» That’s the first time any state’s average price-per-gallon has dropped below the $3 mark since days after the beginning of the Libyan revolution. Fighting began on February 15, 2011, and prices in South Carolina crossed the $3 threshold a few days later on February 19. While a 2.3 cent gap may not seem like much, analysts expect the prices to continue dropping, and millions of Americans will undoubtedly welcome financial relief of any kind — particularly on a commodity that many of us rely on heavily in our daily lives.
» What caused the increase? To put it simply, many analysts point to the civil war in Libya for inflating the price of gas, as it took 1 million barrels of oil out of the supply chain each day, raising the price of oil by $20 per gallon at its high point. The recent successes the rebels have had since NATO started its air strikes exactly six months ago tonight have helped to bring the prices down to more manageable levels. Seasonal factors are also at play, and with Labor Day behind us, gas prices should continue to decline through Christmas.
» And 42 votes is, obviously, not enough. The Senate GOP brought this vote to the floor, and as it lost comfortably by eight votes, they probably considered it doomed to fail from the get-go. As such, this looks like a show vote, less designed to impact policy (though I’m sure the GOP wouldn’t have minded getting it through) than to court political favor. As increased offshore oil drilling would have minor if any effect on the domestic gas prices (global market and all that), this bill serves two goals: make people think Democrats are keeping gas prices high, and remind big oil that despite recent talk of stripping industry subsidies, the Republican Party still has their back.
» And yet you’re paying $4 a gallon for gas: The world’s most iconic oil company scored $10.65 billion in profits for the quarter, which is at least in part due to the fact that oil is currently over $100 a barrel. While the company had other factors in play, other companies are getting same the oil-price bump: Shell, for example, had a 30 percent leap in profits. Maybe we’re crazy here or something, but … isn’t there a point where you hand these profits down to the consumer? You can afford it.