WASHINGTON — Gas prices could be impacted by who is in the White House for the next four years. After last week’s presidential debate, GasBuddy looked at what could happen to prices after the election.
GasBuddy’s analysis showed that when it comes to energy, a Joe Biden presidency would favor more “environmental controls.”
“He has made clear that he will make it a little bit harder on the oil sector, whether that’s cutting fracking or moving Americans away from fossil fuels. It will likely mean higher prices or at least the risk of higher prices in the years ahead,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.
DeHaan says President Donald Trump is likely to keep the status quo on the oil industry.
“President Trump is making it easier for the oil industry to do business. That means more production, less red tape, and generally lower prices. With fewer restrictions, oil can flow freely and that leads to lower prices,” said DeHaan.
Another thing to consider is that Biden has “walked back” some of his recent statements on fracking and restrictions.
“There have been some interesting statements where he said ‘No fracking at all’ and he was going to curb all offshore drilling. It seems like he’s walked back a few of those statements. Now we don’t really know what he may do if he does win the White House, but we do know he has kind of walked back some of those hard-line statements that could have made prices go up more dramatically,” said DeHaan.
There also could be a potential negative for the oil industry if Trump is re-elected.
“Perhaps going the other way too much, President Trump making it easier to for companies to pollute. That doesn’t impact gas prices. It would actually make them go lower, but it would have a negative effect on the environment. You can go too far either way,” said DeHaan.
As for the immediate future of gas prices, DeHaan believes gas prices will inch lower over at least the next few days. That could change by the weekend.
“It is possible we could see prices drift back up. That’s because the last price hike was only to about $2.09 per gallon. The last hike was to about $2.19. So stations are probably going to rub on the edge of profitability,” said DeHaan.
DeHaan said another thing to monitor is the effect Tropical Storm Zeta could have on gas prices.
“There may be minor disruption in price and localized supply challenges as Tropical Storm Zeta again takes aim for the Gulf Coast, but as we’ve seen with Laura, Sally, and Delta, these issues have been very minor compared to a normal year due to the reduction in our gasoline appetite,” said DeHaan.
LISTEN: Full Interview with Patrick DeHaan