Question of the day

John Kerry’s energy plan calls for reducing U.S. oil imports by two million barrels per day, roughly the amount the country brings in from the Persian Gulf. So how come Kerry is simultaneously blasting George W. Bush for not pressuring OPEC to sell us more oil?

That is Gregg Easterbrook. But in lieu of the resource pessimism in the rest of Gregg’s post, read Nick Schulz:

One way to determine if gas is too expensive is to compare it to other products to see how much bang you get for your buck. Sen. Kerry chose to speak in San Diego in part because that city has, according to Reuters, the highest gas prices in the country at $2.12 a gallon. So how does that compare with other consumer products like, say, the source of the Heinz-Kerry fortune: ketchup?

At the big-box retail outlets Sam’s Club and Costco, ketchup sells for about $0.04 an ounce or $5.12 a gallon – a little more than twice the price of gas.

But that’s not the best comparison. Americans typically don’t buy gas in bulk the way they buy foodstuffs at Costco. Ketchup at a retail grocery store is $0.16 an ounce meaning it rings in at an impressive $20.48 a gallon, almost ten times what gas costs.

Gas is also cheaper than orange juice ($6.64 a gallon), Snapple ($10.32 a gallon); olive oil ($51.04 a gallon), eye drops ($995.84 a gallon) and nasal spray ($2,615.28 a gallon) according to figures from the Department of Labor, Consumer Price Index.

Follow Nick’s links as well, including to Lynne Kiesling, keep scrolling to get her full treatment of this issue.


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