The Presidential Election and Oil Price Analysis from GasBuddy

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Gas prices have been out of sight and out of mind for many with 2020’s yearly average likely to be at its lowest in over a decade. However, at Thursday night’s presidential debate, President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden had a nearly 12-minute discussion on their starkly different stances on America’s energy resources, putting further emphasis on the fact that which candidate voters elect could have great implications for the future of gasoline prices and how much motorists will spend to fill their tank, according to a recent GasBuddy analysis.

The analysis found that when it comes to energy, a Joe Biden presidency would favor more environmental controls with respect to drilling and emissions, increasing fuel mileage standards, alternative vehicle power like electricity, expanded tax credits benefiting fuel efficient vehicle owners, and evolving from fossil fuels. By comparison, President Trump’s policies are generally regarded as populist and pro-business, while perhaps marginalizing environmental factors. Either approach will have significant implications for the supply/demand balance, which will impact what the average American will pay per gallon. However, trends may shift that partially offset Biden’s potential moves as COVID-19 changes the landscape to more Americans working
from home, reducing demand for possibly several years.

Under Biden, gas prices have a higher risk of rising based on his previous comments of curbing fracking, ending offshore drilling and weaning America off petroleum, even as COVID-19 has boosted used car demand to record levels. A Biden White House that aims to curb oil and gasoline use risks a return to high prices so long as it is designed to cut oil supply, but not demand. The shift to electric vehicles is likely to take decades, as automakers slowly move towards EVs and charging stations rise in numbers.

While Republicans have scoffed at carbon emission pricing on fuel, Democrats have embraced it, with California already having implemented such pricing, a model that could lead to the introduction of such a tax elsewhere.

GasBuddy’s analysis looked into how various policies that may or may not be implement could affect gas prices and made rough estimations what each action could have on gas prices:
Institute carbon pricing: raise prices 10-50c/gal
Cut oil production (i.e. banning fracking or new drilling): raise prices 25-75c/gal
Add more ethanol in gasoline: cut prices 10-35c/gal

GasBuddy will be holding a Facebook Live discussion on this topic October 28 at 3pm ET with De Haan available to answer any questions. All are welcome to join facebook.com/gasbuddy.

About GasBuddy
For budget-minded drivers, GasBuddy is the travel and navigation app that is used by more North American drivers to save money on gas than any other. Unlike fuel retailer apps, as well as newer apps focused on fuel savings, GasBuddy covers 150,000+ gas stations in North America, giving drivers 27 ways to save on fuel. That’s why GasBuddy has been downloaded nearly 90mm times – more than any other travel and navigation app focused on gas savings. GasBuddy’s publishing and software businesses enable the world’s leading fuel, convenience, QSR and CPG companies to shorten the distance between the North American fueling public and their brands. For more information, visit www.gasbuddy.com.

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