Will An Extra 50 Million Barrels of Crude Lower US Gasoline Prices?

A story in Quartz about rising gasoline prices includes insight from RFF Fellow Brian Prest.

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Nov. 25, 2021

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“There’s not really a whole lot of policy tools in the president’s toolkit to have any real meaningful impact on oil prices or gas prices, in the near term,” said Brian Prest, an economist with Resources for the Future, a non-profit that does energy research. “If you’re talking about much longer term, things that reduce demand for oil will ultimately eventually reduce the price of oil.”

In the meantime, Americans might take comfort in remembering that they’ve paid higher prices in the past. On Nov. 24, a gallon of regular gas was selling for a national average of nearly $3.40, well below the $4.11 record high set in 2008.

“For all the talk in the news, the price of gas is actually not all that high,” Prest said. “If you take the average price of gas for the past 20 years and adjust it for inflation, the average price has been above $3 for 20 years.”

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