Society

Fact Check: No Evidence Oil Drilling Reduces Gas Prices

| by Michael Allen

Republicans often claim that drilling for more oil will bring down gas prices, however,  the Associated Press did a fact check of 36 years of Energy Information Administration data, which shows no link between domestic oil production and U.S. gas prices.

In fact, domestic oil production is at its highest level in eight years. According to the Associated Press, if drilling dictated gas prices, they should already be at $2 a gallon. However, gas prices fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including oil speculation and tensions in the Middle East.

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. oil production is back to the same level it was in March 2003, when gas cost $2.10 per gallon when adjusted for inflation. But that’s not what prices are now.

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That’s because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

When you put the inflation-adjusted price of gas on the same chart as U.S. oil production since 1976, the numbers sometimes go in the same direction, sometimes in opposite directions.

If drilling for more oil meant lower prices, the lines on the chart would consistently go in opposite directions. A basic statistical measure of correlation found no link between the two, and outside statistical experts confirmed those calculations.