The President’s call for investigation into possible oil price gouging

Posted by: ST on April 25, 2006 at 3:37 pm

Here’s the story, via AP:

WASHINGTON – President Bush, under pressure to do something about gasoline prices that are expected to stay high through the summer, has ordered an investigation into possible cheating in the markets.

During the last few days, Bush asked his Energy and Justice departments to open inquiries into whether the price of gasoline has been illegally manipulated, said White House press secretary Scott McClellan. Bush planned to announce the action Tuesday during a speech in Washington.

It’s unclear what impact, if any, Bush’s investigation would have on prices that are near $3 a gallon. Asked if Bush had any reason to suspect market manipulation, McClellan responded, “Well, gas prices are high right now, and that’s why you want to make sure there’s not.”

Republicans who control Congress have become concerned that the high cost of filling up could become a problem for them in the November elections. Polls suggest that voters favor Democrats over Republicans on the issue, and Bush gets low marks for handling gasoline prices.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., urged Bush in a letter Monday to order a federal investigation into any gasoline price gouging or market speculation.

“There is no silver bullet,” Frist said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” but “we need to make sure that any efforts at price-gouging be addressed and addressed aggressively.” Meanwhile, Frist said, consumers should take steps to conserve gasoline — drive at slower speeds, tune up car engines for maximum efficiency and carpool.

McClellan said Bush had already ordered investigations into market pricing.

“We share a commitment with congressional leaders to make sure that we’re acting to ensure that there is no price gouging,” McClellan said.

I’m with Tigerhawk on this one.

Read more via Jason Smith, Anchoress, Moderate Voice, Cold Fury

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  • 60 Responses to “The President’s call for investigation into possible oil price gouging”

    Comments

    1. There always has to be an enemy for the Republicans to blame. Now it is the oil companies. Bush is trying to deflect attention from his poor job performance.

    2. – Oh yes. Bushs poor job performance. Every motion of every molecule on Earth is governed by the mandates of the Emporor Bush. You lefties are so strangled on your anti-everything Bush screeds, if he walked across the Potomac, you accuse him of being unable to swim.

      – I don’t suppose that any of the Democratic obstructionism in Congress over the last decade, voting down every bill in site for new exploration, Anwar drilling, Florida/Cal coastal drilling, or new refinery construction, would have a thing to do with it. No way. Of course.

      I think you need to stop listening to your computer Eddie. Its lying to you and making you look kind of hard ass partisan and foolish.

      – Bang **==

    3. BTW – As a voice of reason, rather than looking for blame to assign, I think that even if you eliminate totally whatever gouging exists, its a drop in the gas tank. Just the Fed+State taxes alone on a gallon of gas is way much higher than profit and cost to produce and deliver. I forget offhand the numbers but its higher than 70% of the taxes.

      – So as far as I’m concerned the anti-gouging is a rather weak start to a serious problem. For decades we’ve been hiding the mountain of state costs supporting all the illegals utilizing the welfare and state give-aways in medical and schooling, as well as all the public services. Guess where a lot of those revenues come from folks. Any questions?

      – Bang **==

    4. – make that: “…70% for the proportion of the per gallon cost thats taxes.”

    5. Baklava says:

      Bush should suspend supply and demand? Maybe artificially lower prices so that there might be MORE demand by American consumers during a good economy? That would be the WRONG thing to do.

      Bush’s ideas FOR solutions are the exact RIGHT thing to do. Moving away from foreign dependence and towards independence via drilling in ANWR because WE Americans would be more responsible than other countries when drilling and would do it more environmentally friendly is the right thing. Offering more incentives for hybrid cars is the right thing. It gives people a choice. Though I’d offer the incentives differently. I’d offer the incentives as mandates for federal government purchases of vehicles to be 10% hybrid. That would help bring the cost per vehicle down for joe shmoe consumers as Ford and Toyota would be able to distribue research and development costs over a wider supply of vehicle once initial demand is met with supply. Additionally it would be an immediate fuel savings as federal vehicles would be replaced with more fuel efficient vehicles.

    6. kyle8 says:

      All this populist, non-economic un-thinking is bringing me down, Waay Down. I am old enought to remember gas lines and even/odd days. Believe me it was no picnic.

    7. Severian says:

      Oil company profits account for approximately 8 cents per gallon of the price of gas, taxes account for over 40 cents, but obviously it’s the evil oil companies and their insatiable desire for windfall profits that’s raising the price of gas.

      And all the usual idiots, and those educated in government schools, will line up to believe whatever the class warfare, anti-capitalist idiots say. Sure, get the government involved, I lived thru the 2nd oil “crisis.” You remember it? It was the one caused entirely by the governments attempts to regulate the gas industry, there was plenty of gas, but the govt’s incompetent attempts to control how much went where resulted in massive shortages. Great way to help guys, I’ve got an idea, just STFU and let the market deal with it, build some more refineries, reduce the number of specialty blends required, and otherwise keep your hands off. More drilling, more refineries, and fewer blends will help, but nothing will help much short term. But it’s possible to really honk it up short term if the govt gets involved.

    8. steve says:

      I wish gas cost $20.00 a gallon, but then the world isn’t set up in my image. BIG oil is a cartel and the members of the cartel set the price of oil not the market. Why has Brazil been able to become independent of imported oil by using sugarcane based ethenol at a cost of $60. a barrel, and the USA has not? Could it be it’s because both bush and Cheney are BIG oil men? Peace

    9. tom says:

      We need higher taxes on gas. That’s the only way to drive a market economy to greater energy efficiency. We need to focus on energy efficiency and conservation. Bush talks a nice game, but has yet to request any apporiations for last year’s Energy Policy Act. Why have energy efficiency budgets been cut 18% in the FY 2007 Budget request? Because he wants to keep all the oversize-car-driving-americans buying the billions of dollars in oil he wants to suck out of ANWR and elsewhere. ANWR reserves give the US less than a years worth of oil. Nice long term fix, Georgie. There’s a better way.

    10. tom says:

      Bang, have you’ve been sniffing gas? 70% of the price of gas is taxes? What state is that in? Try 23% on average.

    11. Tom. I think I said ALL taxes. the Fed tax alone is over 60 cents. I need to get the figures, but I seem to recall that. Tell you the truth its kind of interesting that no one ever seems to present the breakdown, politicians on either side OR the oil companies. But I do recall its a very large part. I’m not suggesting we don’t go after every aspect, but if what I suspect is right, theres a good reason why politicians universily drag their heels on this issue.

      – Bang **==

    12. Baklava says:

      Tom wrote, “but has yet to request any apporiations for last year’s Energy Policy Act. Why have energy efficiency budgets been cut 18% in the FY 2007 Budget request

      I’m sorry Tom but both of those statements are false information and therefore false allegations. This isn’t about you or me, it’s about what was written. What was written was FALSE.

      You then answer the question (with a false premise) by talking about what Bush “wants”. It is highly unlikely that you can tell what anyone “wants” unless they tell you. Please give us all a quote where he tells us that is what he wants. You can’t. Which adds up to a 3rd false statement even though that statement was an opinion of yours.

      The condescension in the rest of your post is uncalled for in my opinion. It doesn’t add to the discussion (though common of liberalism – those who think they “care” more). Why are those who think they care more more condescending?

    13. tom says:

      Bang, I AM talking about ALL taxes FED and State. According to your government’s Energy Information Adminstration, 2004 Fed and State taxes are 23%. Facts, Bang. We like to deal in facts. How do you think road and bridges get built, by themselves? Taxes!

    14. Severian says:

      Steve, as are many people, brings up Brazil and their ethanol program. While I greatly respect the Brazilian approach, there are elements of it that just aren’t transportable to the US. Brazil, being a South American counry, has both lower energy needs than the US, and also a much more tropical climate. Brazil produces, per capita, a ton more sugar cane and other ethanol producing crops than the US can ever hope to. Also, the warmer climate, in addition to resulting in a significantly longer growing season, eliminates one of the prime problems of ethanol, the problems with water absorption and performance in cold temperatures (due to it’s ability to absorb water, ethanol leads to freezing easily in cold temps). So the Brazilian experience isn’t as directly applicable as many would have you believe.

      Once again, it’s useful to point out that ethanol takes more energy to make than it contains, which, overall, will lead to more energy consumption in total. The benefit of course comes from the fact that you can hopefully use nuclear or coal to provide the energy to make it (things we have) and use it to replace oil, which we import, so the net energy balance part of the equation may not be that significant when compared to the ability to reduce foreign oil imports.

      On a related note, Ford has long produced vehicles, which can be identified by a green leaf logo on them, that can run on 85% ethanol, flex fuel vehicles. But, due to the fact that the news media and many people have their lips firmly attached to Toyota’s tail pipes, Toyota is the media and public darling of the enviros due to a few hybrids, while Ford has been quietly putting out fleets of ethanol capable cars and trucks for years.

      Right now, unless you need/want the type of vehicle most hybrids are, they make little sense. Even with higher prices, they take many years to reach the break even point fuel cost wise, and the disposal/maintenance problems from the batteries will become significant. Right now, if you really want a fuel efficient car, the two best options are the Honda Civic with the small engine, or one of VW’s diesels. The diesel Golf gets 44 mpg highway, and requires no sophisticated electronics or expensive batteries. So there are options out there other than hybrids.

    15. Stop trying so hard to be an ass tom. I said several times I don’t have the figures. Or are you just trying to start something?

      – In any event it wasn’t the point of my original post.

      – Bang **==

    16. Oh and btw, the older data shows that other than crude prices, the taxes do exceed the actual sales profit, and either way, that data is two years old. So if you’re so interested in “facts” Sparky, it might help if you used some that were current maybe.

      – Bang **==

    17. David Foster says:

      Steve–“Why has Brazil been able to become independent of imported oil by using sugarcane based ethenol at a cost of $60. a barrel, and the USA has not?” The ethanol used in Brazil comes from sugarcane, which is a far more efficient source of energy than is corn–and the ratio of sugarcane to people is much more favorable in Brazil than in the US. There are only limited areas in the US in which sugarcane will grow.

      I do think that we need to get rid of the idiotic 50 cent per gallon import tariff on ethanol, which is there because of genuflection to the sugar farming lobby, not the oil lobby.

    18. – Since you’re so self-sure you have your finger on the pulse of things, lets go about this a different way. The 5 largest American oil companies showed in their corperate tax returns, up through and including the a partial of this first quarter of 2006, that they make 8 cents a barrel. Lets say we are able to drag 4 cents of that out of them. By the time that gets to the pump it will be down to maybe a 2 or 3 cent pass along savings to the consumer. Thats probably optomistic. Hell lets say you got the entire 4 cents.

      – Here in So Cal we’re paying $3.20, on average, for 87 test unleaded. I cover my eyes for the high test. I don’t even want to know. With prices headed for maybe 4 dollars a gallon or more, what the hell is 4 cents? and that would be a best case.

      – We have to end our dependency on foriegn oil, or we’ll forever be held hostage like this. Maybe the only way to force us to get serious about it is if the prices go higher. Maybe thats what it will take.

      – To you other point. Of course we get our roads and bridges, and state licensing operations etc etc, out of the taxes. I don’t recall saying we do not. But its also one of the fav pork barrels that a great deal of the free-be hand outs come from. so naturally I’d expect a Liberal to defend the taxation.

      – Bang **==

    19. tom says:

      Baklava – I’ve seen similar analysis of Bush’s Energy Effeciency Budget Cuts all over the place here’s one.

      “The Administration’s FY2007 Budget Request

      The Administration’s Budget Request for fiscal year 2007 proposes to significantly reduce funding to federal energy-efficiency programs. The FY 2007 proposed level of funding for these important programs is one-third lower than the inflation-adjusted budget for these same programs in fiscal year 2002.

      At a time of record high natural gas and oil prices, the Administration has proposed to cut funds to vital programs that cut pollution and save energy (Energy Star and Building Codes Assistance); help the federal government save energy and tax dollars (Federal Energy Management Program); and help low income residents save energy so they can afford their utility bills (Weatherization Program), to name a few. Now is the time to invest more, not less, in technologies and practices that promise the quickest, cleanest and cheapest means of addressing tight energy supplies and extraordinarily high prices.”
      Here’s another from the American Council for Energy Effeciency.

      Do I really need a Bush qoute to back up my statement? I think it common knowledge his adminstration supports drilling in ANWR.

      You even recognized my last statement as an opinion. Now I guess I have FALSE opinions. Show me where Bush HAS requested appropriations for last year’s Energy Policy Act, if you think I’m wrong. You can’t. Just because YOU don’t believe doesn’t make it false.

    20. tom says:

      Whiz-Bang, your firsting postings had you spouting off about your favorite subject – taxes. And then using wildly innacurate numbers… someone had to point you back in the general direction of reality.

      Only you could somehow drag the “freebie handouts” and “state give-aways in medical and schooling, as well as all the public services” into a posting on gas prices.

      All I hear from you is pissin and moanin about $3/gal gas. By a moped. And I have no clue where you’re going with your 8 cents and 4 cents a barrel argument. The point is, where do you think the record billions in Big Oil profits are coming from? Is money falling out of the sky? Did they suddenly greatly increase the efficiency of their production? Maybe it has a little to do with the tax give-aways for the oil industry. And I guess I better have this posting complete with references or Baklava might cry foul. Again. How about Wikipdedia, Bak? I know it’s not Fox, but it’s generally regarded as independent.

      Tax breaks by subject area
      $4.3 Billion for nuclear power (Detailed 2005 breakdown – PDF, 29kB)
      $2.8 billion for fossil fuel production
      $2.7 billion to extend the renewable electricity production credit
      $?.? Billion for the Freedom Car initiative (1.7 billion 2003 CATO estimate)
      $1.6 billion in tax incentives for investments in clean coal facilities
      $1.3 billion for conservation and energy efficiency
      $1.3 billion for alternative motor vehicles and fuels (ethanol, methane, liquified natural gas, propane)
      $?.? Billion for hydrogen research

    21. Baklava says:

      Tom wrote, “The Administration’s Budget Request for fiscal year 2007 proposes to significantly reduce funding to federal energy-efficiency programs. The FY 2007 proposed level of funding for these important programs is one-third lower than the inflation-adjusted budget for these same programs in fiscal year 2002.

      This is the crux of the problem between liberals and conservatives. It SIMPLY ISN’T a true allegation. It’s FALSE.

      Please Tom do the due diligence. Do NOT be negligent. Tell us all what the budget figures ARE and not give us just words.

      Tom wrote, “Do I really need a Bush qoute to back up my statement?

      Nope. You just need to look at words from both sides of the spectrum and do your own research and you’ll see that liberals in their little liberal think tanks are WRONG. :)

    22. Baklava says:

      Here are some real numbers concerning the 2007 budget:

      1) The 2007 Budget will propose a new $148 million Solar America Initiative – an increase of $65 million over FY06
      2) The 2007 Budget includes $44 million for wind energy research – a $5 million increase over FY06 levels.
      3) The President’s 2007 Budget will include $150 million – a $59 million increase over FY06 – to help develop bio-based transportation fuels from agricultural waste products, such as wood chips, stalks, or switch grass.
      4) The 2007 Budget includes $30 million – a $6.7 million increase over FY06 – to speed up the development of this battery technology and extend the range of hybrid vehicles.
      5) The President’s 2007 Budget will provide $289 million – an increase of $53 million over FY06 – to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cells and affordable hydrogen-powered cars.
      6) the President announced the Advanced Energy Initiative, which provides for a 22% increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy (DOE)

      More importantly the OVERALL BUDGET for the Department of Energy has gone UP in inflation adjusted dollars. OVERALL. PERIOD. DO you want those figures or will you do the due diligence?

    23. – Tom starts with a flash and a bang and then turns to Wikipedia as a viable source for anything, other than wraping fish with. I almost spit coke all over my monitor. And this clown is actually serious.

      – Next!

      – Bang **==

    24. Btw…. just a general question…. Do asshats EVER actually respond to a single comment the other person makes, or is there some sort of “moonbats of the brotherhood” agreement, that actually responding to someone gets your thrown out of UtopiaLand?

      – Bang **==

    25. Baklava says:

      As I keep saying (because I was a liberal) liberalism is a disease. This country’s federal government has grown every year for 6 decades. Energy spending, veterans benefits spending, education spending, social services spending, anti-poverty programs, environmental spending, health services spending, etc. have all gone up and up dramatically. All this while in the last 40 years the Department of defense has gone from 49% of the budget to 20% of the budget (not a cut in nominal dollars but a cut as a percentage of expenditures (now 2.6 Trillion dollars).

      Until liberals are willing to admit/understand/believe the truth they will continue to be liberals and believe that conservatives don’t “care” are “racist” are “anti-environment” and are “evil”, etc.

    26. – So lets see then. The official Petroleum data index site for US refinery’s gives our daily consumption as an average of 9.1 million barrels a day over the last 12 months. From that we make about 20 gallons per barrel of oil, of blended fuels. At 0.08 per gallon, that would be:

      Profit/year = 9.1 million x 20 x 365 days x 0.08
      = 11.32 billion.

      So no, it doesn’t fall out of the sky moron. It comes from selling a hell of a lot of gallons with pennies of profit. I wouldn’t brag about being so clueless about what I spelled out for you. I’m sure any 6th grader could easily handle it.

      – My guess is Liberals will fight anything that means a change for fear of losing their beloved tax revenues. Thats why all the angry words, and idiotic arrogance, instead of any real discussion.

      – Bang **==

    27. – So. now that we’ve spent another 2 dozen posts and several hours waiting for a lefty to get up to speed, I go back to my original point, ignoring the dipstick comments that had nothing to do with what I was saying.

      – Its fine if we want to get a miniscle bit of price reduction from the profit margin of the Oil companies on the one hand, and maybe a few more pennies from the tax side. But its just not going to mean much. Gas is already near twice what it was 2 years ago, and could be 3 times in a month.

      – And repeating (what Liberals do not want to hear), we need to end our dependence on foreign oil, and even more, on oil all together as soon as we can.

      – BTW. Since one part of the moonbat community wants to hang onto oil consumption so desperately (tax base), and another group, the greenies, wants to end all use of fossil fuels, does that mean the asshat clans are in total opposition to each other?

      Heres the refinery link if you want to check my numbers.

      – Bang **==

    28. benning says:

      Price Gouging is another in a long line of Socialist attempts to take over the US economy. There is no such animal. The Lefties use this Straw Man to justify slapping even more taxes on the profitable. While funneling off most to hand out to the indolent.

      If the price is too high for me to purchase, I do without. If not enough people can afford the price, not enough gas will be sold. The companies must then lower the prices to spur purchasing. Can’t afford gas? Then take a bus, train, or ride a bicycle.

      But the problem here is that we no longer have the refinery capacity to keep up with the demand. If a refinery had been built in the last 30 years, in this country, perhaps the prices would not have crept so high. The blame for that is the tree-hugging nimrods who also keep Nuclear Power plants from being built, and windmill construction off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

      Gouging? Ptah! Pinko nonsense!

      If you aren’t the one investing in gas/oil, putting your own time and money, and maybe even sweat, into the industry, then whining about the prices shows you for the immature child you are. It’s none of your business. And it sure as hell isn’t the Gubmint’s!

    29. CavalierX says:

      The whole “price gouging” thing is a sham. The Federal Trade Commission investigated the same allegations yet again just last year, and summed up “the vast majority” of thirty years of similar investigations by concluding that “market factors” were “the primary drivers of both price increases and price spikes.”

    30. PCD says:

      tom, boy has your mask really fallen off. Wikipedia has been so discredited as a independent source. Wiki has had to ban politicians and their staffs from being to update entries. Anybody can and does create and update Wiki. The crap that goes for information is astoundingly stupid, but sucked up by libs like you, tom.

    31. David Foster says:

      severian…from what I’ve read, even corn-based ethanol does have a net energy gain, albeit a fairly small one (about 130% of the energy used to produce it becomes useful output energy) Sugarcane, though, has a much higher gain. It’s true that we are limited in how much we can grow in the US, but I bet it could be considerably more than the current crop. And there’s also a lot of potential in the Caribbean nations, most of which badly need the money.

    32. Jim M says:

      Benning, I couldn’t agree with you more “Price Gouging” is just another buzz word to increase the Imperial Federal Governments controls over private industry. When you have politicians calling for windfall profits taxes and the ignorant yelling that’s it tax those evil rich oil companies. The problem is that some people can’t get past their government school education which didn’t teach even simple economics supply and demand profits and profit margins.

      After the breakup of the Soviet Union the Communists/Socialists in this country had to go somewhere and the environmental groups provided good cover to continue their crusade to bring this country down. By stopping or putting severe restrictions on industry after all everyone wants clean air to breath and clean water to drink. The gas prices and our dependence on foreign oil can be totally blamed on the environmentalists for stopping drilling in this country or building refineries and nuclear power plants. Too many whackos running around yelling the sky is falling all based on junk science.

    33. Jim M says:

      John Stossel has a great article on “Greed” not kindness gets things done once again he makes perfect sense.
      :-?

    34. Severian says:

      “from what I’ve read, even corn-based ethanol does have a net energy gain, albeit a fairly small one”

      Interesting, I’d heard that recently a report was supposedly released stating that there was a small net plus for ethanol, but haven’t heard more. I’d like to see more details, not that I’m trying to be too cynical, but claims from “scientists” lately need to be taken with a large salt lick when they relate to any environmental issues, I’ve seen too much data falsification. I can believe that with better processing you should be able to get a net plus, so I’m inclined to take this at face value.

      Farm subsidies and import tariffs designed with protectionism in mind are major barriers to ethanol, and we need to straighten out that mess and let more corn/sugar cane be grown for ethanol, and also as you say more imports of either ethanol or corn and sugar cane. You make a great point about there being lots of Carribean and Latin American countries that would love to have another product to export to the US in quantity, heck, maybe if prices were good enough and their governments backed it you could convince some farmers to drop coca for sugar cane.

      I’m not opposed to the idea of ethanol at all. While it’s true that a tank of ethanol doesn’t have as much energy as gasoline, and will not take you as far (which is something to consider when you figure out the price per gallon comparisons, it has to be a price per mile), you certainly can get performance out of ethanol. There are a number of race classes that get stunning amounts of horsepower out of ethanol fueled cars.

      Unfortunately I think a large number of our politicians want to demonize the oil industry while doing nothing to upset the farm lobby, so this will probably be tough to implement.

    35. steve says:

      Until the 1930’s hemp oil powered all kinds of farm equipment for next to zero(0), cost. Then the federal government said it was against the law and everybody had better be using BIG oil products only, to run their vehicles and equipment. If anyone believes that this or any other country, has to run on fossile fuels, they are just buying the BIG oil propaganda message. Peace

    36. Baklava says:

      Tom?

    37. PCD says:

      Steve(FN), the majority of hemp advocacy is to make hemp legal for personal drug consumption, not for the enumerated purposes the advocates say. Tommy from NYC was an admitted pot head, are you coming out of the canabis buying club now, steve(FN)?

    38. andrew says:

      Bush knows how to lose money in the oil industry.

    39. Baklava says:

      BDS

    40. David Foster says:

      One thing that is worrisome about ethanol is that it apparently cannot be transported via today’s pipelines (damages the seals) so it must go by rail, ship, or barge. There’s already a serious congestion problem being caused on some railroads by the combination of coal shipments and ethanol shipments.

      I wonder how much extra energy is used to ship ethanol via rail vs what would have been used to ship equivalent oil via pipeline. Rail is 3-4 times more energy efficient than truck, but IIRC it’s still considerably worse than pipeline.

      I also wonder how much time Congress spent considering this issue before making the ethanol vs MTBE decision…..

    41. Severian says:

      “I also wonder how much time Congress spent considering this issue before making the ethanol vs MTBE decision…..”

      Hmmm…let me guess, absolutely none? It’s more important to appear to be doing something than to actually think it thru and do something useful and correct. Such is the nature of politics, particularly today.

      There definitely is a need for serious changes to the infrastructure to accomodate ethanol, something it’s most ardent supporters seem to overlook, but it’s something that should be analyzed and planned for, and then implemented.

      Ethanol vs. MTBE is in large part responsible for the gas shortages and the attendent surge in prices in some areas where they are above the national average. The recent energy bill forces the use of ethanol over MTBE, and there is a shortage of ethanol for this purpose. So, since the refineries/oil companies can’t make up the difference with MTBE, they can’t make enough of the special blend fuels, and prices go up and there are shortages (supply and demand). Bush’s relaxing of these requirements had an immediate effect, lowering gas prices and gas and oil futures, illustrating once again, for anyone with an ounce of common sense, where much of the oil crisis/price hike comes from, government intervention in the free market.

    42. Baklava says:

      Your last paragraph hit the nail on the head. With no new refineries due to environmentalists and operating at near capacity supply is tighter than demand. And when the economy is good the demand is stronger for energy.

      Special belnds is ridiculous and Bush’s call to ease those guidelines is righ ton. IN CA we have a special blend. In Ohio they do. It’s all about the do-gooders affects on the market. They “care” but their “caring” is driving up prices (which they use as a see Bush doesn’t “care” tool).

    43. forest hunter says:

      I lived in Nome for a while and always thought how peculiar it was when winter fuel costs went up. The fuel is bought and barged in, in early spring (after break up). It’s stored all year in a few massive tanks. As soon as winter hits prices begin to climb. The product was purchased at a fixed price at least six months in advance, I presume. Why then would they raise the cost over the frozen months? The fuel demand will not change, so why is what ought to be a constant factor not?

    44. Forest – they have to “make up” for that reverse tax payoff they give everyone in the State of Alaska, from the oil profits. Might be one of the little secret ways they do it without actually costing them anything. The Alaskans pay a higher price than it was purchased at, so their “payback” is partially out of their own pockets. Who knows. stranger things have happened.

      – Whenever the gov. gets involved in anything it turns into a fiasco. Back in the 90’s we were put on water conservation, because of a severe draught and the projections for years to come. Everyone cut back severely as asked, in fact the plan was outreageous;y successful, cutting consumption by greater than 65%.

      – Then in the late 90’s it started to reverse, with record seasonal rains. Imagine everyones surprise when in the midst of rainfall so heavy it was causing statewide flooding it was announced that water prices would need to be raised. Everyboidy wondered what the hell was going on. The then Gov, Davis attended a “water conservation” conference in LA, (He was late due to flooding), and at a news conference explained that because everyone had done such a good job of conservation and used so much less water, the district was losing money because it was selling water fast enough and was forced to raise prices. I’ll never forget that picture of him standing there in that rain-soaked, flooded out parking lot, explaining how we were up to our asses in water, so naturally it was going to cost more.

      – It just seems anything the gov. touches turns into a clown car.

      – Bang **==

    45. – make that “wasn’t selling water fast enough….”

      – Bang **==

    46. forest hunter says:

      Bang, I forgot about the natives getting paid just for being there. There were/are people that provide an Alaskan address solely for that purpose, even though they spend more time elsewhere. I could’ve easily done the same thing, having family and friends there.

      Sort of reminds me of PCD’s buddy, Senator Harkin.

    47. PCD says:

      Bang, I was in SoCal for Davis’ folly about the water. I thought he should have had his head held in one of the puddles until all the crap was flushed from his head.

      Forest, Harkin ain’t my buddy. That lying sob needs a pork chop around his neck for a dog to like him.

      Speaking of Donkeycrat demagogues, Dodd and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota introduced an amendment to the emergency supplemental spending bill now in the Senate that would impose a 50 percent windfall profits tax on oil company revenue derived from sales of oil at more than $40 per barrel. See Iowa Voice for that story.

    48. Yeh that will really punch a elephant sized hole in that (now averaging $3.30/gallon and up) price at the pump. These chuckle heads will probably end up spending untold millions of dollars in Congressional hours, investigations, useless “enforcement”, and you might see the price get driven down a penny or two – next year.

      – All the while they’ll go on pandering to their base by killing every refinery/exploration/drilling bill in sight.

      – Our “caring” Democraps in government in action.

      – Bang **==

    49. PCD says:

      Bang, we won’t see a penny. Gas prices will really skyrocket and any windfall tax will be paid by the consumer. We get a double whammy. Maybe if we see any politicians who support this stupidity, we should punch them in the nose or mouth.

    50. Jim M says:

      Bang, you are so right about government mucking things up when they get involved in all aspects. It was private industry that was the first in to help (Walmart and Home Depot) after hurricane Katrina. Private industry can do almost everything faster, better and less costly than our over bloated Federal Government. I was working in a gas station (Before convenience stores) in the early 70s when we had gas rationing and was threatened with bodily harm by some people if they couldn’t get more than 3 gallons. Once again are we doom to repeat history; in the early 70s U.S. oil production was down our dependency on foreign oil was at 36% with growing tension between the U.S. and Arab countries and flawed energy policies (Government).

    51. forest hunter says:

      PCD, I was just jerkin’ your chain. Your love for Harkin runs about as deep as mine for the nimrods out here, like big D two tt’s.

    52. Baklava says:

      This was part of a Yahoo News story on this topic TODAY:

      WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans advocate sending $100 rebate checks to millions of taxpayers, and a Democrat is leading the campaign for a 60-day gasoline tax holiday.

      Either way, it seems no one in Congress wants to be without a plan, however symbolic, to attack the election-year spike in gasoline prices.

      A vote is possible as early as this week on the Senate GOP approach, which calls for $100 rebate checks for taxpayers to cushion the impact of higher gasoline prices. The measure seems unlikely to prevail, at least initially, since it includes a highly controversial proposal to open a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

      Senate Republicans also favor extending a tax break that manufacturers receive for each hybrid vehicle they make, and want
      President Bush to suspend deliveries to the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for six months.

      Democrats seemed caught off guard by the GOP maneuvering, but a spokesman said they would have a plan of their own.

      Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has proposed a 60-day suspension in the federal tax on gasoline and diesel, a holiday that he says would cut the cost of gasoline by more than 18 cents a gallon and reduce the price of diesel fuel by more than 24 cents a gallon.

    53. – Of course we’re all going to take that C note and march down to our local car dealers and order a $45,000 hybrid, most of which will probably shoot up to $65,000, as soon as demand starts to rise.

      – Course what the “other” 260 million Americans that have to work for a living are going to do is still a little up in the air, but we can all rest easy with our elected officials on the job. We citizens just have to be patient and wait till all the partisan opportunism and political jockeying is finished.

      – After all, thats what we send them to Washington to do right?

      – Bang **==

    54. – FOX just did a report that makes the whole oil fiasco even worse if thats possible. Turns out that several countries, France, China, Spain, and Cuba are already drilling off the florida coast. In other words taking our oil that we’re not allowed to drill for.

      – Does this idiocy in Washington never end?

      – Bang **==

    55. Baklava says:

      Outside of 12 miles or inside?

    56. – Its right on the 50 mile line Bak, but the industry guy being interviewed said that they could easily “slant” drill right into the heart of the Florida “straights”, which is apparently the massive deposite between there and the Florida shoreline.

      – In any event if we don’t stop being hussled by the greenpeacers, pretty soon you’re going to have a crisus on your hands if we don’t already.

      – BTW in another piece today a Cal legislator went on FOX and talked about something I mentioned in an earlier post last week concerning the real “problems” behind the immigration mess. He said everyone is pretending the financial burden caused by the large number of illegals doesn’t exist, when in fact its already bancrupted the state twice to the point of requiring long term bond loans in massive amounts with interest.

      – I know this is true, Arnold is going to float yet another record multi billions bond this fall, which is the direct result of undocumented aliens on the public health, welfare, housing, and school systems.

      – Bang **==

    57. Baklava says:

      Yeppers. Yet taxes are high here (for the legal citizens) to the point of driving businesses away to booming economically neighboring states.

    58. I did not realize there had ensued such a lively discussion, led mostly by Big Bang Hunter. #1. This is Eddie’s Computer, not Eddie, so please reserve your attacks for me. #2. Bush’s poor job performance? Don’t less than 40% of the American public now approve of President Bush’s job performance? Big Bang Hunter must ally himself with that minority.