LOGA Vice President Gifford Briggs Talks Ethanol Blending And High Gas Prices (Audio)
Gas prices. The Louisiana average right now is for regular gas is about $3.50 a gallon. That's almost 20-cents higher than at this time last year. Gifford Briggs, Vice President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, stopped by our studio to give us some insight into why gas prices are so high.
The real easy answer is oil is at $106.00. And when you've got oil at $106.00 a barrel, you're going to have higher prices...There could be any number of factors. You obviously have a very uncertain environment in the Middle East right now, to say the least. And that tension is always going to put a strain on crude supplies. There's a lot of different things that factor into it. One of them is ethanol, which is required to be blended with gasoline as a federal government program. If corn costs are higher, then you end up with higher blending costs and then higher blending costs lead to higher costs at the pump.
Briggs then also addressed what kind of impact a U.S. president has on gas prices.
Directly, on a day-to-day basis, probably none. Certainly, over time, if we are going to see increased drilling and we have larger supply, if we are going to increase our refining capacity, some of those things could lead towards lower costs. What goes on in the Middle East and what the stability over there does, obviously, the President of the United States has some influence over that...The biggest thing that you can see Congress do or the President do, again, is addressing these renewable fuel standards which requires the ethanol to be blended. It's not good for your car. It's expensive. It costs more energy to generate a gallon of ethanol. It leads to higher food prices. There's nothing good about blending ethanol unless you are in the corn business.
For the complete interview, including Briggs' thoughts on President Obama's comments about solar energy, CLICK BELOW: