When I saw that possibility mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News (gas prices are already topping four bucks a gallon in parts of California), I went looking up some confirmation on this. And yes, it could hit $4.50 a gallon, thanks in large part to the subtly-and-steadily-eroding situation in Iran. The problem, as the Christian Science Monitor notes, is not so much crude production as it is its transportation:
One of the problems is moving [Midwest/Canadian] oil to the Gulf Coast where there is plenty of refining capability. A pipeline that used to move gasoline to the Midwest is now being converted to move unrefined oil the other direction. However, there will still be an need to move oil south, says [analyst Sander] Cohan.
“That’s what the Keystone XL pipeline was all about,” he says. “Bringing oil south, it eases congestion in the Midwest.”
Obama has blocked the pipeline for environmental reasons. On Friday, the House passed legislation to take away Obama’s authority on the pipeline, but the bill’s fate in the Senate was less certain.
Yes, it's precisely that bad: the CSM apparently actually does have a limit to how much of the administration's water it will carry. Mind you, if gas hits $4.50 a gallon nationally then it's going to set a (dubious) new record; and there's no guarantee that the price will stop there, either. If the administration is not worrying about this, then... well, I hestitate to call that 'good' news. I have to live in the country that Obama's impoverishing through his actions, after all.
PS: To refresh people's memories: gas prices hit their previous peak in July of 2008 and didn't collapse until the economy did in September of that year. Since then, the economy hasn't particularly roared back to new heights, but gas prices sure have; if only there was a word that could combine the twin concepts of a stagnant
government economy [fixed, sorry] and steady inflation...