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Gas prices: why $2 gas isn't happening anytime soon

Gas prices rose 4 percent in the US this week, according to AAA. Despite a boom in North American oil production, gas prices won't be approaching $2 anytime soon. 

By Daniel J. GraeberGuest blogger / July 16, 2013

Consumers purchase gasoline at a gas station as a plane approaches to land at the airport in San Diego, Calif. While US oil production gains mean fewer imports, there appear to be few guarantees for energy security, and lower gas prices, in the near term, Graeber writes.

Mike Blake/Reuters/File

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U.S. gasoline prices are expected to remain volatile for the month because of geopolitical fallout in the Middle East. Concerns over the global oil supply are fading away from the minds of most consumers and few people care even less about the unrest in Egypt. A weekend survey said gasoline prices were in decline, though that did little to ease the minds of American commuters scratching their heads at the pump during the first major heat wave of the season. A year ago, American consumers were paying substantially less for gasoline.  While U.S. oil production gains mean fewer imports, there appear to be few guarantees for energy security, and lower gasoline prices, in the near term.

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Motor group AAA reports an average Monday price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline of $3.61. That's more than 4 percent higher than last week, which translates to a 2 cent increase every day since July 8. A weekend assessment from Lundberg Survey said gasoline prices declined by less than 1 percent compared to last month. The U.S. Energy Department said it expects gasoline prices for the season to level off at around $3.50 or so, though that's still higher than the $3.39 average reported year-on-year. (Related article: BP to the Rescue for Midwest Drivers)

Former House Speaker and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said a then-struggling U.S. economy can't afford to spend billions of dollars overseas to buy foreign oil when there was plenty of that Texas tea at home in the United States. Gasoline prices, he said, could drop to $2.00 per gallon if drilling activity increased dramatically in the United States. A year later, nearly 90 million barrels of oil was produced worldwide and almost half of that came from new drilling operations in the United States. Gasoline is still nowhere near $2.00 per gallon even though the United States is mentioned in the same breath as Saudi Arabia. 

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