How Much Can the White House Do About Gas Prices?

Gasoline prices are likely to be a major factor in this year's presidential campaign. But it's questionable how much the Oval Office can really do to influence the cost of a barrel of oil.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney regularly blames President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline and moratorium on offshore drilling for high prices at the pump. The president counters by pointing to the dramatic increase in domestic oil production on his watch.

“There’s not a lot that any White House can do in the short term about gasoline prices.”

Daniel Yergin is chairman of energy research firm IHS CERA and author of The Quest.

“They’re primarily set in the world market, depend upon supply and demand and perceptions about security and risk and so forth.”

Yergin says the biggest factor affecting global oil supplies right now is the rise in U.S. production, up about a million barrels a day since 2008. He says without that, the price of gas would be much higher than it is now. Yergin credits private sector adoption of new technologies for the production boom.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...