A new pipeline is releasing crude oil that had been stuck in the middle of the country and feeding it to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. While that refinery is shipping gasoline and diesel to the East Coast, a growing portion of that oil is going to other countries like Brazil, the Netherlands and Mexico.
The Wall Street Journal, citing the U.S. Energy Information Association, reports that the country’s gas stockpiles are at their lowest levels for this time of year since 2011, while the average price for a gallon of gas on Monday was $3.68, up 4.2% compared to a year ago.
Nancy White, a spokesperson for AAA, is quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying, “Production is going overseas, so that impacts the supply here, and that will drive prices up.”
In the corresponding video, Senior Columnist Mike Santoli spoke with Lauren Lyster about gas prices and exports. He says one of the reasons companies are selling oil overseas is that Americans are driving less. “Miles-driven has not yet recovered since the peak before the financial crisis,” he said. “So, it’s not as if this country is clamoring for more and more, and we can’t get it.”
“We’re not in shortage,” he added.
Santoli pointed out that the U.S. hasn’t been able to build a refinery in many years. He also said that prices of most staples in life trend up over time. “I do think it’s time to be on alert about this, but it’s not time to start rationing gasoline or prevent it from going elsewhere,” he said.
This leads to today’s poll. Should the U.S. reduce gasoline exports in response to rising prices at home? Cast your vote and leave your comment below.