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Percentage increases in year-over-year gasoline prices for the past 20 years

President Obama nailed it Thursday in his speech at the University of Miami:

“You can bet that since it’s an election year, [Republicans are] already dusting off their 3-point plan for $2 gas — and I’ll save you the suspense: Step one is to drill and step two is to drill. And then step three is to keep drilling,” he said. “We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for President. We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years. Well, the American people aren’t stupid. They know that’s not a plan, especially since we’re already drilling. That’s a bumper sticker. It’s not a strategy to solve our energy challenge. That’s a strategy to get politicians through an election.”
Indeed, many besides Republicans are taking note of the recent price rise and what that might mean come November. Somewhere, the speculation goes, there is a point at which the president, and the party which he heads, will take unacceptably large hits from voters convinced that the Democrats are at fault. What that price point might be is variously put at $4 a gallon (a price already to be found throughout California), $5 or somewhere north of there.

Newt Gingrich, one of the Republicans who the president says is "licking their chops" over the prospect of higher gasoline prices by election day, is promising $2-a-gallon gasoline when he enters the Oval Office. His plan is to do what has become one word: drillbabydrill. To step up domestic production more than the 8 percent it has already risen over the past few years. Run the price down by boosting supply that's supposedly hampered by "radical environmentalists" and their Democratic lackeys.

This just goes to show that the guy who thinks he's the smartest fellow in the GOP contest, if not the universe, doesn't understand the global economics of oil or the constraints on how much U.S. production can be had. Even if every square inch of public land from the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the warming tundra of northern Alaskan is pumped dry, the flow from U.S. wells will never again be enough to appreciably budge world prices much.

(Continue reading below the fold)

The recent rise—the average nationwide price of a gallon of regular was $3.647 Friday morning—is blamed on a range of causes, chief among them being tension with Iran. But there are also theories such as the one proposing that the settlement over Greece's finances have encouraged a belief economic improvement is raising demand for gasoline, pinching supplies. But there is currently no shortage of supply. Indeed, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the nation is at the high end of the average amount of supplies for a February.

So, with domestic production up, worldwide demand well below pre-recession levels, U.S. demand down as people drive more efficient vehicles or use public transportation more than previously, and supplies of oil brimming, the suspicion in many people's minds is that something else is at work. Kevin G. Hall at McClatchy makes a case for it—speculation:

"Speculation is now part of the DNA of oil prices. You cannot separate the two anymore. There is no demarcation," said Fadel Gheit, a 30-year veteran of energy markets and an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. "I still remain convinced oil prices are inflated."

Consider that light, sweet crude trading on the NYMEX changed hands at $79.20 a barrel just four months ago, but soared past $106 a barrel Tuesday afternoon, partly on news that Iran would halt shipment of oil to Britain and France. But those countries already had stopped buying Iranian oil. And Didier Houssin, the International Energy Agency's director for energy markets and security, said that "there are alternative supplies that can make up for any loss of Iranian exports," The Wall Street Journal reported. [...]

"I put the Iran security premium at about $8 to $10 (a barrel) at this point, which still puts crude at about $90 or $95," said John Kilduff, a veteran energy analyst at AgainCapital in New York.

If Kilduff is right, then oil still should be trading for $13 to $18 a barrel less than it is.

If speculation is a key element in the price of oil, the question becomes what can be done about it. Commodity regulations are deucedly hard to enforce across international boundaries. National price controls, last tried in the Nixon administration, work poorly in an international market. A windfall profits tax on oil companies has been suggested and is an excellent idea. It might even gain traction in a Congress with a very strong Democratic majority. But for the moment it has the same probability of passing as nationalizing the oil giants.

Ultimately, the answer is to get us off oil as a transportation fuel, something we have to do not only because of a long-term dwindling of supply, but also because burning fossil fuels is fouling an atmosphere already overburdened with carbon emissions. However, even the most aggressive initiatives on that score will take many years to achieve. And we do not have even a mildly aggressive effort under way at the moment.

So we'll be stuck for the next few months hearing a lot of right-wing pundit and candidate nonsense tailored to squeeze as many votes as possible from people who actually believe that politicians have a short-term solution in this matter.

•••

Jamess has a diary here on this subject.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:44 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Progressive Policy Zone.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (121+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:44:02 AM PST

  •  Iran, Schmiran. (34+ / 0-)

    The east coast has lost 50% of its refining capacity, just in time for summer driving season. Add in that refined petroleum was our #1 export last year and you've got a good idea why we'll be paying $4/gal this year.

    Which of those factors does the president control again?

    Corporations are people, my friend Yeah, well, so's Soylent Green, so I don't find that very comforting. New video: "Undertaker"

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:51:33 AM PST

  •  The republicans would never run up the price (29+ / 0-)

    just to make the other guy look bad , they are to to to upstanding for that sort of dirty underhanded lowlife bullshit .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:53:03 AM PST

  •  Funny how hardly anyone, including Democrats,... (27+ / 0-)

    ...is talking about how commodities speculators are driving up the price of gas.  They did back in 2008, when Bush was still preznit; I paid north of $5 a gallon in San Diego that summer.  Republicans were fine with that.  Speculators at the time, of course, were evacuating the stock market and real estate market in droves in search for mre "reliable" investments.  More buyers = higher prices.  Undoubtedly the same metric is in play now, but I suspect it's investors getting out of bond markets, particularly European bonds, that's driving the present increases.

    We reach for the stars with shaking hands in bare-knuckle times.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:53:04 AM PST

    •  thank you (7+ / 0-)

      was just going to chime in re: the commodities market-- something which i do not understand terribly well, but i did stumble across this piece yesterday discussing precisely this matter of market speculative chicanery as having an impact on current pricing trends.

      keep your eyes on the sky. put a dollar in the kitty. don't the moon look pretty. --becker&fagen

      by homo neurotic on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:32:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also read that later it was found (9+ / 0-)

      that one company held something like 9% of the entire oil market futures at one point, and it was a company that didn't even use or sell oil.  Pure speculation.

      Personally I think there should be a rule that blocks any speculation on either the energy or food markets, things people need for their daily lives.  

      Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

      by sleipner on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:42:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  True - and luckily for us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheOrchid

      we were able to make it stick to Bush.  Same may hold true here for Obama.  Not too many people understand the role of speculation in the price of commodities.  Only that gas costs more, food costs more, etc.  Need to educate people.  At least for now.  When it comes back against an R, let the people return to ignorance.  heh, heh, heh.

    •  2/3 of Oil Reserves Held By Nonusing Investors (5+ / 0-)

      30% held by those like transport companies who will use it. It was just in the news yesterday.

      Up till a few years ago that ratio was reversed, users held around 2/3 of it typically.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:53:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also, Citigroup reported today that (0+ / 0-)

      there are not enough commercial bonds being issued to meet investor demand. So why not "invest" in oil futures... heck, it sure beats actually using capital to create jobs or something silly like that

    •  There's another side of the equation (0+ / 0-)

      Demand.  If there were no demand, they wouldn't be able to drive up the price. Alas, there is demand, huge demand.  

      These commodities traders aren't stupid.  They're not artificially driving up the price of something that they'll need to sell later at a higher price.  They're speculating that demand will continue to grow.

      Look, I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but this one does not hold water.  The global oil market is far bigger than the U.S. political scene.

      All you need is three chords and the truth, man - Jimi Hendrix

      by CharlieHipHop on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:23:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course the GOP Oil Companies and Billionaires (12+ / 0-)

    are responsible for artificially raising the price of oil in an effort to tank our economy (again)

  •  Second excellent diary on this subject today. (14+ / 0-)

    This diary by jamess is also very good.

    Good to see POTUS out in front on this issue.

    Now I would like to see Congressional Dems hold some hearing and haul some of these traders and oil company groups in and put them under oath.

  •  The U.S. is already drill baby, drilling... (15+ / 0-)

    Houston Chronicle: U.S. oil gusher blows out projections

    After declining to levels not seen since the 1940s, U.S. crude production began rising again in 2009. Drilling rigs have rushed into the nation's oil fields, suggesting a surge in domestic crude is on the horizon.

    The number of rigs in U.S. oil fields has more than quad­rupled in the past three years to 1,272, according to the Baker Hughes rig count. Including those in natural gas fields, the United States now has more rigs at work than the entire rest of the world.

    "It's staggering," said Marshall Adkins, who directs energy research for the financial services firm Raymond James. "If we continue growing anywhere near that pace and keep squeezing demand out of the system, that puts you in a world where we are not importing oil in 10 years."

    [...]

    Last month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration upgraded its forecast of crude production in 2025 to 6.4 million barrels per day - 1 million barrels more than were pumped in 2010.

    So much so that, according to the McClatchy story cited in the diary, the "United States has actually become a net exporter of gasoline, unable to consume all that it makes."
  •  Not only the gas prices (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southside, elwior, jan4insight, indie17

    but Obama's war on religious freedom and his appeasement of Muslims...oh and Santorum slyly equating the Netherlands euthansia of the elderly with ACA ...a reprise of the death panels.

    Thanks for this post, MB, cuz we need to get busy as the demagoguery is already off the charts and we need to get with the program.

  •  BP Just Shut Down a WA Refinery After a Fire (6+ / 0-)

    a nearby caller to prog talk said had been extinguished within an hour. Company says it'll be shut down for 6 months.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:58:27 AM PST

  •  Who says Oil Speculators are inconsquential? (12+ / 0-)

    Could it be -- the Drill now, Drill often crowd?


    Oil speculation: What Congress wants
    Lawmakers are threatening to get tough on traders and have introduced 9 different bills. But it's unclear if they'll succeed.
    by David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer -- June 24, 2008

    [...]
    Congress is vowing to take actions that it believes will reverse runaway crude and gasoline prices. Oil rose above $136 a barrel on Monday -- more than double what it cost a year ago -- and gas hovered around $4.07 a gallon.  {Deja vu all over again}

    Lawmakers have introduced nine different bills on speculation -- not to mention many more that tackle other causes of escalating fuel and oil prices. Several of the speculation measures have bipartisan support.
    [...]


    Regulating traders abroad

    "Prevent Unfair Manipulation of Prices Act of 2008" (H.R. 6330).
    [...]


    Raising margins

    "The Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008" (S. 3044)
    [...]


    Limiting hedge funds

    The "Oil Speculation Control Act of 2008" (S. 3131)
    [...]


    Ending most speculation altogether

    H.R. 6264, would only eliminate speculation in "dark, unregulated markets" and not speculation altogether.
    [...]


    Too bad though, Congress knows how to "threaten legislation" -- but the GOP-led Congress DOESN'T knows how to "pass legislation";  at least not legislation that protects ACTUAL Consumers, instead of the market players who walk away with OUR hard-earned cash. Day-in, day-out. Season-in, Season-out.  


    H.R.6330

    Latest Title: Preserving American Income on Dividends Act of 2010
    Latest Major Action: 9/29/2010 Referred to House committee.
    Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

    S. 3131: Oil Speculation Control Act of 2008
    Last Action: Jun 12, 2008: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
    Status: Referred to Committee   

    S.3044
    Latest Title: Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008
    Latest Major Action: 6/11/2008 Senate floor actions.
    Status: Motion to proceed to measure considered in Senate.

    H.R. 6264 (Rep. Larson)
    Status: Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture Limits over-the-counter derivative transactions in energy commodities (defined as crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, or diesel fuel) to persons whom the CFTC has certified as having the capacity to produce, manufacture, or accept physical delivery of the commodity.

    Get ready for those "summer driving prices" folks -- it's being "priced-in" as we speak.

    That's how Oil Speculators routinely saving us from the Market Disruptions in Iran -- that haven't even happened yet.  By stockpiling Commodity paper -- NOT any actual oil.  THAT would be messy.  ewwh!


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:00:43 AM PST

  •  And I see people still driving SUVs (17+ / 0-)

    And no bike lanes anywhere.  And nowhere to walk.  

    That's the USA, folks.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:04:18 AM PST

    •  Speak for yourself (6+ / 0-)

      If you want bike lanes, you have to work for them.  My suburb just passed a comprehensive bike plan to add new bike lanes and bike paths.  It's a multi-year plan, but each year biking will get better.  And mine is a Repbulican suburb.

      So why did the teabaggers vote for it?  Because it's fiscally conservative.  We made great arguments that the bike lanes are cost effective, that less gasoline used keeps more money local in town.  That fitter citizens are healthier and happier citizens for the benefit of all.  And most of all, because people came out and supported it.

      Oh, but I also bought a modest house in a walkable town to begin with. So if you're in McMansion SUV teabagger land, my advice to you is to move.

  •  President Obama gave a lesson yesterday (7+ / 0-)

    Yesterday(2012.02.23) at the University of Miami, the President gave a great speech and a lesson about gas prices.

    President Obama talks about his blueprint for a new era of American energy.  White video, about 23 mins.

    Link again :http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

  •  If Obama was a real President, he'd get out his (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, jamess, Matt Z, jan4insight, tuma

    Magic Wand of Gas Price Decreases and make gas cheaper!

    Just like the Republicons would if they were in charge!

    Why can't they just do it as things are?

    Er

    Um

    Look, over there! A bla...er, I mean a KENYAN!

    sneak sneak sneak oh ALEC don't fail me now!

  •  If people don't like the price of gas... (6+ / 0-)

    ...they should buy electric cars.  

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:09:32 AM PST

  •  I thought the GOP was for "free" market (9+ / 0-)

    all the time?  If the president were to do anything to curb speculation, you know they'd be screaming about government interference.  

    Oy!

  •  "Wall Street Oil Speculation Driving Surge in Gas (9+ / 0-)

    Prices--US gas prices surge despite declining demand..." (emphasis mine):

    U.S. demand for oil and refined products — including gasoline — is down sharply from last year, so much that United States has actually become a net exporter of gasoline, unable to consume all that it makes.

    Yet oil and gasoline prices are surging...

    ...The ostensible main reason for the quick rise in oil prices is the worry over a confrontation with Iran, along with a few other "ostensible" reasons (as discussed in the article), but the reality is that:  
    While tension over Iran has ratcheted up over the last few months, the price of oil and gasoline has leaped far beyond conventional supply and demand variables. Financial speculators are piling into the market, torquing the Iranian fear factor into ever-higher prices.

    So, while we are using less gasoline than last year, so much so that we are actually exporting gasoline,  the prices are shooting up. Why?

    ...Financial speculators...They are there to make money. It's our fault because we are allowing them to do that," said Gheit ("veteran" of energy markets & analyst at Oppenheimer and Co.). "Obviously these people are very strong, and the financial lobby is the strongest of any single lobby. I've been in this business 30 years, and I can tell you I think this is smoke and mirrors."
    Gheit has testified before Congress, at which time he called for regulation of speculation in commodities markets.  
    •  Fear Factor: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurious
      Financial speculators are piling into the market, torquing the Iranian fear factor into ever-higher prices.

      From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

      by KenBee on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:36:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  MB, do you have a cite for this? (0+ / 0-)
    .... worldwide demand well below pre-recession levels
    thanks.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:46:32 AM PST

    •  I've struck that line. Thanks. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:05:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for doing that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Progressive Fury, marsanges

        Rising world demand is more important than shrinking US demand as far as setting price goes.

        There is a thought going around that demand is shrinking yet price is rising so, therefore, someone must be manipulating price.

        But worldwide demand is up, which supports upward movements in price and lessens the need to invoke manipulation.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:57:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think what we'll be seeing... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          ...more of is everybody making assumptions about what is making prices go up without anybody knowing for certain. I suspect it's a number of factors. But when you have people confusing gasoline prices with oil prices, a history of speculation that we do know has an impact and a commodity that affects so many people directly and indirectly, there is bound to be some theorizing going on to fit one's own biases.

          My view is that, except for the potential effect on the election, this doesn't matter. What matters is transitioning off oil as a transportation and boiler fuel as quickly as possible. Right now there's only limited and too-slow moves in that direction.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:52:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree re: what matters (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades

            However, we have a only a limited ability to impact that.

            I don't like is seeing Americans so poorly informed about the oil story. Too many are completely unprepared for a world in which oil is far dearer than what we are built for.

            And, on the bright side, if Americans finally get that oil will never be cheap again, our people may finally find the will to support badly needed changes in energy use.

            An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

            by mightymouse on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 06:01:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile.... back in Greece (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    Hedge funds are looking to block the bailout in order to get a huge payday.

    Here is what is happening.  For the bailout to go through and avoid a messy defaults which would trigger credit default 75% of the bondholders must agree to take a 75% or so haircut on the paper they hold.  They do this voluntarily, swaps arent triggered, as this trigger is what this crisis is all about.

    BUT, in the last few month Hedge funds have bought up what is though to be more than 25% on the paper out there, thus they can block this bailout, not take the voluntary lose, have the Credit default trigger when Greece defaults on the paper, and then the Hedge funds sit back and wait for the Fed cavalry to give them 100% payday, just like the fed did in 08.Why? well because just like in 08 when AIG was suppose to pay off the swaps but couldnt, NOTHING HAS CHANGED.

    Once again these credit default swaps and derivatives are being written as insurance by banks that simply could never pay them off if triggered, and yet, they are likely to be triggered once again.

    and we are talking not billions but TRILLIONS.

    Noone knows for sure just how much is tied to a greece default, but it is thought to be north of one trillion.

    and if that doesnt scare you, do you know that taken all together the derivative and swap shadow market has about 500 trillion sitting out there. 500 trillion.  That more than all the wealth of the world.

    so yeah, so you wonder why Im not "bullish".

    Bad is never good until worse happens

    by dark daze on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:47:50 AM PST

  •  Global oil demand below pre-recession levels? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Progressive Fury, KenBee

    I don't think this phrase from the diary is true:

    So, with domestic production up, worldwide demand well below pre-recession levels, U.S. demand down as people drive more efficient vehicles or use public transportation more than previously, and supplies of oil brimming, the suspicion in many people's minds is that something else is at work.
    Here is an article saying the opposite:
    What global recession? After falling 1.5 percent from 2008 to 2009, global oil consumption soared to an all-time high of 87.4 million barrels per day in 2010, according to the online Vital Signs report published by Worldwatch Institute. The 3.1 percent increase in consumption in 2010 easily makes up for the decline between 2008 and 2009 caused by the global economic crisis.
    Does anyone here have a cite for global demand now vis-a-vis pre-recession?

    Thank you.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 10:50:55 AM PST

    •  You're right. My mistake. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:56:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Global demand in 2011 was 89.1 mb/d (5+ / 0-)

      According to the IEA.  See page 5 of the pdf: http://omrpublic.iea.org/....

      So despite the headwinds of a crappy economy in the USA and Europe, the rest of the world picked up the slack in oil demand and took it to new highs.  As much as we want to blame speculators and republicans, the truth is that this is what peak oil looks like - production cannot match growing world demand.  The age of cheap oil is over.

      That's not to say that the price of oil won't temporarily drop if we get another financial collapse like 2008.  It will.  But prices will crawl right back up as soon as the economy starts to improve again, choking off the recovery, again.

      No mainstream politician has had the guts to address the central issue to our economic distress: there is no longer an oversupply of (cheap) energy that can be tapped to power economic growth.

      •  bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        a rise of 3 to 4% over the course of a few years is not the cause, supply easily has matched it.

        ITS THE FREE capital.  This is what happens when you toss trillions out into the markets.  

        Its sugar rushes of speculation.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:33:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've read the zero hedge article (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          on the role of quantitative easing.  It's got some merit, but I'm not totally convinced.

          Mainly because oil isn't sold for its future options price.  That's just a bet on whether their will be unmet demand or or not in the future.  Options may effect price, but I don't see how you can corner a market without taking delivery.  If there are speculators out there taking delivery and storing product, then they would certainly be able to manipulate price.

          It's not as if there's excess supply in the market.  Every barrel of oil that is produced is being used, as far as I'm aware.   So the fact that there's been a 3 to 4% increase in delivered oil (demand that has been met) doesn't mean that all demand has been met.  The price is set on the margin- so as long as there is someone wanting more oil, and willing to bid more $'s to get it, the price will increase until demand is sated.

          The only other explanation that would make sense to me is if there are some countries adding to strategic reserves and pulling barrels out of the market.  But that's not the type of speculation that typically is blamed for higher oil prices.

          •  there are goldman (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Progressive Fury

            itself often leases a fleet of super tankers that often do little more than sit off shore.

            Bad is never good until worse happens

            by dark daze on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:57:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They certainly did that in the Spring of 2008... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mightymouse

              when, IIRC, they leased 7 tankers and parked them.  That helped spike oil up to $140/bbl.  This time around I haven't heard anything about oil being parked offshore.  If it's happening now, then you'd think we'd be hearing about it again.  That type of behavior gets a lot of attention from sites like the theoildrum and energy bulletin.  

              So, it's possible that part of the price of oil is being driven by speculation.  I just doubt that's the case right now.

      •  thanks PF, that's helpful (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Progressive Fury, EthrDemon

        This is the key phenomenon - US and developed world oil use will be forced to drop as that of the rest of the world rises.

        This does pose a minefield for politicians, since it does mean some pain for us.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 01:02:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jimmy Carter told the truth about energy (4+ / 0-)

          ... and look what it got him :(

          It's impossible to get elected (or re-elected) if you tell Americans that they need to drive less, drive more fuel efficient cars, move closer to work, turn up the thermostat in summer and turn it down in winter, and generally wake up to the fact that we use way too much energy.  

          I think it's more than a minefield for politicians, it's political suicide. It opens the door wide open to being demagogued to death about "the American way of life" and "the American dream."

          We'll only change when we have to - dragged along kicking and screaming by $4, 5 or 6/gal. gasoline prices.  In the Western states where everything is so spread out, it's just going to be ugly.

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
    However, even the most aggressive initiatives on [transitioning away from oil as a transportation fuel] will take many years to achieve. And we do not have even a mildly aggressive effort under way at the moment.
    And those initiatives are going to require legislation which has no more chance of passing the current Congress than the windfall tax on oil companies.  So about the only question that remains until the election is whether or not it is good politics for candidates to talk about such initiatives.
    •  What about speculators (0+ / 0-)

      I know nothing will be done about that, but would any action against them have to start with the "other side"?

      •  Virtually no chance of action. (0+ / 0-)

        If gas prices remain high, Republicans in Congress will be furiously making the case that it is Obama's failures which have caused it: failure to approve Keystone XL, failure to drill enough, even Solyndra(!), whatever red herrings they think can gain traction on the issue.  They will not act on anything which even hints that there might be something other than Obama's failures which has caused the high gas prices.

        I do not think that something like this could get through the House even if it were a tiny part of a large bill.  Not this year.

  •  I Believe DOJ May Already Be On The Scent Of (0+ / 0-)

    Something.

    Pres O vs. The oil behemoths.  I like the sound of that going into an election.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:04:51 AM PST

  •  Anyone wanna take a try at schooling (0+ / 0-)

    Some of these idiots?  Seems like nothing gets through to these fools ("yo morons...THIS IS WHAT YOU FREE MARKET PEOPLE WANTED!")

    Harrisburg-area gas prices likely to rise...

  •  The CFTC has the power to act under Dodd-Frank (0+ / 0-)

    to rein in speculation. The question is - what are they waiting on?

    http://www.cftc.gov/...
    http://www.cftc.gov/...

  •  It's refinery closures, not Iran or Greece etc. (4+ / 0-)

    It's not Iran.

    NPR had a story yesterday on this.

    The rise in oil prices right now is almost completely about the fact that several US oil companies closed down refineries in the US this past month.

    Yup, closed refineries.

    They keep complaining that they need to build more refineries and by some fascinating coincidence, several totally not coordinated oil companies all decided to close their refineries at the exact same time, right when Obama's approval numbers were becoming solidified.

    Ask Jimmy Carter. He knows what's happening.

    We don't need more refineries in the US. The oil industry knows that demand for oil is down. So they closed down their refineries to jack up prices right before the election.

    It's just the oil industry carrying water for the Republican crooks who go to war to make them money - as usual.

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Stankus

      From the article linked above:

      Prices for Brent crude have gone up, but demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at a 15-year low. That means refineries haven’t been able to pass on the higher prices to their customers.

      As a result, companies have chosen to shut down a handful of large refineries... Since December, the U.S. has lost about 4 percent of its refining capacity

      It's a classic supply squeeze. Demand was actually DOWN, so they purposefully cut off the supply to jack up prices before the election.
      •  Supply and demand excuse don't work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        benjim

        When they got the finger on the "price" lever.

        •  They keep screaming they need to build (0+ / 0-)

          more refineries.

          Gas prices won't go down if they do.

          They'll just close down more refineries and make higher profits using more efficient newer refineries.

          It's hard to understand why Americans don't understand this basic premise of economics and business.

          Companies aren't motivated by lowering costs. They want high costs for their products and they'll cut workers, close factories/refineries/etc, and use newer technology in order to sell the same product at the same or higher prices for less overhead. Every single time.

    •  Typically... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressive Fury

      ...refineries in the US shut down for maintenance in the spring, when the weather for significant outside work is neither too hot nor too cold, and then deconvert in the summer to produce heating oil for the upcoming heating season.  This pattern tends to drive a seasonality in prices of all fuels.

    •  While higher gasoline prices are... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, mightymouse, wsexson

      ...in part due to closed refineries, oil prices are also up, which boosts gasoline prices, something the story you link points out.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:11:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Demand for gas in the US is down (0+ / 0-)

        Oil prices are up due to speculation regarding the closure of oil refineries.

        It's not about Iran or Greece or any of the other nonsense.

        It's about Republicans and the oil industry trying to 'Jimmy Carter' the first black president.

        End of story.

        Get the story right or don't write about it.

        You're not shedding any light on the issue with the talking points you're creating, just clouding it up as Republicans want you to.

        How you missed the center of the real story is beyond me.

  •  hey , hey, over here, i'll tell you the secret (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hafnium

    ITS THE SPECULATORS STUPID!

  •  Prediction (0+ / 0-)

    Gas prices will fall after labor day, perhaps even after 7/4.

    •  5 Myths about gas prices (3+ / 0-)
      3. Oil companies produce less in the spring to make gas prices increase.

      Almost every year, gasoline prices rise in the spring. At the same time, refineries produce less fuel. This isn’t because oil companies want to keep inventories low to drive prices higher. It’s because what’s in our gasoline — specifically, butane — changes from season to season.

      Butane is a cheap ingredient in gasoline that boils at low temperatures. In winter, this isn’t a problem. But in summer, butane evaporates from gas, polluting the air while leaving us with less fuel in the tank than we paid for. As temperatures rise, refineries replace butane with more costly ingredients and draw down winter inventories just as beach season begins.

      Chemistry, not corporate conspiracy, limits supply.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

  •  Thanks for the (0+ / 0-)

    quote from President Obama's speech regarding the Republican 3 point plan. I am going to share it - often.

  •  Thar's oil in them thar hills (0+ / 0-)

    Well, at least according to the GOP there is. The blame game will keep going. I had heard someone point it to not allowing the (stupid) KeystoneXL pipeline through. I just had to shake my head.

  •  This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dannyinla

    rather interesting article from Talking Points Memo discusses the problem in terms of weather and -- butane? Who knew.

    Republicans only want government small enough to fit in a woman's private parts. -- Caroline Heldman, Professor of Politics, Occidental College

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:43:40 AM PST

  •  Not the first time gas prices have gone up. (0+ / 0-)

    Don't think it will have much impact on the electorate.  With this much attention being paid to gas prices, the price fluctuation is likely to moderate over the course of the year.  Besides, Obama already inoculated himself against this issue by talking about all the drilling and nuclear stuff he has been doing.  Dems can turn the argument against the GOP by saying that the price hike shows that we need to have a greater sense of urgency to move more quickly to end our dependence on foreign oil-- more investment in alternative energy.

    I can say that as someone who has a Prius and a less  efficient Nissan, driver, I only feel the pain on the Nissan because I only need to fill up the Prius about 2.5 times a month.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:49:19 AM PST

  •   we could (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    We could increase the infrastructure for natural gas--which is plentiful and can be used for cars.  This would lower our dependence on the Middle East and be an economic stimulus.  Calling the other guy stupid can obviously be true, but is a shitty campaign strategy.  A jobs bill that lowers fuel costs is great campaigning--and good for the economy.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:50:19 AM PST

  •  even without speculation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Stankus

    let's assume that we could produce so much oil that worldwide supply would be increased by ten percent. OPEC and other countries would simply adjust their supply to bring prices back to where they were or thereabouts.

    It's a friggin world-wide commodity and the prices are set by world-wide supply and demand.

    •  no not at all (0+ / 0-)

      if the markets and currencies and so forth werent rigged that is how it would work.  But the whole game is RIGGED.

      The entire reason oil is going up is simply because of so much fucking free capital released by the central banks, its trying to find a quick safe score.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:30:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Newt knows alright (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, Eric Nelson

    that by warmongering the non-existent Iranian nuclear bomb that oil prices are going to spike.  Because Gingrich along with his unspeakable Middle East allies will do anything including starting another war to unseat Barack Obama.  

  •  When I was transporting shelter animals, (4+ / 0-)

    about 600 in about 9 mos., I was paying up to $5.50/gallon.  That was on Bush's watch so I don't EVER want to hear this is a democratic problem.

    I had VERY long routes to drive and had to fill a 22gal tank up twice. It was not a happy thing.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:00:36 PM PST

  •  Faulty logic. (0+ / 0-)

    I keep seeing arguments that break down into "well we increased drilling and gas prices stayed high, therefore drilling is pointless," or "increasing drilling will take years to affect gas prices so there is no point in drilling."

    Often by the same people who are lamenting the outsourcing of American industry.

    We might as well stop growing food, as well, and focus on the recent advances in lab grown meat. I mean, we have all these cows and beef prices are still going up. Pffft.

    There are a lot of benefits to increased drilling in the North America, whether you hate oil or lust after a magical alternative energy infrastructure. But hey, that infrastructure is going to take years to implement, so I guess we probably shouldn't bother.

    •  There are also deep drawbacks to drilling... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, wsexson

      ...in fragile and protected environments, which is where much of the new and proposed drilling will be taking place.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:19:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

        There are potential drawbacks to everything.

        There are potential drawbacks to having 20% of the world's oil depending on the Strait of Hormuz.

        There are potential drawbacks to waiting until oil is $200 a barrel to start looking for alternate sources.

        I'm not saying we should bury the polar bears under rivers of crude, and using that as an excuse for not pursuing domestic energy exploration and production is kind of silly.

        •  Every delay in getting us off oil... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson

          ...is just another version of global-warming denial. We were started down a reasonably smart approach to energy 33 years ago, but Ronzo popped barricades in the way. So, here we are today, still far more dependent than we should be at this late date, talking about new drilling in areas we know are environmentally unsound (even without climate change), strip-mining tar sands, fracking natural gas at the risk of tainting water supplies and once again discussing extracting oil shale (which has been promised as a panacea and failed four times already). The issue isn't polar bears; they are just  symptom of the disease.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:21:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Everything is not binary. (0+ / 0-)

            The options aren't "find new sources of oil because it is crucial for modern civilization" or "invest in alternative energy research."

            It is a false dichotomy that you are presenting.

            The fact is that we are going to be reliant on oil for a long, long time, and anything we can do to mitigate the fact that so much of the world's oil comes from unstable regions is ultimately a good thing.

            •  We'll just to disagree about that. In a world... (0+ / 0-)

              ...of rapid climate change exacerbated by every drop of fossil fuel we burn, the situation is binary.

              Moreover, quintupling proven reserves would give the U.S. a 13-year domestic supply at current rates of importing. Cut off the "unstable" parts of the world from the list and you reduce that to 9 years.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 11:05:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  but (0+ / 0-)

              what if part of the reasons that "so much of the world's oil comes from unstable regions" is because so much of the world's oil comes from them and oil as a global commodity is rather a catalyst for instability (or at least an invitation to those whose specialty it is to produce it [instability])?

              Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

              by a gilas girl on Sat Feb 25, 2012 at 11:04:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)

        There are potential drawbacks to everything.

        There are potential drawbacks to having 20% of the world's oil depending on the Strait of Hormuz.

        There are potential drawbacks to waiting until oil is $200 a barrel to start looking for alternate sources.

        I'm not saying we should bury the polar bears under rivers of crude, and using that as an excuse for not pursuing domestic energy exploration and production is kind of silly.

    •  Unless that oil is gonna stay here (0+ / 0-)

      Only people that are going to get rich are the oil companies and the casino (Wall Street) people.

      •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

        So let me get this straight...auto industry bailout is good because it saved and created many jobs and preserved a large American industry.

        Oil companies profiting is evil because they are a large American industry that maintain and create a ridiculous number of good paying jobs.

        Makes perfect sense.

    •  yeah sure (0+ / 0-)

      we put our beaches, and ocean front and multi billion dollar tourism at stake for a 3 cent drop in oil.  Yeah sure, what possibly go wrong.

      RELEASE the magic Plankton.

      Bad is never good until worse happens

      by dark daze on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:29:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are EXPORTING gasoline... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dannyinla, SammyJames

    as we can't consume what we produce!!
    This is an excellent opportunity for Obama to point out the obvious flaw in the GOP push to increase domestic oil production, and to illustrate who (oil companies) benefit from these policies.
    Production and delivery costs for a barrel of oil from Canada are about $75 a barrel. The market-fundamentals cost for a barrel of oil is in that ballpark; above that, speculation sets the prices.
    These artifically inflated oil prices are a gift....USE IT!!!!

  •  Why does Newt Gingrich hate oil speculators? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter, catnap1972

    I thought he was all about the free market and stuff.  You can't get $2 gas without taking all speculation completely out.  But if he could even do that, he'd be haunted by the ghost of Ron Paul day and night.

    To paraphrase the President, this isn't a vision for America, it's a fairy tale.

  •  don't know if this is allowed or not..if not (0+ / 0-)

    I will delete it.  I posted this diary in the morning so here's my 2 cents worth

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    The math is very simple.  The average price of gas is $3.59 based on crude at an average of $106/barrel.  Now I will concede that is overly simplified but good enough for a rough calculation?

    $16/barrel - McCain/Graham/Gingrich

    $15/barrel - Wall Street speculators

    Voila....follow me below on how to get to $2.50/gallon TODAY!!!!

    According to McClatchy(Kevin Hall),

        Once again, speculators behind sharply rising oil and gasoline prices

    .  You can read the entire piece here http://www.mcclatchydc.com/.... but here is the summary:

    *  US Demand is down sharply - we are a net exporter!
    *  Should be price is about $75/barrel
    *  

        The ostensible reason for the climb of crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where contracts for future delivery of oil are traded, is growing fear of a military confrontation with Iran in the Persian Gulf's Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world's oil passes.

     This is what I call the McCain/Graham/Gingrich fear factor.  The first two were speaking out against General Jack Dempsey and US Policy in Israel and beating the drums of war to bomb Iran right away(remember bomb, bomb, bomb from the last election).  And Gingrich(others too) keeps stoking this fire during the debates.
    *  

        Still, oil's price shot up because it trades in financial markets, where Wall Street firms and other big financial players dominate the trading of oil, even though they have no intention of ever taking possession of the oil whose contracts they are trading.

    .  Then the speculators take over.  

    So if you take out the impact of the last two, you are down to about $75/barrel and that converts to about $2.50/gallon.   You can do the math yourself but here is what I cam up with (75/106*3.57 = $2.53)   Newt Gingrich has it exactly right.  He is not a dummy.  

    And by the way, during an election year, this is obviously a major issue and these guys can make the market move any way they want.  They are market makers.

        Not surprisingly, big Wall Street traders on Tuesday projected oil will rise above $112 a barrel; some such as Swiss giant Vitol even suggested $150-a-barrel oil is coming soon. When they dominate the market, as they do, speculators' bids can make their prophecies self-fulfilling.

     You can call me a conspiracy theory nut if you want but this is clearly not helping Obama or the economy.

        What's indisputable is that oil and gasoline are not in short supply, and that demand remains weak.

        Inventories of stored oil are also unusually high, the EIA said

        Hence, no shortage to explain soaring prices.

  •  blah, Iran issue solved before then & people have (0+ / 0-)

    forgotten Obama dumping a large chunk of oil along with the EU doing so last year from national reserves to stop the scary spiking that was going on and it worked

    so after iran rattles the sword a bit more and then sits down to negotiations it will all calm down.  The sanctions would bankrupt the iranian regieme which is in a precarious position with the masses already as evidence by the uprising that occurred 2009-2010

    obama will dump a chunk of oil from national reserves in October if things get bad and prices will drop pre Nov vote

    repubs are grasping at straws and trying to drive up the price with fear mongering

  •  oh and ps the refineries that are shut down for (0+ / 0-)

    repairs / maintenance will be up and running pre election so that issue solved as well

    10 issues coming at ya, ignore 9 and they will solve themselves in time .  

  •  The price of GASOLINE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17

    (gas is a different substance) is, in the U.S., primarily a function of crude oil prices. WTI Crude is about $109/bbl as I write.

    Refining capacity is not driving the price of gasoline at the moment.

    If gas could be turned into a widely used transportation fuel, then that may actually (and somewhat ironically) bring the price of gasoline down. That can be done by electrifying transportation which has the added benefit of being able to use renewable sources as well, converting transportation to CNG powered vehicles, or converting the gas into liquid fuels via the GTL process.

    Horizontal drilling + fracturing has had a major effect on gas prices in N. America. In fact, prices are so low now that drilling activity will drop this year as companies like Chesapeake and Exxon try to get "off the treadmill" of shale gas drilling/production until the price recovers.

    Much of the increase in U.S. oil production recently is with shale gas plays that have high liquids content. This type of drilling will likely continue as the high crude price will make those wells pay, but the overall reduction in drilling this year due to low gas prices will probably reduce the domestic crude production a little.

    Expect the Reps to try to make hay from that.

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:23:38 PM PST

  •  There is NO WAY that the repub Grifterhood™ (0+ / 0-)

    won't try to foment an expensive and well funded last minute Draft JEB/PETRAEUS/IKE/ST RONNIE's GHOST movement.

    There is just too much money to be had doing it, it would be Wrong not to.

    Long public slumber Indeed™

    'Oh we're all concerned for the Soul of the Republican Party..' blurp, flarp, fweet...

    From those who live like leeches on the people's lives, We must take back our land again, America!...Langston Hughes

    by KenBee on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:24:57 PM PST

  •  The American public is too stupid to look at facts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bailey2001

    The Republicons will happily exploit that lack of knowledge.

    Of course, obtaining the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision is really difficult.  You have to go to that scary Google website and type in things like "historical U.S. rig count" which will likely take you to a nice little website called Baker Hughes.
    If you do just a little research, you can find that the rig count in all of the U.S. in February 2012 was 1,997 rigs drilling.  Wow, that's 13% higher than when President Obama took office in 2009 (Feb 2009 was 1,763).  It's 60% higher than when Dubbya had a majority in the House and Senate (Feb 2006 was 1,248) and it's 134% higher than the lowest February count while Dubbya was in office (Feb 2003).  

    "Religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together" - James Madison

    by SierraDrinker on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:27:16 PM PST

  •  We don't have to sanction Iran the way we're (0+ / 0-)

    doing.  If we dropped that policy, the price of gas would also drop.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 12:27:50 PM PST

  •  Will somebody pretty please educate me... (0+ / 0-)

    every year, after our memory is erased from all the Christmas music we hear (I'm still humming It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year!!!) we forget that gas prices go up right around spring break and reach their peak in summer. I've read somewhere that we get most of our oil from Canada, but let one of the countries in the Middle East sneeze and oh man does it hurt to look at the digital meter while pumping gas. My butt cheeks start tightening at $60. So, why is that the case if we get our oil mostly from Canada? Have I been misinformed?

  •  Do Republicans know for a fact (oops -- sorry -- (0+ / 0-)

    wrong word -- shouldn't have used the word "fact" in the same sentence with the word "Republican...")

    Let me rephrase my question:

    Do Republicans have any idea of how possible it might be that they might face protesters, a la the Occupy movement types, over this whole "gas price" thing?

    Does anyone else here agree with me that this is possible? And, is it possible that perhaps the Democrats might not get blamed for this...?

  •  Herman Cain found work (0+ / 0-)

    Just saw a new commercial with him blaming Obama for raising your gas prices sky-high by not approving the pipeline and telling offshore drillers to go elsewhere.  "The time is NOW to make America energy independent by tapping the rich resources in this country"

    (yea, I alternated between giggling and heaving too)

  •  Everything being said is so true and I agree with (0+ / 0-)

    every bit of it....but...

    What is true too is that it WILL hurt our chances and what are we going to do about it?  Is there anything that can be done?

    No matter what is the truth of the matter of rising gas prices is....Joe "Low Info" Voter will be cussing a storm with 4 or 5 dollar a gallon gas as he is counting out quarters for "gas money" to get to work? Guess who he is going to blame for this?  The guy in office, that's who.  This is reality.

      Do you really think Low Info voter is going to research true causes of gas hikes and then come to the conclusion that "Oh, ok...not the President's fault....it's really X's fault and now I'm ok with it?  No, he's not.  

     That's the reality of it all.   So again, what should we do, because the grumbling at our workplaces and schools and homes has begun, I know I'm hearing it,  and I am ready to do something...anything....before it's too late.

  •  I don't think inflated prices are (0+ / 0-)

    a bad thing. Even though it hits the economy, and especially the middle class and the poor, there is a more urgent need for a price increase of oil that incentivates renewables.

    I would prefer, besides attacking speculation, to have a strong tax on non-renewables, with its revenue invested in the development of renewables. Note that I don't say "green energy", though that it's a plus too (that means I'd prefer electric cars powered by solar, geothermal or wind, than bio-diesel, which is not green, IMO).

    So the problem it's not so much the price, but rather who keeps the profits.

  •  Let's see if we can "connect the dots" ... (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans love the oil & gas industry
    Republicans OWN oil & gas companies
    Oil and Gas prices are rising
    Rising prices hurt Obama

    Oil & Gas companies are making record profits

    Coincidence?

    "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

    by Candide08 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 01:22:36 PM PST

  •  Gas prices are soaring here (0+ / 0-)

    in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento. A week ago they were still under $4 and today the best price is $4.18 a gallon. I think they shot up a full 20 cents in less than a week.

    One old guy was at the pump next to me filling up 6 five gallon gasoline cans and loading them into his SUV.

    I haven't seen hoarding like that since the 1973 Oil Crisis.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 02:51:48 PM PST

  •  Oh, he understands it all right... (0+ / 0-)
    This just goes to show that the guy who thinks he's the smartest fellow in the GOP contest, if not the universe, doesn't understand the global economics of oil or the constraints on how much U.S. production can be had.
    ...He's just chosen to pretend otherwise because he has no regard for the people he's lying to.  They don't matter.  Only Newt matters.

    Fortunately, this miserable waste of space will not be president.  Not now.  Not ever.

    What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this here guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you traded your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

    by ZedMont on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 03:59:15 PM PST

  •  MB- Newt knows he's lying. (0+ / 0-)
    the guy who thinks he's the smartest fellow in the GOP contest, if not the universe, doesn't understand the global economics of oil or the constraints on how much U.S. production can be had
    Newt lies more than he doesn't and he loves to throw bombs or red meat—whichever works—to his right wing thug base.  It's right up there with infanticide.

    Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

    by Back In Blue on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 04:04:07 PM PST

  •  but the paid radio callers say it's obama's fault! (0+ / 0-)

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 05:41:07 PM PST

  •  Gas was 85 cents a gallon... (0+ / 0-)

    ...in February 1998, when WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON was president.  

    Chew on that, Newt.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Fri Feb 24, 2012 at 09:03:11 PM PST

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