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Gas Prices Factor in U.S. Politics

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According to the New York Times, gas prices are a central topic in the upcoming presidential election.

The Times reports that several presidential candidates have claimed that they will lower gas prices, but according to a survey of economists conducted by University of Chicago Booth School of Business, gas prices are not under the control of any politician. Although the Obama administration influenced increased oil production in the U.S., we only hold 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. The U.S. consumes 20 percent of the world's oil supply per year.

The article reports that "in February 2001, just after Mr. Bush took office, the average price of regular gasoline was $1.45 a gallon. By June 2008, that price had risen to $4.05." Newt Gingrich said his goal is to lower gas prices to $2.50 per gallon; however, the article's author, who is one of the surveyed economists, asks if it is possible to "suspend the law of supply and demand."

The article states that the U.S. has less control over oil prices as it has the power to decrease consumption and raise taxes on oil to instigate use of alternative energy sources. For example, the article states, in Europe, energy-efficient cars are common. It is more probable, the article reports, for presidents to make policy changes to conserve fuel than lower the price of oil.

Tiger Woods Makes a Turnaround

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According to CNN, Tiger Woods won his first PGA tournament since 2009 today.

Woods suffered an injury to his achilles tendon at the Cadillac Championship Sunday, March 11, 2012. He experienced an achilles injury to the same foot at the August National tournament last year, as mentioned in a Huffington Post article.

In addition to injury worries plaguing Woods' public image, the 37-year-old had been in the news in 2009 for having several extra-marital affairs, according to

In 2009, Woods issued a statement of regret for his sexual encounters, saying that he will "strive to be a better person and the husband and father that [his] family deserves," according to CBS News.

CNN reports that Woods expressed confidence in his performance and quelled worries about his achilles tendon. He said he was "excited" for the upcoming Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia.

According to MSNBC News, the sea level has increased by 8 inches since 1880. This seemingly incremental amount has already taken a toll on the coastlines of the United States, particularly in low-lying coastal areas such as Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, California and New York.

According to the New York Times, scientists expect ocean levels to rise at about a foot per century, possibly accelerating, should the rate of global warming continue at its current pace.

Billions of dollars in both public and private land and property funds have already been lost, thanks to storm surge damage, relocation of sewage plants, and efforts to replenish sand on eroded beaches, as told by the New York Times.

The Times makes it clear that money is not the only issue: as ocean levels continue to rise incrementally, coastal areas will eventually become uninhabitable for 3.7 million people in the United States.

Instead of focusing on insurance planning and allocation of taxpayers' money, the Times reports that coastal scientists have urged politicians to organize "orderly retreat" from the areas of flood danger throughout the United States. However, the states in danger have yet to engage in significant measures to protect citizens against the potential consequences of the rising sea level.

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