Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scapegoats, Lies and Photo Ops Will Not Bring Gas Prices Down

“The recent spike in gasoline prices following that huge spike in 2007, 2008 is a reminder to Americans that the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up just because of supply and demand issues.”

The above quote was spoken by Steven Chu, Energy Secretary for the Obama Administration in a March 20, 2011 Fox News interview, clearly acknowledging that supply is a part of why our gas prices have climbed. At the time he spoke that, gas was costing on average about $3.54 per gallon.

One year later the average price of a gallon of gas is $3.88 with several areas of the country exceeding $4.00 per gallon and inching closer to $5 a gallon.

Acknowledging that supply has an effect of how much we pay at the pump, we saw Barack Obama down in Brazil in March 2011 telling the Brazilians, “We want to help you with the technology and support to develop these oil reserves safely. And when you’re ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers.”

Months after being inaugurated, with unemployment already well above 9%, still indicating the importance of supply, Obama, speaking of the Saudi’s was quoted, “In those discussions I will be very honest with Saudi King Abdullah with whom I have developed a good relationship, indicating to him that we are not going to be eliminating our need for oil imports in the immediate future.”

Clearly, in spite of growing calls for more alternative energy sources, even though they have been shown to be inefficient, unreliable and overly expensive, Obama and those in power realize that oil remains our most efficient and economical source of energy available. Several past calls have been made for Middle Eastern countries to increase their oil production, increasing supply and bringing prices down.

Given that Democrats continue to acknowledge our need for increasing the supply of oil, it is quite perplexing to see them also promoting a so-called “study” proclaiming, “U.S. drilling won’t lower gas prices.” Even Obama, in his photo-op appearance in Oklahoma was quoted, “no connection between the amount of oil and gas we drill in this country and the price of gas” blaming instead “global demands from countries like China as being behind the rising prices.”

Yet, we read of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) claiming, “I was pleased that Saudi Arabia declared that it would fill any oil gap as a result of an Iranian embargo,” adding, “the move is the best short-term solution for lowering gas prices.”

Mark Green, of the American Petroleum Institute writes, “We say crude oil supply matters – in the context of global-market pricing, which affects fuel prices because the cost of crude accounts for 76 percent of what Americans are paying at the pump. More supply alters the energy equation, exerting downward pressure on crude prices. Energy Economics 101.

“The president seems to disagree, saying there’s no ‘silver bullet,’ while suggesting there’s not much that can be done to affect global markets and offer hope to beleaguered consumers. At the same time he tacitly acknowledges market forces work – but only from the side of the equation that reduces demand through efficiency and other measures.”

“We’re all for greater efficiency, but the president is ignoring the effect on markets of increasing demand. Or is he, because even as he scoffs at the notion of greater development of domestic oil and natural gas resources, there are conversations with the Saudis about increasing their production, talk of releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and pledges to Brazil that we’ll be customers for their offshore oil when it comes on line – all implying that, yes, supply matters.”

We see Barack Obama stopping over in Oklahoma to announce his approval of building a short stretch of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Oklahoma to the Texas Gulf, after killing the project from the Alberta Oil Sands for purely partisan reasons, facing the same criticisms he leveled towards President Bush in 2008, now saying, “Anyone who says that we're somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention,” even though Rep. Steve Pearce, (R-N.M.) informs us, “While oil production on private lands has increased, according to the Institute of Energy Research, oil production on federal land was down 11% in 2011.”

Can we forget that our own two Democrat Senators from Washington State, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell joining in with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in advocating a “Permanent Moratorium” on off-shore drilling along the Pacific Coast?

Also from the American Petroleum Institute, Rayola Dougher supplies with a breakdown of “Oil & Gas Development on Federal Lands and Waters” showing us how it has decreased in the last couple of years.

Enter Paul Driessen with his well written Op-Ed, “Hunting for Scapegoats Won’t Lower Pump Prices.”

Driessen breaks down the costs for us, “Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that 76% of what we pay for gasoline is determined by world crude oil prices; 12% is federal and state taxes; 6% is refining; and 6% is marketing and distribution.”

He further states, “World prices are driven by supply and demand, and unstable global politics. That means today’s prices are significantly affected by expectations and fears about tomorrow.
A major factor is Asia’s growing appetite for oil – coupled with America’s refusal to produce more of its own petroleum.”

Shedding even more light on Obama’s often used claim of “we’ve got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent. What that means is, as much as we’re doing to increase oil production, we’re not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices. Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they aren’t telling you the truth,” the Washington Post Fact Checked the claim, labeling it “Obama’s ‘non sequitur facts’,” or “two bits of information that actually bear little relationship to each other.”

In their revelation, we are told, “Energy Information Administration data shows that proven U.S. reserves hit a peak of nearly 40 billion barrels in 1970 — after the Prudhoe Bay oil field was found in Alaska — and now stand at about 22 billion barrels. But here’s the strange thing: the United States also had proven oil reserves of 22 billion barrels through much of the 1940s.”

“How is that possible? New sources of oil kept getting found, more-difficult-to-obtain oil suddenly became more economically viable, new oil-extraction techniques gained favor, and so forth.”

Rightfully, the Washington Post, although initially labeling his claims “True but False,” have upgraded them to “Two Pinocchio’s.”

Somebody is not giving us a straight story on using more of our own resources. It makes no sense whatsoever to call on the Saudis, who are paying about $.91 per gallon of gas to increase their output to help lower the price we pay at the pump while claiming recovering more of our domestically available petroleum will have no affect on the price of gas at the pump.

Given the Democrats agenda for some time now to “wean the U.S. off of oil,” long before any viable alternative is available, it becomes very clear who is not giving us the straight story.

Obama’s Energy Secretary Steve Chu said in February 2012, “As I have repeatedly said, in the Department of Energy, what we’re trying to do is diversify our energy supply for transportation so that we have cost-effective means.”

Shouldn’t that include actually stepping up the production of our own readily available supplies without all of the confusing double talk?


Canuckguy said...

Hi Lew:
Just to give an update from up here in Canuckland, the price of regular gas here in my province of NB is now $1.34/liter or in Mercanspeak, $5.07/USGal. And our dollars are paractically on par.

The Saudis love your money, part of it is used to build and support radical Islamic schools worldwide including the USA,Canada and Europe. Yup, just what this world needs, more radical Muslims.

LewWaters said...

Yes Canuck, I know. That is what angers me on Obama blocking the Keystone Pipeline from Alberta.

With the oil both of our countries have and the technology to recover it, there is no reason we continue to fatten the coffers of those who feed radical Jihadists.

We could band together and tell the Saudis to eat their oil.

We should have done it years ago!