$2 a gallon?

Do you think you’ll ever see $2 a gallon gasoline again? Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota’s 6th District thinks you will, if the U.S. “sends a signal” that more oil will be pumped out of the ground.

She held a news conference in Woodbury today (interestingly, it was at the gas station which usually has the lowest prices in town) to push her “No More Excuses Energy Act,” which opens up more land for drilling

Bachmann says it would take about four years to get prices down to $2 a gallon.

Last week Bachmann told Politico that gas prices are now the #1 issue for her constituents:


As a matter of fact, in the parade we were at last weekend, people were shouting from the sidelines: “Drill in ANWR! Drill in ANWR!” One woman was sitting in one of those lawn chairs, and she had a piece of cardboard, and she had written on it, “Down with global warming freaks.” I mean, these people are just ready to find someone to shake and say, “Help me with my gas prices.”

Back when the price of a barrel of crude was $37 (it’s around $140 today) in 2004, the U.S. Energy Department said opening up sections of Alaska to drilling would lower the price of a barrel of oil by 50 cents.

In May the energy department issued another report on ANWR, calculating an peak of 780,000 barrels a day. The report, which is being used by Republicans to justify opening ANWR to drilling, nonetheless contains this sentence:


Consequently, ANWR oil production is not projected to have a large impact on world oil prices.

One has to be careful in predicting the price of gasoline. Just ask Nathan Schaffer, a manager of the group that tracks gasoline refining and marketing for PFC Energy, a consulting firm in Washington. About 18 months ago he figured if a barrel dropped below $50 a barrel, gas prices would drop to below $2. That prediction didn’t work out so well.

In today’s news conference, Bachmann presented Diane and Gary Baran, two Woodbury residents who described their concern about gas prices.

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Who are the Barans? He was a 2006 delegate to the Republican State Convention and an early Bachmann supporter in her bid for Congress. Both are longtime Republican activists in the 6th District.

It’s not unusual to display political supporters at a news conference. On the other hand, they’res not exactly the average man-on-the-street.