The common explanation for rising gas prices makes an exciting news story: Villainous oil companies are taking advantage of helpless consumers. Prof. Art Carden explains that this popular story is inaccurate. Gas prices go up and down based on the laws of supply and demand. Political problems, such as barriers to the development of new sources and new energy sources, also contribute to rising prices. Gas prices would be lower if we didn’t have such barriers. Prices would also be lower if demand were not artificially increased through war and other wasteful expenditures.