Free Markets, Free People

speculators

Obama is on the problem of high gas prices

Yes indeed, he’s focused like a laser beam. He has figured out how to proceed. You’ll be seeing relief soon. He’s … setting up a task force to look into speculation?!

Er, seems so.  Read this:

"I think the American people understand that we don’t have a silver bullet when it comes to gas prices. We’ve been talking about this for 30 years. The only way to stabilize gas prices is to reduce our dependency on fore oil and we just put out a report that over the last year or so, we’ve been able to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by a million barrels. That’s’ significant. In the meantime, cuz I know people are hurting right now and it feels like a tax out of their paychecks, what we’re doing is looking at every single area that can affect gas prices, from bottlenecks that are out there, we’ve set up a task force to look into speculation to make sure people are taking advantage of the situation on the global oil markets," President Obama told WKRC-TV.

Line by line:

I think the American people understand that we don’t have a silver bullet when it comes to gas prices. We’ve been talking about this for 30 years.

I think the American people understand something Barack Obama and the Democrats don’t understand – if we’d have been drilling everywhere for those 30 years instead of flapping our jaws about “silver bullets”, we’d be much better off today, in terms of oil supply and price, than we are now.

Oh, by the way, we’ve been talking about alternative energy for 30 years too and look where we are.

The only way to stabilize gas prices is to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and we just put out a report that over the last year or so, we’ve been able to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by a million barrels.

Well, two points.  One we’re in a deep recession, so oil consumption is down considerably because business and commerce are down significantly.  And two, another way to have an effect on oil prices is to what?  That’s right, increase supply.

That’s’ significant. In the meantime, cuz I know people are hurting right now and it feels like a tax out of their paychecks, what we’re doing is looking at every single area that can affect gas prices, from bottlenecks that are out there, we’ve set up a task force to look into speculation to make sure people are taking advantage of the situation on the global oil markets

Translation: I haven’t a clue so I’m setting up a task force which helps me kick the can down the road a bit.  And the task force will inevitably find that “speculators” are the problem (a hat tip to Nancy Pelosi for the idea), and I’ll be able to call for Congress to pass a law while I again try to pass the blame off to the 1%.

Now that’s leadership.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Rising gas prices can be directly attributed to Obama’s failed energy policy

The stated plan of the Obama administration, or at least their stated goal, was to see gas prices rise “to the level of Europe” so alternative energy sources would be more feasible, affordable and attractive.  Or that’s how I remember it.  

So here we are, headed that way.  But while the administration may find that to be a good thing, most Americans watching gas prices rise … don’t.

And who do they blame?  Well they blame the same person they always blame – the president.  Right or wrong, the reason is irrelevant.  That’s politics in America.  So the best thing to do is implement policies that will ensure this potential political landmine is kept disarmed.  Of course, this administration, despite its strident claims and outright falsehoods to the contrary, has done anything but that.

The so-called “experts” are trying to rise to the defense of Obama on this:

“This notion that a politician can wave a magic wand and impact the 90-million-barrel-a-day global oil market is preposterous,” said Paul Bledsoe, strategic adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Clinton administration official.

Well a straw-man statement like that really does make one wonder about his expertise, doesn’t it? And one wonders if this expert from the “Bipartisan Policy Center” remembers the last time politicians laid blame for gas prices on a president.

Of course no one is talking about a magic wand (although it could be argued that George W. Bush used one by announcing his intent to lift the offshore moratorium that saw the price of oil plunge in its wake) except Democrats (“tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve!”).

This isn’t about “magic wands” or immediate actions to stem adverse political results.   This is about the sum of a policy of 3 plus years that has seen us end up moving toward the administration’s stated goals.  The only thing that has kept it from being worse is the rather large increase in production of oil and gas on state and private land which has offset the overall decline in production on federal lands.

As political calculations go, though, this administration forgot one important thing about their goal of making gasoline more expensive in order to make alternative fuels more attractive.  The one thing they forgot was to get the people’s buy in (same problem with ObamaCare).  And, as you might imagine, the people aren’t buying in.  Add in the tsunami of negative stories about “green energy” companies and the cost of alternative fuels and you have a situation that is entirely predictable – Obama continues to try to sell his goals and the American people continue to refuse to buy into his pitch:

Monday’s efforts were just the latest in an aggressive messaging blitz that has included three recent swing-state speeches touting Obama’s backing for oil drilling, federal investments in green energy and his administration’s tougher fuel economy rules.

But a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday suggested the effort is falling flat with voters upset about prices at the pump, which according to AAA are now averaging $3.80 per gallon — a 30-cent increase in the last month alone.

The poll found that 65 percent of U.S. adults surveyed disapproved of Obama’s performance on gas prices, while 26 percent approved and 9 percent had no opinion.

As mentioned, this isn’t just about gas prices alone.  This is also about Obama’s energy policy goals, well documented, that want to see fossil fuels eliminated as the predominant fuel for our economy. 

Naturally, because of the obvious negative political results, the Obama administration has embarked on a campaign to shift the blame about gas prices elsewhere – leopard/spots. 

In this President’s view, only the good things that happen during his watch are his responsibility, the bad things belong to someone or something else.  Bush was the blame for high gas prices (and just about everything else) when Obama was running for President – speculators, however, are the bad guys in this particular gas price crisis.  Never mind the “permatorium” and reduced drilling on federal lands during his 3 plus years have also had a detrimental effect.  Forget the promise of the Keystone XL pipeline and the immediate effect its approval might have had on gas prices.  Oh, and approval to expand Gulf Coast refineries?  Who needs that?   Nothing to see here citizen, move along.  Its those damn speculators.

Politics is about perception, and the perception is that Obama is an enemy of the oil business (and he’s done nothing to dissuade that perception) and those chickens are coming home to roost, to quote his favorite pastor:

“Anything that is perceived by people as a problem in the immediate advance of the election has a chance to impact the election,” said Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University.

The threat to Obama from rising fuel prices is likely to become more grave if the economic recovery stalls.

“It depends in part on what happens with gas prices, and it depends to some degree on the state of the economy as well,” Beck said.

Among other things.  Bottom line, as much as the Obama spin-meisters try to lay this off on others, it just isn’t working.  Its that record of statements damning the oil industry and those statistics that show that this administration has done everything in its power to slow the production of oil in this country where it could that counts.

Much to Obama’s chagrin he’s being judged on his actions, not his words.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO