It’s all about the price of oil

Yes, that is the title of a great Billy Bragg song from the early days of the Iraq war, and it is still relevant. Newt keeps saying he can magically make gas cost $2.50 a gallon. Of course, those of us in the reality based community realize that is just as far out as his moon base talk. Joe Romm at Think Progress had a great piece a few days ago that sums it up with three graphs and charts that illustrate the truth about gas prices very clearly (and the comments section simply demonstrates that too many people are immune to facts). It shows that although the U.S. produces about 200 times as much gasoline as Germany, the gas prices in both countries move in nearly exact parallel. It shows that our oil production is up and the % of oil we use that we import has gone down to 45%. And finally, it shows in a graph showing 1990 to the present, the fluctuations in our domestic oil production have no relation whatever to the cost of gasoline at the pump.
Just saying.


About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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2 Responses to It’s all about the price of oil

  1. Jim says:

    The chart article ends with the following:”We’re not going to substantially change U.S. gasoline prices through more drilling and more domestic production. We can protect ourselves and our economy from rising prices and oil shocks — and, of course, catastrophic climate change — only by reducing oil consumption.” Another comment to the article says that when/if we become energy independent, then we can have low-cost oil. Both are wrong, I say.
    The US cannot oust itself from the global market, especially when it comes to oil and energy. Energy independence is a noble and worthwhile idea, but it won’t achieve domestic control over prices unless the market is sealed completely, which is undesirable, even unfeasible. Lowering demand; better efficiency and using less are excellent as well, but given the diversity of the American economy, this is achieved best through market influences (through legislation and cultural change) and not simple government decrees.
    Oil prices escalate during wars and speculation about wars. The single largest factor in oil price stability is confidence in the energy market, a.k.a., un-threatened peace. And Obama is working well towards that. The Republicans are not.

  2. JP says:

    Well said. (though I’m not sure I get your distinction between legislation and government decrees. Isn’t legislation more or less a government decree, or as close as we get to ones that matter?) The reason energy efficiency and lowering domestic demand helps is that it softens the blow of fluctuating/rising prices. If we have to buy less, the price won’t matter as much. I.E., if SUVs got 75 miles a gallon in town there wouldn’t be much of a peep about $4 a gallon gasoline. And yes, it has always been the Republicans who have fought hardest against mileage standards. (Something about America’s God-given right to burn up the planet as we please, without consequence.) You’re right about peace, which makes all the cries to bomb Iran, from McCain to Gingrich to Romney all the more hypocritical. You want to see gas prices really skyrocket? Just start a war with Iran. (Of course, maybe they do want that. I’m sure in their closed door meetings it’s been brought up that $6 gas is their best hope of defeating Obama in November. Well, their best hope after fixing the vote, and on that some good news yesterday. A judge in WI threw out their new voter ID law permanently–it earlier had a temporary injunction. Poor people in WI will actually be able to vote in November. Hurray!)

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