Andrew Napolitano claimed that increased oil drilling "would lower the price of gasoline tomorrow." In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy and PolitiFact agree that increased access to offshore oil drilling would not have a significant effect on gasoline prices.
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Napolitano Claims Announcing Increased Drilling Would Immediately Impact Gasoline Prices
Napolitano: If Obama "Ordered Drilling ... That Would Lower The Price of Gasoline Tomorrow." In a discussion with Fox Business contributor Phil Flynn, Andrew Napolitano said:
NAPOLITANO: Tell me if I have this right. Even though the gasoline that we pump into our cars this very week has been here since before the crisis in Libya started, the cost will go up because the oil business knows that oil will be expensive in the future. Hence, if the president, for example, stopped resisting a federal judge in New Orleans who's ordered drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, or if the president authorized drilling in Alaska, that would lower the price of gasoline tomorrow, even though that oil wouldn't get out of the wells and into the refineries and into our tanks for many years. Do I have that right?
FLYNN: Absolutely. You know, the bottom line is this market is an anticipatory market, it looks ahead. And if they expect more supply from a reliable source, not a one-time shot from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a change in policy would lower prices over the long run. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/08/11]
DOE, Experts Agree Domestic Off-Shore Drilling Won't Substantially Affect Gasoline Prices
DOE In 2009: Reinstating Offshore Drilling Ban Would Increase Prices By Merely 3 Cents Per Gallon. According to the Department of Energy's 2009 Annual Energy Outlook, limited access to offshore oil drilling would lead to "a small increase in world oil prices," including "3 cents per gallon" for gasoline in 2030. The DOE estimated that limited access to offshore oil drilling would not affect the price of gasoline before 2020. [U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, accessed 3/08/11]
PolitiFact: Experts Agree That Expanding Offshore Drilling "Would Have Little Effect At The Pump Any Time Soon." In December, PolitiFact analyzed the statement that a "5 percent increase in domestic production would increase the world supply by less than 1 percent and do almost nothing to our dependence on foreign oil. This would also have virtually no effect on the price of gas at the pump." PolitiFact concluded:
Let's review: Wasserman Schultz's math adds up -- Gulf drilling does indeed represent about 5 percent of current domestic production, and a 5 percent increase would barely register in terms of the world supply. And the experts we found for this Truth-O-Meter as well as ones cited in the past about McCain's claim agree that expanding drilling now would have little effect at the pump any time soon. [PolitiFact.com, 12/1/10]