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Trace Gallagher Says Gas Prices Still Historically Low

Reported by Donna - May 7, 2007 -

Today on Studio B with Trace Gallagher filling in for Shepard Smith, he had a segment on to deal with the high price of gas. He spoke with Tyson Slocum from the Public Citizen Energy Program. After a discussion about how much money the oil companies were making, Gallagher said that historically the price of gas has been low in this country.

Slocum said that a lot of these record prices at the pump were tied into the record profits the oil companies were earning. He said you could see it in the oil refinery business, instead of using the money to fix up and maintain equipment the oil companies have been spending the money on stock buy backs and dividend payments to their stockholders. Slocum added that the oil industry had a lot of incentive to keep the supplies tight because when they were tight, that's when the oil companies have record profits.

Gallagher said there hasn't been a national outcry. Slocum disagreed and said people were hurting out there, working families trying to keep gas in their vehicles.

This is when Gallagher said that gas in Europe can cost $7 to $8 a gallon so $3 or $4 a gallon here is still pretty low, it wasn't so bad. Slocum said that Europe was more set up for mass transit than we were in many states in the U.S. He said that people in Europe paid higher taxes because they subsidized their mass transit. People have to drive their cars in many cities in the U.S.

In the segment it was said that $3.07 was the national average, but you could expect a high of $3.49 in San Francisco and a low of $2.80 in Charleston. They couldn't come up with a reason for these discrepencies but Slocum said it's something that Congress should look at it.

Gallagher asked if Slocum saw a break coming in the future and Slocum said that he didn't see anything keeping the oil companies from charging $4.00 a gallon.

Comment: This excuse is often brought up by Fox that compared to Europe we're hardly paying anything for gas. Or as Gallagher said, "Historically speaking" the price of gas has always been low in this country. And where he gets his 'historically low' expression is beyond me when he said that gas prices were at there highest ever. At $3 a gallon there are a lot of people suffering, at $4 it will only be that much more.