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We're Paying the Price for Republican Stupidity at the Pump

Every day we Americans are paying more and more for gasoline, and in large part the price spikes we're seeing today are because of Republican stupidity. The price of oil continues to rise, not so much on supply and demand, but on the threat of a reduced supply as a result of instability in the Middle East... instability that we've created through the Republican bonehead move of invading and occupying Iraq.

The Whack-A-Mole policy of Bush and McCain is not working, and the threat in Saudi Arabia underscores that completely (emphasis mine)

An attack -- or even an attempted attack -- by Islamic extremists on Saudi Arabia's oil sector would have disastrous consequences on the world market and the price per barrel, analysts warn.

Of more than 700 people arrested in the course of the last six months in Saudi Arabia, dozens had been part of cells charged with preparing attacks against oil sites, according to authorities in Riyadh.

With the price per barrel rising constantly and the capacity to increase global production almost non-existent, apart from in Saudi Arabia, the world market has never been so vulnerable to an offensive by Jihadists in the kingdom, they said.

McCain wants to Whack the Moles in Iraq for another 100 years, but they just pop up elsewhere -- threats such as those evident today in Saudi Arabia, spurred on by the instability and wrong-headed approach our nation took by invading and occupying Iraq, is driving up the price of oil and gasoline. An attack on Saudi oil facilities -- even if unsuccessful -- will have a catastrophic effect on the price we pay for oil. A successful attack that actually effects oil output will have an even greater effect.

We're paying the price for Republican stupidity at the pump every day -- it's time for a change.


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Rating: 1.4/5 (11 votes cast)


Comments (21)

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

No, it doesn't. The Republicans in the White House created our current foreign policy and initiatives towards terrorism and the middle east, and the Republicans in Congress repeatedly blocked efforts to get us away from that failed, doomed path and to end the occupation which, we now see, has done nothing to make our oil-dependent economy any safer.

The price of oil has doubled, but the supply hasn't been reduced, and demand certainly [hasn't] doubled, so obviously speculation and concerns about disruptions to the oil supply are what's driving (in part) prices higher.

The blame for that lies squarely at the feet of the Republican idiots in the White House.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Did demand double? No - so why are you making that noise?

And we're still stuck in this mess - it isn't Monday, it's only half-time on Saunday afternoon, the game is still underway.

Will we play the second half the same way we played the first half?

John McCain says yes, absolutely. Barack Obama says no way.

The Voter's choice is easy when you break it down.

Eric:

Avg price of a gallon of gas now July 2008: $4.35

Avg price of a gallon of gas Nov 2007: $2.23

Time Difference: 20 Months
Cost Difference: 4.35 - 2.23 = $2.12/gal
Average Increase/Month: 2.12/20 = $0.11/gal
--------------------------------------------
How did gas prices change in the preceding 20 months?

Avg price of a gallon of gas Nov 2007: $2.23

Avg price of a gallon of gas Mar 2006: $2.50

Time Difference: 20 Months
Cost Difference: 2.23 - 2.50 = - $0.27/gal
Average Increase/Month: -0.27/20 = - $0.01/gal
-----------------------------------------------

In March 2006 the price of gas was $2.50/gal, 20 months later the price had gone DOWN to $2.23/gal. Bush was President and the Iraq War was going on during that 20 months. And yet prices went down 11%.

In November 2007 the price of gas was $2.23/gal, 20 months later the price has gone UP to $4.35/gal or roughly 100% in 20 months. Bush was President during and the Iraq War was still going on during THAT 20 months. So what else changed? Answer, the Democrats took control of Congress.

Lee if you are going to blame the government at least be honest and remember that the Democrats control the Legislative Branch of our government and during their watch the price of gas has doubled. Also, if you want to put it all on the Iraq War don't forget that 81 Democrat Congressmen and 29 Democrat Senators voted in favor of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.

Eric:

Lee Ward @ 2:24 PM:

Did demand double? No - so why are you making that noise?

Lee Ward @ 12:28 PM:

The price of oil has doubled, but the supply hasn't been reduced, and demand certainly has doubled, so obviously speculation and concerns about disruptions to the oil supply are what's driving (in part) prices higher.

...

Off hand I would say that ed davis was replying to your claim about demand doubling. So which is it Lee? Has demand doubled or not in the two hours between those two posts?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

My comment should have read "demand hasn't doubled" - and I've now corrected it. My bad.

Ken:

You have to be kidding! You blame the Republicans when 15 years ago they passed and energy bill which included drillng in ANWR and Clinton vetoed it! Bush has presented and energy bill every year with domestic drilling, and the Democrats in congress, with help from some Republicans, have failed to pass it! When the Democrats took control of congress two years ago, oil was around a third what it is today, and gas prices were less than half! They have managed to do this to us in just two years, with the idiotic mandate for ethanol, which has run up the price of food as well!

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Drilling for oil in ANWR won't change the price of gasoline if the price of gasoline is not being driven up by supply and demand.

This is just another Republican ruse to help their oil company pals.

The Grand Oil Party -- not to be believed, and never to be trusted -- at least when oil is involved.

Fred:

You don't really know what gas prices would be if Saddam were left in power.

The sanctions were failing, containment was failing, Saddam and Iran were both looking to expand, and both were very much pro-nuclear. As in weapons.

Electioneering is not analysis.

Lee Ward:

Analysis usually leads to answers.... answers which you can choose to conveniently avoid by asking more questions.

Or you can stop avoiding and running, face the facts and deal with them.

The Republicans running away from Global Warming is another example. They choose to keep asking questions rather than dealing with the facts as they are known, and by doing so they are delaying action on the actionable "givens" that are already known.

"Electioneering" at its finest... and meanwhile Rome burns.

John McCain is proud of the fact that he acknowledges the realities and threats of Global Warming, and he does so in direct opposition to George Bush and the rest of the fiddling deniers who want to continue to protect the fossil fuel industries instead of forcing action that might somehow reduce the billions in profits received by the likes of Exxon.

John McCain isn't going along with the rest of the Republican handlickers.

Eric:

Lee according to the International Energy Agency Demand now exceeds Supply, so support your allegation that supply and demand are not affecting prices.

From 2004 to 2008 World Oil Demand has gone from 82.5 million barrels/day to 86.8 mb/d.
http://omrpublic.iea.org/world/wb_wodem.pdf

Whereas from 2004 to 2007 (last year they have data for) World Oil Supply has gone from 83.4 mb/d to 85.5 mb/d.
http://omrpublic.iea.org/world/wb_wosup.pdf

If you put the two charts together, you'll see that starting in 2007 World Oil Demand was higher than World Oil Supply.

Which party in this country has done the most to prevent the U.S. from increasing it's own supply of oil? The answer is the Democrat party. You can't deny that the Democrats have been on the forefront of stopping the development of ANWR, of blocking coastal drilling, of blocking nuclear power, of blocking the upgrades and construction of oli refineries.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Using your own figures clearly supply and demand does not account for the doubling of the price of oil. You've proven my point.

Using your figures, demand increased by 5.2% and supply increased by 2.5%, a 'gap' of 2.7%.

Are you suggesting that 2.7% gap is responsible for a approximately 100% increase in the price of oil? I didn't think so.

Besides, there is a news report out just this morning that cites the higher price of some food commodities worldwide is being blamed on the increased production of biofuels.

The gap has to be filled somehow, and if oil supply isn't meeting demand than biofuels must be making up the difference.

A supply/demand gap may be responsible for a small percentage of the 100% increase in oil, but cleary there are major forces besides supply and demand at work here.

Eric:

I expected that would be your reply. My suggestion is to go back to college and learn economics. There is not a direct correlation between price and the difference between supply and demand. When demand exceeds supply, prices rise until demand decreases back to equilibrium.

We are seeing that now. People are driving less and eventually we'll see overall demand decrease to a point of equilibrium. At which point we will see some decrease in cost, but not much. The solution to decreasing the cost of oil is decrease demand AND increase supply to reverse the price dynamic. Getting us out of Iraq will not magically fix the cost of oil. By the way, you must have missed the recent news that Iraqi oil production is now exceeding pre-war levels.

What I find amazing about you Lee is that no matter what you say, even when someone shows you to be completely wrong, you find a way to spin it back to you were still right all along.

I notice you still haven't commented on the amazing coincidence that the price of oil doubled during the same time that the Democrats took control of Congress. Nor have you commented on the facts that it was the Democrats who have blocked all supply side and even some demand side solutions to energy policy.

John S:

The demand-supply numbers given are nonsense. If there was a supply shortfall of 1.3 mb/day (475 million barrels a year!) don't you think someone would have noticed? Name one country in the world where gasoline is rationed. There isn't one. There is no shortage of oil. Not even close.

Although there are U.S. refineries that are deliberately throttling back to 85 percent capacity at peak driving season to run up the price of gasoline. And oil producing countries are hoarding million of barrels of crude in tankers in the Caribbean and elsewhere. But U.S. consumption of gasoline also is well on its way to a 10 percent reduction this year.

But back to the original post, Lee: other than a mindless bleating for "Change," what are your plans to lower the cost of gasoline?

I'm all ears...

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Eric - Since you acknowledge that a future equilibrium between supply and demand will not significantly reduce the cost of oil, I find it incredible that you can't you see the lack of equilibrium isn't driving the 100% increase in the cost of oil.

Supply and demand can have an effect on price, but traders buying and selling oil futures are no longer basing their actions on actual supply and demand disparities. The increase in the price of spot oil is directly related to perceived supply threats - and those threats are based on the instability in the middle east -- which in turn falls right back into the lap of the Republicans in the White House and Congress.

I suggest you put down the text book definition of supply and demand, and its elementary school naivety and simplicity, and look into the drivers behind oil futures.

You only need to look at Enron and the energy futures market of 2000 and 2001 to see how price increases can occur on the futures markets (that in turn result in rate increases) that have absolutely no relation to actual supply and demand. The future markets trade on a number of factors, and supply and demand have, at this juncture, taken a back to seat to other factors. The industrialization of China and India was a factor,but the markets are moving way beyond that now.

We're seeing 2-3% percentage increases instantly - on an regular basis, merely on the rumor of a supply threat -- and these instability-driven threats have had a cumulative effect on oil prices over the last year.

Oil producers are not bidding up the price of oil to meet an actual shortfall in demand. Oil futures traders are bidding up the price of oil on the belief that the continued instability in the middle east will create future shortfalls in supply.

Iraq, and the lack of stability there, is only part of the picture. Also driving up the price of oil futures is the terrorist threat to the Saudi oil infrastructure, and the threat of Bush the buffoon moving aggressively against Iran. McCain offers the same threat - the same instability-inducing foreign policy.

It's a complicated equation, and the text book answer falls way short.

JohnS - a diplomatic solution to the middle east is needed in order to reduce tensions and ease concerns over future supplies of oil. At the same time, we need to reduce our dependency on oil and move towards alternatives.

Republicans disdain diplomatic solutions - the repeated call by the Republicans in power to dismantle the UN is an easy benchmark in that regard.

And since the Republican administration has shown an unwillingness over the last 8 years to move us away from the oil teet, a change in Washington is needed - a new energy policy is dramatically needed.

You can argue that Obama won't accomplish the changes needed, but the Bush/McCain approach is fueling the increases -- so if Obama isn't the answer, feel free to suggest who/what is the answer given that the Republican party is firmly in the pockets of the oil interests.

At this point, Obama and his more reasoned approach to resolve conflicts in the Middle East looks like the best solution to me,

Eric:

Lee, how are we supposed to get off of the "oil teet"? Name the technology that will replace every car, every ship and every airplane in the world as well as supply the energy to light our homes and businesses? Why is it that liberals have this crazy notion that there is some magic solution that will replace oil and that people are just too stupid and greedy to use it?

It is unrealistic to think that we can do away with oil any time soon.

You are right, speculators are driving up the cost of gas. Why do you think the speculators are doing that? It is because they believe that demand will continue to outpace supply. Whether it is because of instability in the middle east and elsewhere, is true. But you can't blame that solely on the United States and the Bush Administration. What about Iran? One guy ratcheting up tension in the Middle East is Ahmadinejad. That is not Bush's fault. Another problem affecting oil prices is Nigeria. There is also Chavez in Venezuela working with Iran. There is China who has an insatiable hunger for oil now and they are enabling Iran.

None of that changes the fact that Democrats have limited our options by blocking access to our own oil.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"But you can't blame that solely on the United States and the Bush Administration."

I didn't.

Every day we Americans are paying more and more for gasoline, and in large part the price spikes we're seeing today are because of Republican stupidity. The price of oil continues to rise, not so much on supply and demand, but on the threat of a reduced supply as a result of instability in the Middle East... instability that we've created through the Republican bonehead move of invading and occupying Iraq.

I'm not saying the Bush administration and its bungling in the Middle East is "solely" the reason for high prices - I'm saying the market has moved way beyond the supply/demand increases driven by growth in China and India and other developing nations, and is now being driven by the instability in the middle east created by Republicans.

Eric:

Lee read your lat post this way.

I'm not saying the Bush administration and its bungling in the Middle East is "solely" the reason for high prices - ...and is now being driven by the instability in the middle east created by Republicans.

In one part of the sentence you deny that Bush Adminisration is responsible and then in another part you claim that it is reponsible.

Lee, according to you our invasion of Iraq is the reason for skyrocketing gas prices. As I pointed out several posts ago, the war has been going on since 2003, yet gas prices didn't skyrocket until 2007.

How do explain the 4 YEAR lag between the start of the war and when prices started to skyrocket? Prices doubled from 2007 to 2008, but from 2003 to 2007 prices grew moderately. How do you explain that?

And how do explain how skyrocketing oil prices match quite well with the Democrat take over of Congress?

groucho:

"And how do explain how skyrocketing oil prices match quite well with the Democrat take over of Congress?"

How, exactly, has the Dem Congress accomplished this? What have they done? Not that I'm supporting their record, but I'd like to see this ridiculous partisan meme proven. Connect some dots, of you can please.

Lee Ward:

Why don't you show how the Democratic takeover of Congress relates in any way to the price of oil - it's not up to me to prove your theory false -- you have to prove it true and I'll debate your points with you.

Feel free to start here: December 18, 2007

This afternoon, the energy bill that requires 35 mpg by 2020 CAFE handily passed Congress. After passing in the Senate last week, the first increase in average fleet fuel economy in 32 years sailed through the House of Representatives 314-100. The auto industry's best friend in Congress, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., "was key to a compromise on vehicle efficiency increases," as the AP put it. As we mentioned, part of that compromise meant stripping out tax provisions for renewable energy requirements and the elimination of new incentives for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Oil companies were also spared higher taxes. President Bush has said he will sign the bill.

The Democrats in Congress were able to pass increased gas mileage requirements after they compromised with the Republicans by...

(1) dropping renewable energy requirements (that impacts the oil industry, the President and Republicans in Congress didn't want it)

and also eliminating (2) new incentives for hybrid vehicles (that would mean reduce dependence on oil - can't have that!)

and (3) dropping the requirement for higher taxes on the oil industry. That money would have been plowed back into energy alternatives that compete with oil interests - can't have that either.

But they were able to raise the mpg requirements - something that hasn't been done during the Republican-led Congress even after the Iraq War started and oil prices began to rise. It took the Democrats to get this through, and when we get rid of more Republicans in Congress along with the Bumbler in Chief in the White House, we can get the hybrid incentives and alternative energy initiatives passed too.
Higher gasoline prices have nothing to do with Democrats taking control of Congress in 2006. Feel free to prove otherwise.

Eric:

Hold on. You started this. You started with the allegation that it was the Bush administration, the Republicans and the Iraq War were the cause of the oil prices. You connect the dots first.

As I pointed out, a 4 year delay between the start of the war and when gas prices skyrocket does not make a good connection.

Prove your allegations first.

Eric:

By the way Lee, what's so great about the Bill that you touted? The CAFE standards are to be met by 2020, that's not helping anything now? However, the same Act provided huge ethanol subsidies which do have immediate impact. What's wrong with ethanol subsidies?

http://www.energyjustice.net/ethanol/factsheet.pdf
Also, from June 2007: OPEC warns bio-fuels could lead to soaring oil prices: report
http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=179934&s=b&i=&t=OPEC_warns_bio-fuels_could_lead_to_soaring_oil_prices:_report/

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has warned that the drive for environment-friendly bio-fuel risked pushing oil prices "through the roof," the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

How about this from 2005: http://www.slate.com/id/2122961/

Which says:

David Pimentel, a professor of ecology at Cornell University who has been studying grain alcohol for 20 years, and Tad Patzek, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, co-wrote a recent report that estimates that making ethanol from corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the ethanol fuel itself actually contains.

Remember this was written in 2005

Adding more ethanol will also increase the complexity of America's refining infrastructure, which is already straining to meet demand, thus raising pump prices.

Another point, as you keep saying Lee, speculators are part of what is driving up the cost of gas. I don't disagree with you on that point, speculators are playing a role in the skyrocketing price of oil. What this has to do with the Democrats is that with a Democrat controlled Congress and a Democrat controlled White House, speculators are betting that the Democrats will muck things up even worse. The Windfall Profits Tax has been tried before and it was a disaster. Having hearing after hearing with every Congressman who loves the sound of his own voice talking about laws and restrictions and new regulations causes uncertainty in the market.

As I keep pointing out, it was the Democrats that have a history of blocking oil production in this country. The Democrats have for years cried about our dependence on foreign oil, yet they stand in the way of the U.S. producing more of it's own. How does that make sense?


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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