This chart shows prices in other countries. It’s a bit out of date but the relativities would still be valid. Northern Europeans pay around three times what the poor old US consumer pays. Even in wide-open Australia, gas prices are about 75% higher than they are in the US. When gas hits $3 a gallon here, it’s going to be close to $10 over in Europe. Little wonder they drive so many tiny diesel powered cars in the old country. Funny how the market reacts to price signals.

US gas prices are still a relative bargain. They could be lower if our elected morons actually addressed some of the constraints on gasoline supply, such as lack of refining capacity, environmental restrictions on exploration and drilling, EPA blending regulations and so on. We will know that gas prices are starting to hurt when people change their buying habits; when SUV sales tank; when people start driving Honda Fits instead of Jeep Cherokees; when commuters actually start car-pooling. None of that has happened yet. It probably won’t until gas prices start to hit European levels.

In the meantime Congress critters should just shut-the-heck up on gas prices. They have done nothing useful to help reduce US dependence on foreign oil so they have no moral authority to lecture oil companies on issues they can’t control.

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