One of the most common indications of Policy change in American Politics consists of greater irritation levels among Our younger Economists. There is increasing heat among Economists about the threat of political constraints on Gasoline pricing. Most of the irritation seems produced by fear of damaging Market efficiency, but there can be Worries about dropping Consumer Sentiment, Trade balances, decreasing Gas Demand's effect on Productivity, and the role of Speculation. It seems there might actually be some political deal before Election, simply for Republicans up for Election to claim a functioning Congress.
This Author is not a bleeding heart for Consumers. American Driving habits do need to be curbed, and the Price of Energy needs to be cut. Nigeria has already lost in excess of 1000 lives through Fires started by cutting into Gas Pipelines. Bolivian Morales has already commented that Oil companies may not be compensated, if they finally nationalize the Oil fields--definitely a bad trend. Speculators are driving the Oil markets, as a short-term Cash Cow that can be played. I believe it is time for Taxation.
My favorite ploy for a Gas tax would impact Consumer Demand, provide great revenue to the Federal Treasury, and stop major Speculation in the Oil markets. It is a Tax upon all Gas Sales equivalent to an equal amount of the price of Gasoline, starting from a floor of $2.00 per gallon. It would effectively cut Gas consumption for nonessential traffic, inform Oil companies without regulation that excessive Profits-taking will result in massive loss of Gas revenues, and tell Speculators that the Federal Treasury is going to take the windfall Profits of high Oil Cost. lgl