Presidential contender Newt Gingrich opened the CNN debate by making the bold promise that he could bring the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon.
“I've developed a program for American energy so no future president will ever bow to a Saudi king again and so every American can have $2.50-a-gallon gasoline,” he said.
It’s a claim that he has made repeatedly on the campaign trail as Americans have been hit by prices inching up at the pump. Gingrich has said he would accomplish the feat by dramatically increasing domestic oil production, but whether the United States could ever produce enough oil to make that much of an impact is very much in doubt.
A 2009 study by the Energy Information Administration found that even unlimited offshore drilling would have a limited effect on prices for American drivers, bringing down the cost by only about 3 cents a gallon, according to The New York Times.
Moreover, at a May House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on gas prices, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., quoted Kenneth Green, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, saying, “The world price is the world price; even if we were producing 100 percent of our oil, we probably couldn't produce enough to affect the world price of oil."
Gingrich’s answer to the criticism has been to say that increasing domestic production would certainly be better than the restrictive policies of the Obama administration.