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According to Rayola Dougher, senior economic adviser for the American Petroleum Institute, permitting delays for drilling companies led to the loss of 60 million barrels between May 2010 and May 2011.

“We do know what we can do at home,” Ms. Dougher said, “and that would be more than we’ve been doing.”

But opponents say the amount of oil they could drill in the U.S. would barely make a dent in the amount the world consumes every day. Furthermore, if the U.S. increases production, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably offset the gains here by decreasing production.

Mrs. Bachmann could also look at putting gas taxes on the chopping block. Right now, that accounts for about 40 cents, or 11 percent, of gas prices, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Adam Sieminski.

“It’s very difficult to deliver on such a promise,” he said. “If you cut all of the taxes out, it would still be above $3.”

Christopher DeMorro of Gas 2.0 said that Mrs. Bachmann, with the right combination of tax and energy policies, could “bring … us to within spitting distance of $2 a gallon gasoline.”

“If Bachmann somehow wins both the GOP nomination and the 2012 presidential contest,” he said, “well, who is to say she won’t stick to that promise?”