Tuesday, June 14, 2005

GAO studies

Two recently published GAO studies look at the shortcomings of defined-benefit plan legal safeguards (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05294.pdf) and factors behind increased gas prices(http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05525sp.pdf). The first study addresses some of the issues raised in the Real Clear Politics blog entry cited yesterday; the second indicates that increased crude oil prices, reduced refinery capacity and decreased competition because of mergers. Additionally, two other issues were addressed--taxes are about 23% percent of gasoline prices (versus 48% for crude oil and 29% for refining, distribution and marketing) but have not significantly increased recently and reformulated gasoline for air pollution control has an impact on gasoline prices but a relatively minor impact (probably less than $0.10 per gallon).


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