William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE NEW NORMAL – AT 8:56 A.M. ET:  Gasoline prices are relentlessly rising again, threatening to dent the economy and make life much more expensive for those who drive to work.  From the Washington Times:

Average gas prices topped $4 a gallon in Washington, D.C., for only the fifth time ever on Thursday, the 35th straight day of increases that have seen prices rise by a total 42 cents.

Although the cost of a gallon of gas in the D.C. suburbs is about 16 cents cheaper, the prices are above the national average of $3.78.

Numbers from the Oil Price Information Service showed that, as of Thursday morning, only three states had touched the $4 regular gasoline mark — New York at $4.01, California at $4.20 and Hawaii at $4.32 — while only three other states had gas prices below $3.50. The rest hovered close to the $4 mark.

John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said the trend was particularly disturbing because of the time of year.

“Typically, gasoline prices are at their lowest price point of the year during the dead of winter,” he said. “But this year pump prices are rising sooner and higher than ever before. That’s what so frightening about this.”

COMMENT:  I can imagine the reaction of American motorists when gasoline goes well over four bucks a gallon this summer.  Remember, it is the view of the Obama administration that high energy prices are good for we mere citizens, as they will presumably force us to use less energy, thereby making the air cleaner, or somethin'.  That might be a coherent position if we had alternative, less expensive energy sources ready to go, but we don't. 

February 22,  2013