Gas Prices Up 96% Under Obama — A Near Doubling at Pump

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 04:39 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The average cost of a gallon of gas is up 96 percent since President Barack Obama first took office in 2009, with prices at the pump hitting a historic high on Monday.

According to data from the Energy Information Agency, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States was $1.838 on Jan. 19, 2009 — the day before Obama took office. As of Monday, the per-gallon price had risen to an average of $3.611 — an increase of 96 percent.

Other statistics from AAA estimate the average national price to be $3.582, what the Christian Science Monitor called the most expensive national average on record for any Feb. 11. Gas prices had also climbed every day for the past 25 days in a row, the Monitor said.

"This is a very early rise," Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, told the Monitor. "January has tended to be a quiet month through the years, but the rally really began in earnest around Jan. 15."

Gas prices have continued to creep up despite Obama's support of clean-energy initiatives and more fuel-efficient cars. Economists blame the price of crude oil for the spike, which is said to account for almost 70 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas. Crude prices have risen 10 percent during the past two months, according to the EIA.

Last year, gas prices peaked in April, then headed on a downward trend through the summer months. This year is forecast to have a similar trend, but with lower gas prices overall, barring any unforeseen events that have a major impact on fuel supplies, according to AAA data.

"Gas prices are still forecast to peak in April, so it's likely motorists will see pump prices steadily increase during the next couple of months," said Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, in a press release Monday. "However, the national average is not expected to exceed $4 a gallon this year for regular unleaded gasoline."

Americans are definitely feeling the pinch. The amount of money they're spending on gas, as a percentage of household income, is at a nearly 30-year high. Only 2008 was worse, according to EIA data released last week. In 2012, the average U.S. household spent $2,912 on gas, or almost 4 percent of income before taxes, according to EIA estimates.

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