Biden promises short answer on gas prices, speaks for 11 minutes

• April 3, 2012 2:55 pm


Asked Tuesday why gas prices are so high at a Norfolk, Va. event, Vice President Joe Biden promised a short answer.

"It’s complicated, you’d fully understand it, I’m going to give you a brief answer," Biden said, telling the audience to consider his answer a generalization. "But I’m going to give it to you as quick and straight as I can."

Biden then spoke for 11 minutes.

The vice president described a wide-ranging variety of factors that affect or could affect gas prices, including: Iranian threats to bomb Saudi oil fields in the event of war; the futures market; the Arab Spring and its effects in Egypt and Bahrain, among others; the war in Libya; the fungibility of oil; the Muslim Brotherhood and elections in Egypt and Bahrain; U.S. fuel-mileage standards; fracking; renewable energy subsidies; nuclear energy; oil subsidies; and the hypothetical effects of hypothetical "chaos" in Russia.

Biden also reiterated the misleading statement that the U.S. has more operating oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined. Politifact called the statement half-true when President Obama made it, pointing out that the number does not take into account Russian and onshore Chinese rigs.