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.

“The economy was on the verge of collapse, because we were about to go through the worst recession since the Great Depression, as a consequence of some of the same policies that Gov. Romney’s now promoting.