This is one of many examples where private industry rips off the public. Companies have always taken advantage of the government when they sell their products to the government, the hundred dollar hammer, the five hundred dollar toilet seat and that list goes on. The idea that privatization is the answer is ludicrous, your giving the keys to the hen house to the people who want to sell you the hundred dollar egg. Not only is big oil making record profits but they are subsidized by the government. They use our tax dollars for grabbing up the world reserves of oil through military adventurism; sacrificing our sons and daughters in the process, while Wall Street speculators get more of our money by betting how high the prices will go. The obvious solution is to Nationalize BIG OIL. Of course, the propaganda machine which has been spewing forth the demonizing mantra of such words for decades would have to be overcome, don’t forget who owns these news organizations, the big Corporate Monolith, which includes Big Oil and the other industries associated with them. It is to the vital interest of the American people and the Nation to Nationalize Big Oil Now. Dave
By BRYAN WALSH
To hear the Republican presidential candidates tell it, President Obama is doing all he can — shy of changing the price signs at your local Mobil station — to raise the cost of gasoline. Last week Mitt Romney told Fox News that Obama “has done everything in his power to make it harder for us to get oil and natural gas in this country, driving up the price of those commodities in the case of gasoline.” Rick Santorum last month warned that gas — now at $3.84 a gallon on average — would hit $5 a gallon under Obama, and that the President “has done everything possible to shut down energy production.” Newt Gingrich — he of the promised $2.50-a-gallon gas — has called on Obama to fire Energy Secretary Steven Chu over comments he made years ago about the need for American gas prices to be higher. “If he doesn’t,” Gingrich said, “then the American people will know the President is still committed to his radical ideology, which wants to artificially raise the cost of energy.”
I’m not positive, but I suspect that for Obama — like most Presidents — any ideology, radical or otherwise, takes a backseat come campaign season to the primary objective: getting re-elected. And no President who wants to remain President is going to be happy with gas prices that are scraping $4 a gallon, which is why over the past couple of weeks just about the only thing Obama seems to want to talk about is energy prices — and everything his government is doing to reduce them. Hence the unusual spectacle of seeing a Democratic President — and one who came into office on fire for clean energy — boasting that domestic oil production had risen for three straight years under his Administration. “When gas prices go up, it hurts everybody,” Obama said in a speech last month. “High gas prices are like a tax straight out of your paycheck.”
It’s that same de facto tax that explains why politicians rush to blame each other when gas starts getting expensive. But is Obama really “fully responsible for what the American public is paying for gasoline,” as the Republican Senator John Barrasso said last week?
The short answer is no — and pretty much so is the long answer. First things first: the price of gasoline is overwhelmingly dictated by the global price of crude oil. It’s true that local conditions in individual countries can make a difference. Some East Coast refineries have shut down operations, for example, because they are locked into long-term sales contracts with distributors, making it impossible for them to pass on the higher price they’re paying for oil, and thus cutting into their profit margins. This has further raised the price of gasoline, especially in big cities like Boston and Washington. (If you think you’ve got it bad, it costs $4.14 a gallon to fill up where I work in midtown Manhattan.) That’s a problem that comes from the oil industry and needs to be resolved by the oil industry, not the President, and it’s likely a temporary one anyway as refiners adjust to higher prices and reroute gasoline from the Gulf Coast.
No, gas is expensive because oil is expensive — and oil is expensive for reasons that the U.S. did not cause and can’t unilaterally fix. American oil consumption is actually down from its peak of 20.8 million barrels a day in 2005 to a little under 19 million barrels a day last year. A lot of that is the lingering economic malaise, which depresses business and consumption and therefore driving; unemployed people, in other words, don’t commute. Americans drove just under 8.1 billion miles in 2010, less than the 8.26 billion we drove in 2006.
Obama certainly doesn’t want to take responsibility for the recession, but he may well want to claim some credit for another factor behind declining oil demand: more efficient vehicles. Ten years ago, cars and trucks averaged 24.7 m.p.g. By 2011, that figure rose to 29.6 m.p.g. — and new deals brokered by the Obama Administration with the automakers to raise fuel-efficiency standards to as high as 55 m.p.g. by 2025 could take an even bigger bite out of demand while also giving American drivers more resilience against high gas prices. After all, doubling the fuel efficiency of your vehicle is equivalent to cutting the price of gas in half.
That would be smart to do because it’s quite possible that — barring another major global economic slowdown — oil will remain relatively expensive for the foreseeable future. Right now much of the recent price spike is due to tensions with Iran, a major oil producer. War with Iran is a real possibility, albeit an uncertain one, and if the missiles were to fly, we could easily see a price spike of $50 a barrel or more. So traders and major oil consumers are stockpiling crude now as a hedge against that very situation, which in turn drives the price up now by artificially inflating demand. I can’t see how that’s an incumbent President’s fault. What’s more, it’s the Republicans themselves who are leaning on Obama to take a harder line against Iran, a move that would likely only raise the possibility of war and the attendant crude catastrophe. Rest of story HERE…..