The latest installment of a series of "Fact Check" articles by The Associated Press challenges the notion that more oil wells in the U.S. would result in lower gasoline prices.
The AP's statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production shows no correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and gas prices here.
U.S. oil production, the article notes, has returned to the same level it was in March 2003. Back then, a gallon of gas cost $2.10, adjusted for inflation.
Trouble is, global oil demand is much higher now. In 2003, worldwide usage averaged 63.5 million barrels per day. The estimate for 2011 was closer to 88 million barrels a day.
(It's also interesting to note another wire story stated oil prices rose to near $107 in Asia Wednesday after a report showed an unexpected drop in the U.S. crude supply.)
The rising cost, and demand, for oil brings to mind the joke about the cost of living: Despite its high cost, it remains popular.