President Obama’s claim during Tuesday’s debate that gas prices have doubled since 2008 because the economy was collapsing four years ago — and the implication that they are higher now because things are better — left some experts scratching their heads.

Economists told there is a grain of truth to the idea that pump prices go down in bad times and up in good. But refining costs, commodities speculation and oil supply all play a much bigger role in how much a gallon of regular costs drivers, they said. The issue came up when Mitt Romney said the failure of Obama’s energy policy is proven by prices currently hovering at nearly $4 a gallon.

Obama responded with the claim that gas prices fall when the economy does – and that’s why gas was so cheap as President Bush’s tenure came to an end.

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