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Senator Roy Blunt (r) via Twitter:

Senator Roy Blunt @RoyBlunt

When Pres Obama took office in ’09 average gas prices were $1.89/ gal. What have prices increased to in your area? [….] 11:24 AM – 17 Feb 12

He links to a right wing website story with the headline “Republicans pounce as gas prices climb”.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency, Gasoline Components History:

Month/Year Retail Price (Dollars per gallon)

Jan-00 1.289

Jan-01 1.447

Jan-02  1.107

Jan-03 1.458

Jan-04 1.572

Jan-05 1.831

Jan-06 2.316

Jan-07 2.24

Jan-08 3.043

Jan-09 1.788

Jan-10 2.715

Jan-11 3.095

Dec-11 3.266

During dubya’s eight years the price went from $1.447 in January 2001 to $4.062 in July 2008, then the economy collapsed. When the economy collapses gas prices can collapse, when the economy recovers those prices can also recover.

U.S. retail gasoline prices (in dollars) by month from January 2000 to December 2011.

That drop after the highest peak is dubya’s recession.

There can be other variables which contribute to changes in gasoline prices, like declining demand:

February 17, 2012 2:33 PM

A Gasoline Conspiracy to Set Fire to the Obama Administration?

By Rick Ungar

….Americans are using less gasoline than they have at any time in the last fifteen years. Currently, we burn up 8 percent less gas than we did during the peak year of 2006 while most experts expect the trend to continue to where we will be using 20 percent less gasoline by 2030.

Says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service,

Strangely, the current run-up in prices comes despite sinking demand in the U.S. Petrol demand is as low as it’s been since April 1997. People are properly puzzled by the fact that we’re using less gas than we have in years, yet we’re paying more.

….And, to be sure, an improving domestic economy typically results in higher oil prices as demand begins to rise. However, experts seem to agree that even this will not return us to our high’s of 2006….

….According to Kloza, a healthy percentage of the increase is the result of speculative money flowing into gasoline futures contracts since the beginning of the year, mostly coming from hedge fund and big money mangers. “We’ve seen about $11 billion of speculative money come in on the long side of gas futures,” Kloza says. “Each of the last three weeks we’ve seen a record net long position being taken….”

….While Wall Street’s ‘priority one’ is to make money, it is clear that, for this year, priority two is the destruction of Barack Obama’s presidency. Accordingly, from a Wall Street point of view, it certainly is a happy coincidence that that priority one, making big money on oil speculation, could directly lead to accomplishing their second highest mission.

I am left to wonder whether this is a happy Wall Street coincidence or a clever strategy that could pay off big-time come November….

[emphasis added]

Speculation. And other goals, fancy that, the same as those of Senator Roy Blunt (r).

Sounds like a plan.