OTR Interviews

Why Does Gas Cost So Much?

'OTR' Gas Prices Special: FBN's Eric Bolling on what's behind the rising prices


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 27, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: So why does gas cost so much? And is someone making a killing? Who is it? Now, those are the questions we ask ourselves every time we pull into the gas station. Oil companies are only part of the problem. And get this. They're not even getting the biggest piece of the pie.

Eric Bolling, host of the Fox Business Network's "Follow the Money," tells us there's a lot more to this story.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me get right to the point. Why is gas so expensive?

ERIC BOLLING, FOX BUSINESS: Well, there are a lot of reasons. First and foremost, we don't drill enough of our own oil, Greta. We use 20 million barrels of-- you've heard these numbers before. We use 20 million barrels of crude oil a day in America. We only produce around six million barrels a day. We need to drill more.

A great example of why that would matter-- look at natural gas, where we use everything-- everything we use, we produce right here in North America. So it doesn't matter what happens geopolitically in Egypt or Cairo or Libya. It just doesn't matter what goes on there. It only matters what we produce here, and prices don't spike when geopolitics matters. So it's drilling, one, and it's the EPA, too, Greta. I've been saying for a long time they really need to relax these EPA standards on blended fuel.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who's making the money? Where-- you know, where-- where's the cost?

BOLLING: Right. Remember back in October, when Egypt started to flare up, the price was around $83 a barrel. It went all the way-- it went up $30 a barrel after that because people were worried about disruptions of the supply of crude oil to America. Whether or not Egypt supplied a lot of crude to America didn't really matter. Crude oil happens to be a global commodity. The same barrel produced anywhere can be used anywhere else.

So the fear was that if it spilled into Saudi Arabia-- remember the Suez Canal, and then we were worried about Saudi Arabia unrest. If those barrels came off the market, then prices were (ph) spiking. Investors were jumping in front of that, looking for higher prices, and they drove the price up to a certain extent, no doubt, but certainly not the full $30 a barrel increase that we saw over that period of time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, someone's making out big because you mentioned specifically Egypt. But Egypt isn't in the top five in terms of supplying- -


VAN SUSTEREN: --any sort of oil. I mean, you've got Canada supplying about 27 percent, the most. Then at number two comes down to Saudi Arabia, down around 13. And then Mexico down around 12. So there-- so there-- you know, there hasn't been-- you know, so it's not Egypt that has driven it up, unless there's someone--

BOLLING: Well, but it is, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: --in between, like these speculators.

BOLLING: No, look, everyone wants to point the finger at speculators. There's a speculative premium in a barrel of oil, I guess. If it's not-- you can't blame them for all of it. Here's why. Egypt only produced about 1.6 million barrels per day. That wasn't what the problem was. The problem was that if the unrest spread throughout the Middle East, it could have been Yemen. It could have been Bahrain. It could have been Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq. Any of them, if you pull that oil off the market, prices have to spike because we produce just about what we use globally.


BOLLING: Globally, 83 million barrels a day.

VAN SUSTEREN: But Eric, has-- but has-- has Saudi Arabia decreased its-- how much it's giving us or selling us or getting out of the ground? I mean, has it decreased it, or is it just the fear of what's going to happen in the unrest?

BOLLING: Well, Saudi Arabia happens to be one of the two countries that could provide more barrels to bring prices down, and they've said, You know what? We're not ready to do that. So they're not increasing their production, although they could be, frankly, Saudi Arabia likes $100 barrel of oil, as does Russia, as does Iran and Iraq. So they're in no rush to bring the barrel price down. So we can't say, Hey, help us out here, Saudi Arabia.

But again, it's a perception of global crude oil supply versus demand. And any disruption of that is going to spike prices. That's not-- look, that's one issue. That brought the price of the barrel up. And then you come over here, frankly, there-- yes, sure, oil companies are making money. Refiners are making more money than they-- I-- 23 years of oil analysis, I own companies, I did business in the oil industry-- they're making more money right now, right this very second than they ever have in 23 years.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, if the United States were to drill more oil and all of a sudden, tomorrow, we were flooded with more oil, the prices would come down. That's-- but that's not going to happen overnight, even if there's a decision to do that. What is going to short term bring those prices down, if anything?

BOLLING: Well, one would be drilling, and I'll tell you why. If we had had this discussion two-and-a-half years ago, the last time oil spiked, we would be seeing those barrels right now.

And by the way, When George Bush lifted the moratorium on offshore drilling, prices for the barrel went down. That's the oil part of the equation. But the gasoline part of the equation, I'm telling you, right, I've said it countless times-- the EPA needs to back off these blending requirements. They have a summer blend. They have a winter blend. They have an East Coast, a West Coast blend, a Chicago blend. They have so many-- it's called boutique fuels. They're actually called flavors, believe it or not. There's a yellow flavor, a red flavor, a blue flavor.

If they just back off this temporarily, just temporarily let refiners blend one blend of gasoline for any market, the price has to go down because you produce more of it and it'll find its logical lower price. That's how the free market would work.