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MailTribune.com
  • Gas prices have been high since Bush administration

  • A friend and I were bemoaning the fact that we've grown accustomed to gas being well over $3 a gallon. Then our conversation took a political turn, with him suggesting that President Obama is to blame and me recalling that this all started under President Bush. When we calmed down, we both tried to remember when gas was last under $2 a gallon. A little help?
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  • A friend and I were bemoaning the fact that we've grown accustomed to gas being well over $3 a gallon. Then our conversation took a political turn, with him suggesting that President Obama is to blame and me recalling that this all started under President Bush. When we calmed down, we both tried to remember when gas was last under $2 a gallon. A little help?
    — Lori, Medford
    If you're referring to needing a little help with your friendship, Lori, we suggest you don't talk politics.
    But it seems more likely that what you're really asking about is gas prices and when they went up, down or sideways. Here's what we found by checking at oregongasprices.com:
    The last time gas prices were below $2 a gallon in Oregon (average retail price) was in January 2009. At that point they had just finished a precipitous fall, from $4.28 a gallon in mid-2008 to $1.69 a gallon in early January '09. By early February '09, however, the prices had moved above $2 and they haven't been below since.
    Those pocketbook-draining gas prices in mid-2008 were blamed on a hot global economy, the ongoing war in Iraq and fears over dwindling supplies. Oil prices collapsed over the next few months, however, going from a record high of more than $147 a barrel in July to less than $34 a barrel by December.
    As for your political dispute, we're taking no sides, but will merely offer the following information, along with the suggestion that maybe the president really doesn't have that much power over gas prices:
    During President George W. Bush's second term, the price of gas in Oregon rose from about $1.70 in early 2004 to a high of about $3.35 a gallon in midyear 2007. During President Barack Obama's tenure, gas prices hit the aforementioned high of $4.28 a gallon in his first six months in office in 2008, plummeted to $1.69 by early 2009 and slowly but surely climbed (with many ups and downs) to the present $3.49 a gallon.
    Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.
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