Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gas Prices: "It's the 'S' word, stupid!"

Editor's Note: This post was written by Cliff, who has guest-written for this blog before. Cliff is a fellow automotive enthusiast and has spent time employed in the automotive industry.

I know we all have been experiencing the recent “pain at the pump”. We have been told that this sudden and unexplained rise in gas prices represents a “war premium”. Another explanation is it is as a result of Iran shutting off oil shipments to France and the UK. Another, was a rumor that a major explosion of a pipeline in Saudi Arabia had occurred which was later proven false. And the most recent and most plausible of all of these explanations in my book, the fact that Peyton Manning will no longer will be playing Quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. It’s as good as any I listed above.

Our President has stated quite clearly that there is nothing he can do about it in the short term and that it is a very long term problem. Shortly before this announcement, he shot down a major pipeline project from Canada to the heart of America’s refinery operations in the Houston, Texas region that would have had a significant impact on supply of oil in the US in the next several years. So I guess he was right. That pretty much put a lock on not solving the problem for a very long time, didn’t it?

Just yesterday, his fellow Democrats stopped an end run by a group of Republicans that would have reversed the president’s decision and given the go ahead to build the pipeline. The democrats argued that because the oil is from Canada’s tar sands it is “dirty” and not fit for US consumption. Clearly, the President and his fellow democrats must have been recovering from late night benders when they failed to show for their 7:45 AM class where what a “refinery” does was discussed. So as a result, China who now owns debt, will soon own our oil. Nice. 

BTW- this move will allow us to continue to import massive quantities of the dirtiest oil known in the Western Hemisphere from Venezuela transported to the US in leaky ships that can and have sunk. As we all know, Venezuela is home to the US’s second biggest friend in Latin America and supporter known as Hugo Chavez, who right behind Fidel Castro hates our guts to pieces. And then some. I’ll take the Canadians myself.

Congress, who when properly motivated, can pull all nighters and have been known to instantly show up in Washington to address issues as Nationally critical as an early morning vote concerning allowing some poor terminally ill woman in Florida to die with dignity a few years back. Save for a handful of them, we’ve not heard much from Congress. 
We’ve been told it’s not supply and demand as the US now consumes less gasoline that it did in 1997 and is exporting it in great quantities. And, it’s too early to claim it is due to the insane annual change-over from the winter to the summer formulation. Just think of the money that could be saved if our beloved EPA could agree on just 1 formulation, winter, summer, spring and fall and keep the refineries running flat out all year round? Next to the IRS, I can’t think of another Government Agency that does more to . . . . ah, I mean "for," the average US Citizen.

Of course, a lot of the blame has been leveled at the big oil companies, especially Exxon. Even though oil is a commodity and is traded around the world, and therein lies the problem. When the market price of a barrel of oil shoots up to $107, Exxon has wells that have been producing oil for years at $30 a barrel, or less. And, we give them massive tax credits on top of it, which needs to be eliminated immediately. Unfortunately, in the meantime, I don’t see them giving the money back. Let’s be realistic, while there is proof that they are not the major cause of these price spikes, they aren’t going to lift a finger to do anything about it either. 
Look folks, we ain’t at war and we won’t see a nickel of that premium. It’s not caused by supply and demand. It’s not the big oil companies anymore than Apple is raking in Billions on trendy little devices made in sweat shops in China and I don’t hear people complaining about that. It’s the “S” word. And these “S’s” are the same Wall Street Fat Cats that put this country on the brink of financial disaster just a few years ago, and we bailed them out with our tax money. I think you might remember.


The same group that last gave us $4.00 a gallon gas are at it again. Why, because the last time they drove prices this high, they got rich. Rich as hell. Richer than all hell! And not one of them or their firms got so much as a parking ticket. In fact, the speculators booked millions upon millions in profits and handed out those massive Wall Street bonuses we all hear about that we’ll never get. And they are working on record bonuses again this year . . . . . and you are paying for it. And, a lot of those millions are flowing right back into politician’s pockets, and that is why you haven’t heard and won’t hear a peep out of Congress.

Look, I mean, when the head of Saudi Arabia flies to your country and explains that it in fact is speculators that are driving oil prices sky high and it is hurting their business too, and by the way could you please get off your ass and do something about it? I mean, seriously. Unfortunately, he was talking to our former President whose family made their fortune in the oil business. Kinda’ like trying to convince Donald Trump that he needs reserve his most premium suites at his best hotels so the occupy Wall Street folks have a nice warm bed to sleep in and a proper breakfast to start their day. And by the way, feel free to keep the monogramed bath robes and fuzzy slippers gratis.
So, what can “I” do? First, If you agree with me, “Like” this article. The more traction we can get, the better. The next thing is to contact your Congressman and the President and tell them to put an end to this rampant speculation. Measures have already been agreed to that would put an end all this nonsense and are simply not being acted on. With the country just getting back on it’s feet, this price speculation has the potential to put us right back in recession or worse. Stop the speculation now!

Drive safe!

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