Governments should stop trying to make gasoline cheaper

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Julian Lee is an oil strategist for Bloomberg First Word. Previously, he was a senior analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies.

The oil market is screaming at consumers to rein in their use of fuel. Governments are doing everything they can to have us to buy, buy, buy. But there can only be one winner in this battle, and it won’t be our elected representatives — or us.

In March, just after the U.K. government announced a yearlong cut in fuel duty, Javier Blas  argued that governments were pursuing the wrong energy policies in encouraging, rather than curbing, fuel demand. He was absolutely right. Evidence of policymakers’ errors is mounting, yet they are doing nothing to correct their mistakes. If anything, they’re only making matters worse.

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