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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dear Congress: the News Is the Hawaii Gas Price Caps Failed

Did anybody see that Hawaii ended its gas price caps that they instituted last October? Apparently, it has cost consumers an additional 5 cents per gallon!

An analysis by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism estimated that island motorists paid $54.9 million more than they otherwise would have in the first five months under the cap. But research by cap supporter Rep. Marcus Oshiro indicated the limits saved drivers $33 million.

Russell Roberts of Cafe Hayek sarcastically compares the contradictory statements:

Always good to hear both sides, isn't it? Research by an economics professor and research by a politician. Six of one, half dozen of another!

Again per the news report:

"It was a failure, and other experts that have looked at it have said the same thing," said Anita Mangels, a spokeswoman for the Western States Petroleum Association, which represents ChevronTexaco and Shell Oil. "It was well-intended, but apparently according to the state's own agency has not served consumers well."

Aren't well-intended solutions that ignore economic principles such consistent failures? But they keep coming up with them.

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