By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Aug 18th, 2011 @ 3:00 pm
 
A number of major automotive figures - including former General Motor vice president Bob Lutz and current GM CEO Dank Akerson - have spoken out in favor of higher gas taxes in order to push buyers into more fuel efficient vehicles, but a leading presidential candidate has promised to lower gas prices to below $2 per gallon.

While on tour in South Carolina, Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann made a rather bold promise to onlookers, guaranteeing gas prices would fall to under $2 under her leadership.

"Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again," Bachmann told a crowd the crowd earlier this week. "That will happen."

Following her statement, the Tooth Fairy chased Santa Clause across the stage.

While there is no denying John Q. Public would love to see gas prices back under $2, that scenario seems unlikely and would mean a crumbling U.S. economy, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

"You have to be careful what you wish for because the recipe for cheap prices these days is economic disaster," Kloza told CNNMoney.

He added: "We're going to have to recognize the rest of the world has this increasing appetite for oil. If we go below $2 a gallon, it probably means there has been a lot of wealth loss and we are in a deflationary period."

Bachmann is quick to point out that gas was under $2 when President Obama took office, but the nation was also in the midst of the worst recession it had seen since The Great Depression.

Bachmann has yet to lay out an official plan to achieve her $2 goal, but the Republican has stated that as President she would ease regulations and lessen restrictions on oil drilling. However, the extra 500,000 barrels of oil that would be gained through expanded U.S. drilling would only net about a 3 cent per gallon reduction in fuel prices.

References
1.'Bachmann: I'll bring...' view