Newt plays the gas prices card

Right on time, while the Automobile Club of America reports gasoline prices have risen, on average, 13.1 cents in the past month—despite the fact that gas prices traditionally fall in the month of February as people drive fewer miles during the wintery month: At a campaign event in Suwanee, Georgia, the former House Speaker told supporters that he would bring back cheaper gas because “you can’t put a gun rack on a Volt.”

“There is no reason not to believe that we couldn’t stabilize with American production by drowning demand in supply the old-fashioned, free market way,” he explained. “There’s not reason we couldn’t have a stable price around $2:00 or $2.50 [per gallon].”

In an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace noted that if Gingrich attempted to increase oil production in the U.S., OPEC would decrease production to keep international energy prices high.

You can’t guarantee $2.50 a gallon,” Wallace explained.

You can’t guarantee anything,” Gingrich agreed. “But you can guarantee that under the Obama plan, there’s going to be less American production, higher prices.”

The take away to this folks, summed up best I think by Nicole Belle: “Newt’s argument highlights both the strength of the GOP’s messaging and the failure of most Americans to understand basic economics. We could devastate every single ecologically-pristine area within the US for new oil sources and not one drop of it will necessarily go to the US. We have no nationalized oil company; that oil goes onto the open market, where the price will be determined by demand. And as Wallace points out –and for which Gingrich has no real answer– OPEC will decrease the availability of petroleum to keep the prices high.”

Virtually every projection out there suggests that gas prices are about to make a dramatic rise to, potentially, record levels with some suggesting that $5.00 a gallon gas or more —double the prices of just a few months ago—could very well be in our future. Odd when one considers that 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.