Expert Alert: Higher prices at the pump could return this summer if talks with Iran break down

David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Baker Institute energy expert says higher prices at the pump could return this summer if talks with Iran break down
Amy Myers Jaffe: Americans should stay tuned to Tehran talks

HOUSTON — (May 25, 2012) – Gas prices may appear to be plummeting, but a Rice University energy expert cautions against too optimistic of an outlook as Americans head into the busy summer driving season.

Gas pump

Photo courtesy Rice University/

Amy Myers Jaffe, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and co-author of “Oil, Dollars, Debt and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold,” is available for interviews to discuss gas prices going into the Memorial Day weekend and summer driving season.

Jaffe said the reprieve at the pump comes against the backdrop of falling crude-oil prices in anticipation of progress in talks between the U.S., Europe and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program. “Hopes that Iran might agree to a negotiated solution, including the possibility of U.N. inspectors, has taken some of the war premium out of crude-oil prices that rose sharply over the spring due to threats from Iran that it would try to close the Strait of Hormuz, the vital transit point for over 20 percent of world oil supply,” Jaffe said.

However, Jaffe said, Americans will have to stay tuned to Tehran to know whether the current reprieve in oil prices will last. “Any breakdown in talks, such as the blip today, could usher higher international crude-oil prices right back to the fore and with them, higher prices at the pump.”

To schedule an interview with Jaffe, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.


 Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.