gets to work and who DOES the actual work. Instead of voting for more tax breaks and higher CEO salaries or some social engineering diktat. People are pissed. But, TG folks are waking up to the woke nightmare.

Anonymous said...

there is one upside to higher gas prices. all the criminals in jackson who drive old beat up large 4 door sedans can't afford to cross county lines to steal, rob, and pillage...

seriously, how is joe biden more liberal than barack obama? i wouldn't have believed it last year...

Anonymous said...

@10:22 - people who deny climate change are worse than the Nazis, they want everyone to die!

Anonymous said...

A few observations.

$4.11 per gallon in 2008 dollars would be $5.28 in today's dollars with inflation. So the price of gas today is only 64% of what it was in 2008. Anyone who is upset with the price of gas today has misplaced priorities.

US Presidents have almost no control over the price of gas, which is a global commodity controlled primary by OPEC and Russia. Bitching about what Joe Biden (or Donald Trump) has or has not done about the price of gas reflects a gross misunderstanding about how gas prices work.

There are a lot of idiots posting on this forum.

Anonymous said...

please do a google search for usa petro production... it plummeted when covid first hit, and has been rebounding ever since.

worldwide supply is up. worldwide production is down. therefore, the cost goes up.

ain't biden, trump, obama, bush--none of them are at fault.

Anonymous said...

This is a communist ploy to drop the USSR (United States Socialist Republic) to it's knees. Pay attention to our new Premier Josef and current Politburo.

Anonymous said...

Grind these libtards into the freaking dirt! They deserve everything they suffer for being 'effin stupid. Ready for the ADE and VADE to kick in. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

1:16 : So it's just a coywinkydink that gas prices are always higher under Dem leadership ? Way higher. Is this Kenny Wayne ?

Anonymous said...

A few more observations.

Gas prices per gallon adjusted for inflation in 2020 dollars, from the years 1978 to 2020, have ranged from $2.43 / gallon (in 1978) to $2.24 / gallon (in 2020).

The truth of the matter is that the price of gas, adjusted for inflation, barely changes. It has essentially been on a very, very gradual decline since 1978. This is a fact.

Anyone bitching about the price of gas has misplaced priorities.

Anonymous said...

2:39 : Soooooo I can't be angry that it cost 45 CURRENT dollars more to fill up than it did last year. I get it, you are well off and likely drive a new giant truck every year. 275 a month doesn't mean squat to you. But it may for some of your employees.

Anonymous said...

“Green New Deal touted by the Liberal wing of the Party”? Lol. Almost the whole Democrat Party is to the left of Stalin. The whole Party other than perhaps 1 or 2, want higher gas and utility bills, energy shortages etc that come with the Green New Deal.

Anonymous said...

The comments on here is killing me. Covid has nothing to do with the price of gas. Biden did that Day 1 when he shut down the pipeline. Not to mention printing free money for people to stay at home which is driving up inflation and the plan in the works to give illegals $450,000 per person because they were separated at the border.

Anonymous said...

Is Salter ghost-writing for Robert Reich now?

Anonymous said...

I saw $2.95 on State St today, this as much of the Republican narrative these day is a bunch of wishful thinking . The economy is on the rebound and you folks hate it, shame !

Anonymous said...

Only a resident of State Street would equate $3+ gas with a rebounding economy. If $3 is a rebound, I guess $4.29 will be a slam-dunk!

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