Chart of the Day: Gas Prices

Via the WSJ:

FILED UNDER: Open Forum, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    As I’ve mentioned from time to time over at my place, there is a non-conformist theory of the Great Recession that the actual cause of the recession was the sharp spike in oil prices. Just a thought.

  2. Tony W says:

    @Dave Schuler: No doubt a big factor. The entire United States suffers from the wholesale transfer pricing power of OPEC and others.

  3. RGardner says:

    Another factor is increased gasoline taxes, averaging ~$0.50/gallon in 2014. My state has a volume tax only (not sales tax) as do some other states, so the decrease in cost will not affect the tax collections (actually more driving = more revenue, but expect whining about revenues in the states that mostly have a sales tax).

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Isn’t someone going to point out that if Obama wasn’t standing in the way of the Keystone Project, that gas prices would be even lower?

    This seems like a great opportunity for Republicans to blame Obama.

  5. James Pearce says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    the Great Recession that the actual cause of the recession was the sharp spike in oil prices.

    Makes me wonder what caused the sharp spike in oil prices….

  6. Franklin says:

    I see the WSJ cherrypicks to support their conclusion that pump prices remain high in inflation-adjusted dollars, by deciding that 1986 is the cutoff point. But we can plainly see that the real price is approximately the same in 1976 and now, with periods above and below, making it pretty average right now. (Yes, this means I’m cherrypicking 1976 as the cutoff point …)

  7. ernieyeball says:

    Per GasBuddy the lowest gas price where I live is $1.889/gal.
    Thank You President Gingrich!

    Now, can we get to $2.50? Can we get to $2? It was $1.13 when I was speaker. It was $1.89 when Obama was sworn in.
    I mean, $2.50 is not some inconceivable number, except in the Washington establishment, which also explains to you why whatever you want to do that’s good for the American people can’t be done.

  8. gVOR08 says:


    WSJ cherrypicks to support their conclusion

    Say it ain’t so;-)

  9. ernieyeball says:

    Days of Future Passed-January 2011

    When gas hits $4 the fear may be that people will pay that to drive to DC and start stringing up the incompetents in charge. It’ll be nice, cherry blossoms and desiccated elite to greet the global warming.

    You can drill every source of oil within our waters, there simply isn’t enough cheap oil left to make a difference of more than a few pennies per gallon.

    And $4-6 is not an unreasonable expectation in the coming years…

  10. lounsbury says:

    Out of sheer curiosity a bit of googling turned up this:

    The Average Inflation Adjusted Price of Gas

    The average price of a gallon of gas from 1918 to the present is $2.60 in June 2013 inflation adjusted dollars. So it is safe to say that anytime during that period that the price of gas was above $2.60 in inflation adjusted terms it was expensive and whenever it was below that price it was cheap.

    A 1918-2013 inflation adjusted average is fairly not cherry picked on might say, so it looks like presently USA is at long-term average.

  11. Tyrell says:

    When gas prices go back up to $3 + a gallon we will hear the same excuses that we have heard before. Many remember the gas “crisis” of the ’70’s that brought rationing, long lines, closed stations, service station attendants directing traffic, and prices doubling. We heard some of the same excuses. There was no “shortage”. Storage tanks were full, so much so that tankers had to wait in ports. And once the gas stations were closed and converted to “convenience” stores, with their 300% markup on food and snacks, there suddenly was no more shortage. The biggest hoax ever pulled on the American people.
    See “Gashole” about the oil/government complex.

  12. lounsbury says:

    Righto mate, righto. And of course moon landings are faked too.

  13. ernieyeball says:

    @Tyrell: The biggest hoax ever pulled on the American people.

    I dunno Ty. The Teapot Dome Scandal was pretty wicked as was Watergate. And we know that they really happened.
    As for the “300% markup on food and snacks”. All the Kwick-E-Marts I see are competing like crazy for your coffee $ and the mud is cheap and pretty good too!
    If consumers don’t want to Kum & Go they can choose to hit the Dollar Store that will b nearby if not right next door.
    SFW (too bad perverts)

  14. Tyrell says:

    @ernieyeball: Looks like a good place, wish we had one around here. The convenience stores have done better about competitive pricing. For so many years their prices were exorbitant, now they are more reasonable. I will search their sites for locations.

  15. ptfe says:

    @ernieyeball: I do appreciate the SFW battle in the Midwest between Kum N Go and Pump ‘n Munch.

  16. Guarneri says:


    When you hear the voices do they fade naturally or only with medication?

  17. ernieyeball says:

    @ptfe:..Kum N Go and Pump ‘n Munch.

    Yikes! Never heard of P ‘n M!
    Is Loaf ‘n Jug in the running?
    My favorite has always been In and Out Burger…