Thursday, September 21, 2006

The 'Gas Price' Card

Isn't it odd...violence in Iraq remains at an extremely high level, the Middle East remains volatile, global tensions continue to run high, we are in the middle of hurricane season...and gasoline prices are plummeting. Not a gradual decline, mind you, but PLUMMETING!

Check out the above chart, from the Energy Information Administration. Since the beginning of August the average price for a gallon of regular gas has dropped more than 50 cents, and yet the silence from the media on this has been deafening.

I finally caught some pundits on one of the cable news nets today discussing whether the falling gas prices might have anything to do with the president's improved poll numbers. Are you kidding? How could it not have an impact?

What journalists should now be doing is trying to determine if the Bush administration has done some behind-the-scenes arm-twisting to effect the current price decline, which is conveniently happening right before the mid-term elections.

Considering the closed door meetings in the setting of our nation's energy policy, not to mention the close ties of Bush and Cheney to the oil industry, an investigation should be a no-brainer. Well maybe not with a GOP-led House and Senate.

Think the big oil companies don't know the impact of having Democrats take back either the House or Senate? These masters of greed do not want any oversight of their role in the policies and actions of the Bush administration.

Still, there is no serious news being broadcast these days.

Why examine whether oil prices are being manipulated for political gain, when it is much safer to focus on a baby-napping, or the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son, or the dangers of tainted spinach?

Wouldn't it be nice to see some news outlets doing their job and exploring the subject? Or is the story deliberately being suppressed by the corporations that own the major news broadcasters and newspapers?

Sadly, we can't even get coverage of the continued violence in Iraq these days, so how can we expect them to investigate the connection between the price decline and a GOP push to maintain their majority?


Anonymous said...

Oh, please. You "Progressives" just kill me. How, exactly, is this bit of economic slight-of-hand accomplished? When prices go up, it's Bush's fault. When the prices go down, it's Bush's fault. What a powerful guy he is, eh? Please explain why, if George is The Great and Powerful Oil God, he doesn't just keep the prices low ALL THE TIME??

scootmandubious said...

"Please explain why, if George is The Great and Powerful Oil God, he doesn't just keep the prices low ALL THE TIME??"

Well that's an easy one...because if he kept it low all the time how could his friends reap their obscene billions?

Matt said...

I think you're on to something scootman, this plummet in gas prices a month and a half before the midterms does seem quite suspicious. But there are some factors that you didn't take into consideration. Mainly the fact that it's the end of the summer driving season. Families aren't headed up north to the cabin or going on that cross country road trip because it's now the start of school. That's the argument that I keep hearing from repub's at least... just like arianna said, "it's the economy stupid!" Just playing the devil's advocate...

It's a well known fact that oil companies donate more money to the GOP through PAC's than to the Dem's. I don't like using the word conspiracy, but that's basically what it is (using this definition: any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result). Just take a close look at the "energy task force" that Cheney set up in his 10th day as vice president. The National Energy Policy Development Group is a group made up of Exxon, Conoco, etc. CEO's that meet to discuss energy policies with the Bush administration. Why is it so hard for right-wingers to believe that they couldn't agree to lower prices ahead of an election, especially when they're meeting frequently to discuss energy policies?

Stephen Macklin said...

How about this possibility.

A lot of the price spike was based on speculation about oil supply and refining capacity in advance of the summer driving season and hurricane season. This speculation lead to not only higher prices but also higher level of oil reserves.

There has been no hurricane hit to supply and now the summer demand is gone. Oil companies are left with larger supply.

Higher supply and lower demand equals lower prices.

Not really as sexy as an international industry wide conspiracy run out of the oval office, but not as stupid sounding either.

Gahrie said...

Gas prices go down at this time EVERY YEAR! Do a little reasearch.

1) People drive less.

2) The winter formulas of gas are less expensive than the summer formulas.

3) A benign hurricane season, consistent production, and the recent Gulf find have all driven the market price of crude lower.

scootmandubious said...

I guess this really hit a nerve with Bush apologists.

Especially ludicrous was the last poster who said to do a little research, or was that 'reasearch?'

Well, my scientific friend, if you look at the chart that accompanies the article, let me know where you can find prices beginning to plummet starting on August 1st???

Last year, where the hurricane season was a factor, prices didn't really begin to drop until mid-September.

In 2004, there was a steady increase in prices this time of year.

There's your 'research.' And I didn't even need to navigate away from the page.

I hope your shares of ExxonMobil are helping you sleep better at night.