Gas Prices for Dummies: We Drill More But Gas Prices Are Still Soaring

6 Replies to “Gas Prices for Dummies: We Drill More But Gas Prices Are Still Soaring”

  1. I seen a lady on MSNBC this morning that touted every lie about this that you possibly can think of. Drilling on federal land is down 38% and yet as I look at Ray’s link above that’s absolutely false. I keep hearing that Obama has a failed energy policy that no one will explain to me how it’s failed when we are a net exporter of oil products.

    Let’s face it, speaker Boehner, the 3 1/2 candidates, the teabags and everyone else has to say that it’s a failed energy policy because they have nothing else they can say about it. If they were honest they would have to support it but hey, the GOP hasn’t been honest for a very long time

  2. My major concern is for the poor. When they did the big vehicle buy-back (getting rid of the gas guzzlers), the cost of used vehicles skyrocketed and made life that much harder for people who couldn’t afford the nice new zoom-zoom cars and trucks. Another area that could make some real differences is PV solar panels… but at least in this area, the corporations have been working to get the rules and laws set up so that you’re penalized if you have your own solar setup, while giving them all sorts of breaks so they can steal more profit from your pockets while building their monster solar farm complexes (and while a lot of poor people would really be interested in solar arrays, they’re just too expensive). Plus the way houses are built (especially mobile homes)… with a little common sense and a little additional money, they could be very efficient and comfortable. We live in a mobile home… and there are so many air leaks (and in nearly inaccessible places) that sealing them all is a major undertaking – and since the home was made to be attractive to northern snowbirds, it’s not built to deal with the Florida heat. Rather than use some common sense in the AC units, they do everything on the cheap and it’s hard to both save money AND be comfortable, especially if you can only afford the cheapest throw-away models.

    Another place that seems counterintuitive is replacing the old CRT-based TVs with the new LED models. The new LED models (especially if built right) don’t waste a fraction of the electricity the CRT based ones do. (If they could afford it – and depending on the size of the old one, replacing a CRT with LED might save enough electricity to pay for it in a couple of years!) Light bulbs are another example of how things could be improved, although the problem there is that the new LED based bulbs cost a lot of money and from the things people have said, they’ve got planned obsolescence built in- they go bad in less than a year.

    The less money you have, the harder it is to buy efficient and effective appliances and so on. There are programs set up to try to help deal with that, but getting approved (and helped) is almost not possible. The Republicans don’t want the government involved in blocking their exploitation and abuse of the poor, so they’ve put up as many barriers as possible AND are trying to defund all of those programs. The sad thing is that by keeping the status quo, they’re wasting fuel that could be saved, while at the same time making the lives of poor people that much better.

    The REAL changes that could be made generally require changes at the top. Less zoom-zoom in the new cars (do you REALLY have to go 0-60 in a few seconds?) – probably take regulation to get the car companies to stop pushing “performance”, more intelligent construction based upon the climate the house will be, etc. (again requiring regulation – you should see the number of energy INefficient northern-style houses in this county), investment in new technology and helping the poor with more efficient equipment, there are so many ways that we could reduce our energy consumption without causing discomfort. Big business doesn’t want that – less short-term profits (and it can be shown that they are blocking progress – for example the solar farm vs individualized solar arrays I mentioned before).

    They’ve let Big Business run itself and the nation for too long – and the greedyguts have shown their true faces to the world – all one has to do is look. They cannot be trusted to do the right thing, because in their book the only Good is maximized profit. Thus they must be controlled from outside – and that requires the government (the one thing that the Republicans and Tea Party hate the most).

  3. Don’t forget the oil futures speculators and the impact their inflationary speculation is having on skyrocketing oil barrel and gasoline prices?

    Remember 2008? Remember when people were saying that former President GW Bush should and could do something about skyrocketing gasoline prices at the pump, just like some are saying about President Obama today? Nope, because you see it’s not really a supply and demand problem per se. ((Even though I just read at truth-out that oil companies have shut down (for whatever reason) three refineries on the East Coast)).

    In 2008, at the same time Wall Street crashed the price for a barrel of oil on world markets and the price for a gallon of gasoline at the pump in the U.S. crashed, too, with a gallon in the U.S. plummeting to less than $2.00 a gallon. Why? Oh, I get it, the housing bubble speculators on Wall Street (since bailed out) were and still are by and large oil futures speculators, too, so when Wall Street collapsed in 2008 unforeseen “limits” were placed on the oil futures speculation previously conducted unregulated and unrestricted by these largely the same corporations and individuals. Ergo, energy costs dropped significantly.

    The Dodd-Frank legislation was passed to put “limits” on reckless, uncaring, greed-driven oil futures speculators, with one provision directly ordering the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to restrict oil futures trading (the CFTC was M.I.A. in 2008), to keep this inflationary force out of the supply and demand pipeline between the oil fields and consumers. So, of course, Republicans and other oil industry conservatives profiting from this oil futures trading (like the Koch brothers) are doing everything possible to hamstring Dodd-Frank while at the same time getting their surrogates to blame President Obama for what they are actually doing, driving up oil barrel and gasoline prices.

    Two choices. Either severe Dodd-Frank “limits” are placed on rampant and unrestricted oil futures speculation right now and energy costs plummet like they did in 2008, or another financial crisis occurs which will place “limits” on oil futures trading and drive down energy costs, but this time around U.S. taxpayers won’t bail-out the culprits on Wall Street so they can do it all over again.

    Let’s try a simple experiment. Dodd-Frank is fully enforced and severe “limits” place on oil futures speculation. If this speculation isn’t the cause, then energy costs will stay the same, but if energy costs plummet after a month or two (just like in 2008), then we’ll have proof. I’d much rather try this preemptive Dodd-Frank limit-setting test than having another economy-crashing limit-setting financial crisis occur, wouldn’t you?

  4. I believe it was earlier this month that a California refinery shut down production to keep the supply down. Oil companies–like most businesses–strive to maximize profit. It’s not in such interest to keep prices low, and they can and will control supply to that end. Their motto is “Sell, baby, sell”!

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