Gasoline prices in the Austin metropolitan area are down seven cents from last Thursday, according to a report from AAA Texas. A gallon of regular unleaded is selling for $3.583. Last week, it was $3.654. However, that’s still up substantially from a year ago, when the price was $2.625.
Last week, we talked to an oil analyst who said he expects gas prices to drop by as much as 35 cents this summer.
OPEC, however, may have different plans. The oil cartel signaled yesterday that it would not boost oil production. That sent prices for crude oil back above $100 per barrel.
While higher energy prices cause pain to our pocketbooks and the economy at large, the Atlantic published a piece today arguing that high gas prices may inevitably help the economy.
Unfortunately, "bowing down to the pump," has become a habit for policy makers, but we absolutely have to find a way to lower the impact of gas prices on our economy, and particularly employment. In that survey of small business owners, 38 percent said that gas prices could threaten their ability to be in business. There may be some hyperbole in those numbers, but can we afford to take chances with the oil market?