“We’re not going to have any problem with the price going down,” said John Stiglitz, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
“But we’re not getting there on the price.”
The price of gasoline has been plummeting since last summer, hitting a 20-year low of $2.85 per gallon in late October and early November.
That’s a far cry from the $3.50 it was at the start of this year.
But the drop is being seen as an inevitable consequence of the government’s massive effort to cut carbon emissions.
The cost of buying a gallon of gasoline dropped to a record low in December.
Stigliz said the government should be focusing on reducing carbon emissions as part of a broader strategy to fight climate change.
But for the moment, gasoline is still cheap.
In February, a gallon cost $2,890 in New York, compared to $3,093 in July and $4,085 in February.
In Texas, a 10-gallon can of regular gasoline was selling for about $2 per gallon last week, according to GasBuddy.com.
That compares with a $2 average price in California, where gasoline is $3 per gallon.
While the price of natural gas has fallen by more than half in the last year, Stiglits said the decline could continue if it continues at this pace.
The drop in the price will also likely boost the growth of gas stations, said Peter Hartley, senior energy analyst at research firm IHS.
“The gasoline industry is very much in the market place right now, and it’s a huge part of that,” he said.
The rise of electric vehicles, which are much more efficient than gasoline engines, has also fueled the growth in fuel pump prices.
A Tesla Model S electric car can be bought for about half the price as an average gas station.
The company is also expanding its distribution network, and the cost of shipping cars to customers has fallen sharply, thanks to a government mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For now, the only way to buy gas is at a gas station, and many people who live in cities and suburbs can’t afford it.
“It’s just the nature of the beast,” Stiglitis said.
“If you live in a big city and can’t drive, you have to go to the gas station.”
Gas prices may rise in the future, but Stiglis said the price drop isn’t enough to overcome the challenge of addressing climate change before it’s too late.
“A lot of the stuff that’s happening is temporary.
But it’s going to be very hard for this country to do it,” he told The Associated Press.
“And if it can’t, it’s not going away.
We’re just going to keep going on this journey.”