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There was a good report tonight on the local CBS (owned) affiliate in New York City relating to the dramatic jump in gas prices. It serves as a good STFU to people who lay this rise at the feet of the current administration.

Here is the video of the report (The embed link wouldn't work.):

And here are some of the important points:

The U.S. is importing an average of 800,000 barrels of gasoline per day. At the same time our exports of gasoline have increased over the past year from 200,000 to 600,000 per day.
Of course some blame goes to speculators:
Critics say speculators are capitalizing on the very fear they’re helping to generate.

“These people are making almost as much money today from trading commodities as they were making in investment banking just a few years ago. So, they are not going to unlearn how to make money. But all of us are going to pay for it,” Gheit said.

And who are these people?:
Many of the same investment firms that were involved in the mortgage crisis that caused the global recession have now shifted much of their attention to commodities futures, including gasoline, with little oversight.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Time to get the speculators OUT of the oil market (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Aspe4

    They do NOTHING to help, and just wind up costing us all more money at the pump...

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 07:56:04 PM PST

  •  we import the stuff we use to make gasoline (7+ / 0-)

    more that we produce it here .... that would be crude oil

    I think we import about about 9 million barrels a day of crude. We produce here about 5.6.

    And we produce a bunch of "other liquids" that wind up in liquid fuels - natural gas liquids and ethanol,

    It appears that US gasoline use has dropped, so refiners ship more of it abroad.

    Net liquid fuels we are an importer, by a large margin.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:20:06 PM PST

    •  And this is what Joe Sixpack cannot get his head (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Pluto, Sky Net, Lujane, semiot, Aspe4

      around - prices skyrocketing while demand is dropping.

      Well, hell, I can't get my head around it either.

      But too many Americans think that if we just drilled for our own oil, we would refine it all here and it would all go into our gas tanks, and it would cost $2 a gallon or even less.

      Ironically, they talk about our "dependence" on foreign oil, when in fact using foreign oil while conserving our own makes us LESS dependent on foreign oil.  

      Assuming the foreign oil ran out before alternate energy sources took over, and we had conserved our oil reserves, then guess what?  The rest of the oil-consuming world would be dependent on us.

      Why doesn't anyone ever challenge that "dependence on foreign oil" crap?

      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 Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:48:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  demand isn't dropping globally (8+ / 0-)

        that is the part too often left out of the story.

        Here is a little graph I put in a diary here Saturday:

        and to zero in on it, here is another consumption chart, this time US v. Brazil+Venezuela+"total Middle East"+China+India.

        The BVtMECI group is going up up and away.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:55:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  These charts should be instructive. U.S. demand (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is falling and we've got all this oil.  According to the Republicans when we have all the domestic oil we need, the price of gasoline will drop precipitously.

          This needs to be thrown into their face.  No, the price of gasoline won't go down. The oil companies are proving right at this instant what they will do with all that oil they will drill here, drill now. When we have more oil than we can use, the oil companies don't use the surplus to lower gasoline prices in the United States, they sell the surplus to the highest foreign bidder, to maximize their profits.

          If they used the surplus to lower U.S. gas prices, then U.S. demand would increase and prices would rise.  But that's not fast enough for the oil companies.  They want their money now.  It's not "drill here drill now," it's "sell wherever, but sell now."

          People have heard that oil is sold in a global market, but that doesn't mean squat to them.  You have to spell it out, and when you do, they will realize they've been hoodwinked.

          More drilling here would lower gas prices by a paltry few cents at best.  But it would make the oil companies billions.

          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 Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 08:58:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  that is a good point btw (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, Lujane

        if we are going to use oil, better burn the foreign stuff and save the domestic stuff.

        of course we are going as fast as possible everywhere.

        if the prices stay up they will release more SPR, probably.

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:57:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Because the oil exploiters (3+ / 0-)
        Why doesn't anyone ever challenge that "dependence on foreign oil" crap? congress a hell of a lot never, ever to say those words.

        Without the US to resource strip -- all they'd have left is Nigeria and a couple of African backwaters.

        "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

        by Pluto on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:10:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  earth to america (7+ / 0-)

    it's a global market, and prices are set by the highest bidder if you are dumb enough to have left your strategic natural resources to the tender mercies of the global free market instead of nationalizing it like reasonable countries.

    if you get outbid, oil goes out of the country.

    •  Perxactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, Aspe4

      "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

      by Pluto on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:02:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does anyone ever consider that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      fear-mongering over Iran and the EU boycott is a major reason for the speculation? As wu ming pointed out it is a global market and prices are rising everywhere. The timing for the Iran push was not wise. We are now seeing some blowback because of it.

      There are supply-side concerns plus growing demand in developing countries.

      The from Reuters:

      Between Sudan, Yemen and Syria, nearly 750k barrels per day (bpd) have been taken out of production due to political instability. On top of this Libyan oil output is about 600k bpd below pre-civil war levels.

      The Iranian confrontation and its response (to cut sales to the UK and France) has also taken supply out of the market. The bellicose rhetoric and fear of an escalation raises the risk premium as well. There are other, less significant supply disruptions. Aging infrastructure has seen North Sea output decline. Venezuela output is also lower.

      There is also a role of increased demand. Japan, for example, is replacing some of its nuclear energy with oil. Its oil imports appear to be running about twice pre-tsunami levels. In addition, there has been some pick-up in demand from Asia. Note that the IEA forecasts oil consumption to rise 830k this year after a 740k bpd increase last year. The unusually cold European winter is also thought to be boosting demand.

      In addition to the above there are concerns that Saudi Arabian oil fields have passed peak oil.

      With these market concerns it is not difficult to understand the speculation.

      “Humankind can not bear very much reality.” - T.S. Eliot

      by truong son traveler on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:52:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  export-land model is also a factor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler

        basically, oil exporters not in a civil war tend to consume a growing % of their own oil as the price of oil remains high, because their economies have extra income to spend, and economic activity tends to correlate with more oil consumed.

        there comes a point when there's nothing left for export, which screws oil-importing countries.

  •  How soon we forget ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The last time this happened, in '07-'08, it was speculation, but now people want to attribute it to Peak Oil or, on the Dumb-Ass Right, to the White House. It's the .01% extracting rents, just like the last time.

  •  It may be some speculation (8+ / 0-)

    ...and many businesses (like airlines) buy futures.

    But don't make the mistake of thinking that this has to do with US speculators. This is the global commodities market, it trades 24 hours a day, and there is nothing the US (or the President) can do to stop it. (Although the national reserves -- oil we already paid for -- can be tapped in a price emergency.)

    I read the oil and gas export numbers earlier today. We've been exporting quite a bit for the past six months -- and we also import from all over the world. All oil is different, and each provides different chemicals that we need for other related products.

    What I have never understood is why Americans think it is so important to drill here so much. We don't own our own natural resources -- so it's not like we can use our own oil cheaper. We are one of the few oil-producing nations that is non-nationalized -- so we have to pay spot prices (full retail) whether we are using our own oil or oil from some other nation.

    My guess is that most Americans don't know that.

    As for what is driving oil prices -- hate to point the finger, but Israel's hair-on-fire over Iran has a lot to do with it.

    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

    by Pluto on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:00:12 PM PST

  •  All Cars&Trucks should have to be (0+ / 0-)

    made to use E85 cause if Cellulose Based Ethanol can get going it would sure help to have as many Cars&Trucks on the road that can use it beforehand.We just got a Flex Fuel Car and it seems it's not that much of a deal to make them instead of Gasoline-only Versions.If a method can be found to use Cellulose the making of Ethanol from it would happen literally overnight so the option in Car&Truck should exist before the Discovery instead of wanting till who-knows-how-long after it happens for people to buy what they could already have had.

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