How Much Is the Government Gouging You at the Gas Pump?

Gas prices are low right now, but they could be a lot lower. Prices would be lower if the government would stop shaking us down at the pump.

One way our rulers shake us down is by making us throw money at the corn industry when we try to buy gas. I write “try” because we are force to buy diluted gasoline that doesn’t power our vehicles very well.

Salim Furth covers this in his Daily Signal article, “Repealing These Two Regulations Could Save You 31 Cents per Gallon of Gas.

The repeal of two costly federal restrictions would lower the price of gas by 31 cents a gallon and save a typical American family $247 per year.

One of the restrictions is the ethanol mandate. Officially known as the “Renewable Fuel Standard,” it requires that massive amounts of corn be processed into ethanol, which is then mixed into gasoline and sold to consumers. Ethanol is less efficient and more expensive, gouging Americans at the pump. Adding insult to injury, so much farmland has been devoted to growing corn for ethanol that it has increased the price of food as well.

The other way that the government shakes you down is be forcing oil companies to generate all their profits from the American public. This one may seem counter-intuitive. Furth explains,

Similarly, the ban on exporting crude oil export hurts the U.S. energy industry, drives up the cost of gas, and lowers incomes for American workers. Thanks to hydro-fracking, the U.S. is now producing a lot of light crude oil, which is not what American refineries on the Gulf Coast were built to handle. This high-quality light crude oil could be refined more efficiently overseas, and the resulting gasoline would then be sold back to American consumers at lower prices.

Congress has voted to end the ban on exporting crude oil, but President Obama has threatened to veto it.