Gasoline Prices Declined for the Fourth Straight Month—Despite April Oil Spill and Beginning of Warm Weather

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 17, 2010 | 6:32 PM EDT

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, left, and National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen, meets with local officials on Pensacola Beach, Fla., Tuesday, June 15, 2010, as they visited the Gulf Coast region affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. White House

( - Gasoline prices in the United States declined in each month from February to May of this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, helping to keep inflation essentially flat during that period.

Energy prices across the board also declined during the period, according to BLS. At the same time, however, prices for food, services, and both new and used vehicles went up.
“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.2 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis,” the BLS reported today.
“Over the last 12 months, the index increased 2.0 percent before seasonal adjustment,” said a release from the BLS. “For the second month in a row a decline in the energy index accounted for the seasonally adjusted decrease in the all items index. The index for energy decreased 2.9 percent in May and more than offset a slight increase in the index for all items less food and energy.”
Gasoline prices declined 1.4 percent in February, 0.8 percent in March, 2.4 percent in April, and 5.2 percent in May.
Prices for other forms of energy also declined in May. “The fuel oil index declined 1.4 percent, the index for natural gas fell 1.0 percent, and the electricity index decreased 0.4 percent,” said the BLS.

In his nationally televised speech from the Oval Office on Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama said America needs to follow the example of nation’s such as the People’s Republic of China, and begin a campaign of government intervention to switch our energy consumption away from fossil fuels to “clean energy” sources.

“For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires,” said Obama.  “Time and again, the path forward has been blocked--not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor."
“The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight,” said Obama. “Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America.” 

“Now, there are costs associated with this transition,” said Obama. “And there are some who believe that we can’t afford those costs right now.  I say we can’t afford not to change how we produce and use energy--because the long-term costs to our economy, our national security, and our environment are far greater.”