Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm not the only one who is wondering about gas prices

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – Is the sliding price of gasoline just before the November election a coincidence or spawned by politics? State Rep. Mike McGeehan, D-Phila., wants a House committee to give Pennsylvania citizens an answer.

According to USA Today, 42 percent of respondents nationwide believe the Bush administration “deliberately manipulated the price of gasoline so that it would decrease before this fall’s election,” which is less than six weeks away.

McGeehan said he hears these same sentiments daily from many constituents and that mystery was especially well defined in an e-mail about the gas price drop by Daniel R. Harkness of Farrell, which is outside his legislative district.

“Don’t we have all of the same conditions that pushed gas prices up over the last couple of years?” asked Harkness, who listed them as:

Limited production in Iraq
The Alaskan pipeline down
Limited world reserves
Continued high demand
Oil companies in control of government policies.

Harkness asked if there are any real market factors pushing the crude oil price down and why the factors weren’t in place when oil companies were reaping record profits recently.

“The guy isn’t even a resident of my district, but his argument was compelling. The questions it poses deserve serious consideration,” McGeehan said.

McGeehan has sent a letter to Rep. William Adolph, R-Delaware, chairman of the House Environment Resources and Energy Committee, requesting a hearing within three weeks to find out what is behind the dramatic price drop.

“A hearing could determine if it is market trends that are driving down the price of gas, or if politics is motivating it,” McGeehan said. “Either way, the voters of Pennsylvania would have a better idea of whether they are being manipulated, or just dealing with a growing rumor.”

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