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I‘ve noticed every election year since 1996 (it was probably taking place earlier too) that the price of Gasoline routinely sinks as Election Day grows near. Despite President Bush wishing he had a “magic wand” he could wave to lower gas prices, gas prices always seem to plummet in advance of every Presidential election, only to shoot right back up in the days afterward.

About six months ago, when gas prices actually fell for the first time in years, I said to my Republican dad (tongue-in-cheek), “Gas prices are falling. An election must be coming.” Since that time, gas prices have fallen from a high of over $4 a gallon to the low $2’s, with an outside chance of breaking the $2/gal barrier by election day.

I first wrote about this effect last May, noting how, while Presidents claim not to have any power to affect gas prices, they actually have numerous things they can do to affect them: make sure refineries are operating at full capacity, cut back on the “saber-rattling” in the Middle-East, and put pressure on the Saudi’s to increase oil production. And now, we have evidence of this.

As a result of sinking oil prices because of the global economic crisis, OPEC has announced that it will be “cutting production” by 1.5 million barrels a day… starting in November after the election.

Keep in mind the platforms of the two Presidential candidates… While both claim to seek “energy independence”, only one wants to prolong America’s dependence on fossil fuels for another 50 years, vs one that is challenging America to achieve energy independence within 10 years. And just how serious are the two candidates about “energy independence”? McCain’s plan to offer a “$500 million dollar prize” to whoever comes up with a “better battery” for electric cars, isn’t exactly what one would describe as a serious “energy policy”.

Falling gas prices result in a boost to the economy, not only saving drivers money on their fuel bills, but indirectly by reducing prices on all the products we buy as the cost of transporting/manufacturing food, clothing, cars, furniture, appliances, etc, that we buy everyday. It gives consumers a false sense that the economy is actually better than it is, which always helps the Party in charge.

But this time around, the enormous economic crisis, mass foreclosures, record job loss, and a plunging stock market, are all countering any misimpression voters by get about the health of the economy as a result of falling gas prices.

So, the advice I was giving family & friends to “be sure to fill up your gas tank the day before the election because gas prices are going to shoot back up as soon as it’s over”, goes double now with the news from OPEC.