The vast majority of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say they are concerned about the impact of rising gasoline prices on their business.
The price of gasoline nationwide has reached a record high for this time of the year, AP reports. At $3.58 a gallon for regular unleaded, the average is up more than 25 cents since Jan. 1.
In Rochester, the average price per gallon was $3.81 Wednesday, up some 35 cents since the beginning of the year and 45 cents from a year ago, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Gasoline prices locally peaked at $4.25 a gallon in July 2008, AAA reports, and many experts think prices could reach new highs this spring. In some places, consumers already are seeing prices over $4 a gallon.
Tensions with oil producer Iran, an unusually cold winter in Europe and increasing demand from developing nations are all driving up gasoline prices, experts say.
By 59 percent to 41 percent, readers say the government should let market forces work rather than intervene to rein in prices.
Roughly 700 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted Feb. 20 and 21. The results are similar to those of a Snap Poll conducted 10 months ago, when average gasoline prices in New York topped $4 a gallon.
How concerned are you about the impact of rising gasoline prices on your business?
Very concerned: 62%
Somewhat concerned: 28%
Not very concerned: 8%
Not at all concerned: 2%
Should government act to rein in gasoline prices, or should market forces be allowed to work?
Market forces should be allowed to work: 59%
Government should act to rein in gasoline prices: 41%
The government should not stand in the way of the U.S. making use of available resources. The Keystone Pipeline is a good example.
Market forces don’t seem to be working. Lots of demand, but also lots of supply.
During previous administrations, the United States lobbied OPEC to increase production, thereby lowering prices. We don’t seem to do that anymore.
-Rob Taylor, the Marlin Group
The only thing our government should be doing is removing all roadblocks to pursuing oil and gas in our own country, as well as permitting the pipeline from Canada.
The government needs to stay out of our business unless it plans to shrink by 25 percent or more of what it is. Then we might be able to afford fluctuations in gas prices.
Drill, drill, drill, drill and drill some more. Are we so stupid that we can’t understand this simple concept? We have lost all common sense as a nation.
Government should act to rein in gas prices by ceasing to devalue the U.S. dollar. Devaluation of the dollar is the primary force behind oil price increases. Devaluation of the U.S. dollar has been accomplished by the Obama administration through massive and unsustainable federal spending, funded with borrowing. There is nowhere to borrow the vast amounts of money these Democrats are spending, so the Federal Reserve simply prints more money, then "loans" it to the federal government. It was a neat trick while it lasted, but now oil (and other commodity exporters) have caught on. Now the price of everything imported will begin to go up and up. We are going to be in big trouble if we don’t send some grownups to Washington this November to slam on the brakes.
-George Thomas, Ogden
We should be thankful we don’t pay what Europeans pay!
-Hal Gaffin, Honeoye Falls
Respond to the "market forces" by getting oil and gas from the multiple untapped sources in our own country-off the coastlines (China, Cuba and South American countries are), in Alaska and many points in the continental U.S.A. We have the technology to do it safely and enhance the environment. Build more refineries. A side benefit is we create jobs that allow our citizens to realize the American dream, support themselves and their families like the rich so-called democratic politicians (who become multimillionaires while in office, get to participate in insider trading and live by a different set of rules than the rest of Americans).
The government has already acted-and raised prices due to an ineffective energy policy. The last gas rise broke the back of many, bleeding the dry. There is nothing left in the tank for more irresponsible policies.
2/24/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.