The republicans are blaming Obama for high gas prices, and Newt Gingrish is going as far as to claim he will deliver $2.50/gal gas. And yet they are all lying. And proving once again- not only are they willing to lie to the american people- but that their followers are too stupid to understand the facts.
They insist that increasing production will lower gas prices. And they love to scream about the simple fact of supply and demand. Of course what they aren’t bothering to tell you- oil and gas are a global commodity, and prices are set on the international market.
And of course they omit the fact that US oil production is at it’s highest level since Clinton was president. That the refineries are operating at full capacity, and that the US is currently exporting in excess of 650,000 barrels of fuel a day- a record. Clearly, increased production is having no impact on domestic prices- as the oil companies do what they have always done- get top dollar for their product.
And lets look at the 2009 study from the Energy Information Administration: “opening up to drilling areas off the East Coast, West Coast and Florida’s Gulf Coast would yield just 500,000 extra barrels a day by 2030” and “The world currently consumes 89 million barrels a day, and by then would likely be using over 100 million barrels.” Their estimated savings to americans- 3cents a gallon.
And let us not forget- Gingrich, as well as Romney and Santorum have publicly said they would attack Iran- a country that puts 2.5 million barrels of crude on the world market a day- 5 times what the exploitation of known US reserves could produce (and never mind the fact that if all those sources got approved for exploitation today it would be years before a single drop of fuel became available on the market from them)
And of course the Keystone pipeline lie- which BTW Obama and the democrats did not kill- they just challenged the current proposed path- in no small part due to the letter from Republican Nebraska Governor, and predominantly republican farmers and ranchers in 5 states who are concerned that a spill would destroy the ogalla aquifer which supplies the water to farmers and ranchers in these five states- an aquifer that in parts of the proposed path is 2 feet or less deep. Also these republicans were (quite rightly) outraged by a foreign corporation threatening to steal their land using eminent domain. see: http://goo.gl/C1w9H
Regardless- it would not have brought any increased supply until 2016. And it ignores the fact that it would be bringing Foreign Oil to refineries that are already operating at capacity refining US oil.
and some other truths here:
Currently the US is setting records for EXPORTING gas- 650,000 barrels per day in December.
Domestic production of oil and natural gas DECLINED every year under George W Bush, and has risen every year under Obama. Oil imports reached a record high under Bush in 2005, and have fallen to 45% under Obama- the lowest level since Clinton was president.
The republicans like to blame the liberal environmental policies for requirements for ethanol being added to gasoline- which raises the price. But take a look at where these rules actually came from. Thats right- republicans in congress- particularly those from the midwest who receives millions from the powerful corn/agriculture lobbies.
The United States holds only 2 percent of the planet’s proven oil reserves, but Americans consume 25 percent of the world’s daily output of crude oil.
the U.S. drilling-rig count is twice as high now as it was in 2009. With the exception of a spike in 2008, the current rig count is higher than any year since the early 1980s, according to figures compiled by WTRG Economics.
So lets look at some of the reasons gas prices have been rising.
Since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan a year ago this week Japan has taken most of its nuclear reactors offline- and has been replacing them by using 320,000 barrels a day.
Disputes in the Sudan have choked off 240,000 barrels a day.
Unrest in the middle east has dropped production by roughly 400,000 barrels a day.
And maintenance problems in the North Sea (norwegian and British Production) has caused a drop of 160,000 barrels a day.
And now lets look at demand: Chinas growth is fueling an estimated increase in demand of 400,000 barrels a day.
And world demand has skyrocketed to almost 90million barrels a day. Which of course is spooking traders/speculators on wall street – who are hedging their bets on prices rising- and by buying these futures at higher prices it drives the current prices up.
And hey- why not look at some truth about gas prices in the US in the past decade: When George W Bush took office in Jan 2001- gas prices were $1.52. By may of 2004 we cracked the $2 mark. By july of 2006 we had cracked the $3.00 mark. By july of 2008 towards the end of Bushs reign we were at a whopping $4.14 – almost a tripling of gas prices in 8 years. And where are we at today? $3.80. In fact- in 39 months under Obama we have only seen gas prices above $3 for 16 of those months- for well over half of his presidency gas prices were well under $3. Now- I am not saying this is Obamas doing- because it is not. Presidents have very little control over gas prices. BUT, foreign policy does play a role- and the chaos caused in the middle east producing countries by Bush certainly played some role in cutting supply and creating uncertainity that drove prices up.
But hey- maybe Newt has a magic wand. After all he promises to cut taxes, reel in spending, all the while building magic space colonies on the moon.
And- just a few references:
Federal Highway Trust Fund
federal tax: 18.4cents gas 24.4 Diesel