The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center teamed up this week to see who Americans hold responsible for rising gas prices.
According to the survey, one in three say rising gas prices are caused by a combination of greed, speculation and oil companies. One in five people who responded to the survey said that they blame instability in the Middle East and North Africa for rising fuels costs. About one in eight people said they blame politics and government energy policy for the price, while the same proportion say the price is simply the result of economic factors.
While these numbers are interesting, perhaps the most noteworthy part of the entire survey is the difference in responses along age demographics. More than 40 percent of seniors say “greed and speculation” are behind higher gas prices. Just 13 percent of adults age 18 to 29 blamed greed and speculation. In fact, the 18 to 29 demographic is twice as likely than seniors to say economic factors and overseas developments are the primary causes.
This study comes at a time when gas prices have been in the news for myriad reasons. Prices climbed over $4 per gallon in the nation’s capitol this week. But also this week, the price of a barrel of oil dropped nearly 10 percent on Thursday alone. This brought the price of a barrel of oil below $100.
If this drop in oil and other commodity prices lasts, it is likely that prices at the pump will fall. The question will then be: Who is responsible for the lowering of gasoline costs? Let’s hope that is a question we get to ask soon.