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Discussion Starter #1
Im about ready to start forming a militia to occupy our local gas station to give out free gas to everyone! Thats how sick and tired I am with this fake crisis they are putting us in.

Did some investigation, and found this website:
Big Oil's Influence in Washington . NOW | PBS

Let me quote a few things from it:

During his first month in office, President George W. Bush appointed Vice President Dick Cheney to head a task force charged with developing the country's energy policy. The group, which conducted its meetings in secret, relied on the recommendations of Big Oil behemoths Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil, BP America and Chevron. It would be the first of many moves to come during the Bush administration that would position oil and gas companies well ahead of other energy interests with billions of dollars in subsidies and tax cuts-payback for an industry with strong ties to the administration and plenty of money to contribute to congressional and presidential campaigns.
During the time that Bush and Cheney, both of whom are former oil executives, have been in the White House, the oil and gas industry has spent $393.2 million on lobbying the federal government. This places the industry among the top nine in lobbying expenditures. The industry has also contributed a substantial $82.1 million to federal candidates, parties and political action committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 80 percent of the industry's contributions have gone to Republicans.
Anyone else do any looking into this? I just want some opinions on the whole matter besides the general response of "gas is expensive."

Thanks
 

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This has been going on for decades. There's a reason why big oil can generate profits in the billions every quarter and yet keep raising prices because the ppb (price per barrel) is being 'raised on us' by OPEC. Of course the govt. benefits from piggyback profit via the taxes on the higher prices so why would they stop it. The point comes down to simple economics, despite all the grumbling, the US consumer still shows a willingness to pay close to $3.50 a gallon (and I think will pay upwards of $4) in order to keep driving. Of course, part of that is a lack of choice of other modes of transportation outside the big cities. The other factor is the push for more fuel efficiency has not reached it's peak yet, but it will. I'm not talking about overpriced hybrids, but that consumers ought to demand more stringent fuel efficiency requirements from their cars under federal law. Once again I don't see that happening soon, but perhaps after the price line crosses the $4 mark. Having said that, I must declare that I am quite heavily invested in oil/energy stocks at the moment. If they're going to charge me outrageous prices, I'm damn well going to recover that money by being a shareholder (and using some of the interest generated to pay off the gas credit card every month)!

The 80% Republican contribution is fairly standard across big business (oil, pharma, tobacco, insurance etc) simply because the Democrats' taxation policy's are so much more expensive for those businesses.

EDIT: If the HHO project on my Saab fails then I'll be on the lookout for a Benz TD to do a bio-conversion on! I put 15-20k a year on the DD so I'm definitely on the prowl for fuel conservation methods!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Prices keep rising because as you said there are people going to buy it. But the demand for it is inelastic, maybe over time oil is relatively elastic, but in the here and now, its needed, and they keep saying investors keep investing as a hedge against inflation, but do they not realize prices are going up even more since they started investing?

IMO i think OPEC should be dealing in euro's so at least we will have some stability in its price.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
LOL. This would have happened regardless of what President was in office.

Another typical, lets blame Bush, cop out.
Im going to blame bush all i want. Since that monkey
has been in office, gas has tripled. Also it doesnt help that he and his VP had ties to oil before their regime came into power.



I am not a fan of the republican party and never have been. They have always had the agenda to put our people second. But to say it would have happened with any president it will never be known since we had to deal with a president with a really bad approval rating for 8 years now.
 

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Prices keep rising because as you said there are people going to buy it. But the demand for it is inelastic, maybe over time oil is relatively elastic, but in the here and now, its needed, and they keep saying investors keep investing as a hedge against inflation, but do they not realize prices are going up even more since they started investing?

IMO i think OPEC should be dealing in euro's so at least we will have some stability in its price.
I doubt demand for oil (especially in the US) is going to become elastic anytime soon (as in our lifetimes at least if not longer). We simply have not developed enough viable (cost feasible and renewable) alternative energy sources...yet. I'm not sure what you mean by investing as a hedge against inflation? The more prices rise, the happier those investors are in real terms as their returns and value both increase. Given that oil demand is inelastic, investors in oil/energy are happy about higher price lines.

Also shifting to the euro will not bring prices down per se. Best case scenario would be a basket of global currencies which would include both the euro and the dollar and to change the structure of the three different market agencies in charge of oil pricing (NYMEX, ICE and DMEX) would be a huge costly and time consuming affair, and it does not guarantee a lower price line.

Also, 93legend...I was arguing against hybrids, not for them, and I didn't see the term 'Bush' mentioned anywhere in my post? :confused:
 

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Before I took quite a few economics classes I would have believed the same as you and pointed the finger at govt. The truth is OPEC controls the vast majority of the prices and demand for oil which is a limited resource continues to surge. The market sets the price, as long as we keep paying for it, the price will continue to climb. Other countries have been paying for fuel at much higher costs than us for years, our prices are starting to catch up.

The weaker dollar does not help either, within a few quarters we might officially be in recession, unemployment is on the rise, the housing market crashed- damaging many banks...(housing prices...overinflated, it's adjusting for this), The fed reseve keeps cutting rates in hopes of boosting demand, tax stimulus checks to keep consumers spending.... IMO the market is going thru a massive change, if the fed keeps cutting rates to boost demand...(which might not happen because consumer confidence is so low..) the CPI comparisons will start showing more Inflation....

Not good, will take a few years, controlling the economy is no easy task. Was much easier when INNOVATION and Technology come to play, like back in the early to mid 90s when business invested heavily in Technology/Computers/Internet..of course we also had the DOT com crash soon after...

Politics wise I just register independent- I take no sides on the Republican vs Democrat political crap. I don't feel democrats are superior over republicans, or rep over dem. The democrats better make up their mind on who is going to be official runner...or McCain might sneak up on them and steal their thunder
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As much as I would love to agree that OPEC is soley responsible, america imports oil from many countries not in OPEC as well, and with the price opec is demanding, these other countries are jumping on board to take part in the massive profits. As far as other countries having to pay more for gas, the argument is void when it comes to comparing to the American market because other countries finance national health care through tax on gasoline, while all we receive from our taxes is the upkeep of our roads and paying people in the state legislature. Surprisingly enough, we pay on average 50-60 cents worth of taxes on our gas that we purchase.

But what is even worse is supply is dwindling and demand is also, driving the market up even further. What is even worse is we have the oil to meet our demand and alleviate the upward pressure on price, but our government wont allow us to drill for it.

Before I took quite a few economics classes I would have believed the same as you and pointed the finger at govt. The truth is OPEC controls the vast majority of the prices and demand for oil which is a limited resource continues to surge. The market sets the price, as long as we keep paying for it, the price will continue to climb. Other countries have been paying for fuel at much higher costs than us for years, our prices are starting to catch up.

The weaker dollar does not help either, within a few quarters we might officially be in recession, unemployment is on the rise, the housing market crashed- damaging many banks...(housing prices...overinflated, it's adjusting for this), The fed reseve keeps cutting rates in hopes of boosting demand, tax stimulus checks to keep consumers spending.... IMO the market is going thru a massive change, if the fed keeps cutting rates to boost demand...(which might not happen because consumer confidence is so low..) the CPI comparisons will start showing more Inflation....

Not good, will take a few years, controlling the economy is no easy task. Was much easier when INNOVATION and Technology come to play, like back in the early to mid 90s when business invested heavily in Technology/Computers/Internet..of course we also had the DOT com crash soon after...

Politics wise I just register independent- I take no sides on the Republican vs Democrat political crap. I don't feel democrats are superior over republicans, or rep over dem. The democrats better make up their mind on who is going to be official runner...or McCain might sneak up on them and steal their thunder
 

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dont forget beloved al gore hes afilliated with oil too
 

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don't neglect the actual decline in the VALUE of the dollar. The dollar has lost 30% of it's value over the last 6 years (compared to foreign currencies). If you factor in the decline in the dollar then gas prices at $4 a gallon are really about $2.80 in 2002 dollars. :shrug:

One might also consider the fact while Oil rose from $30 a barrel to $100 a barrel, GOLD rose from $250 an ounce to $900 an ounce. Gee, I wonder what conclusion we can draw from that? :)
 

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You can also use;
Consumer Price Index Home Page

Very useful site for tracking inflation as well. Basically what I'm getting as is in the last elections we had, I liked none of the Candidates (whole different issue...) and IMO from the info I've acquired in College and doing research papers... The blame is not squarely on one political figure or one political group.

Do I like paying more for Gas? No. What will be the outcome as our older cars dwindle in #s? Expect to see more Hybrids around and an even higher acceleration into Hybrid Technologies as Consumer Demand shifts and pressure increases for more Innovative tech.

What was the fuel price per gallon in 2001? $2.50?
$2.50 in 2001 dollars is the same as $3.00 in 2008 dollars. An increase of $1 per gallon over 8 years. Factor in the weaker dollar (-down 40%?) of it's value...due to current economic forces...
 

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im going to have to agree with 93legendsedan here, the OP is just another "blame bush" guy. youre telling me that bush had something to do with gas going up in 1999-2000? "he had ties to oil" and any smart person wouldve. im sure his dad had/has money invested in oil, but not many people hate him.

i dont worry about the people who bash bush, in 3 or so years, if one of those demo's get voted in, we will find out who is better at leading the country. i dont have doubts that we will have a nice 20% approval rating on them as well if they stay in for 2 terms.

and just to say, driving is a luxury, you can ride the bus if you dont want to pay for gas. for the price of 1 gal of gas, you can ride a bus for a good 50 miles, 50 miles/gal sounds good to me.

as far as hybrids, the only one that ever caught my eye was the VW Golf TDI. its sporty feel and gets 60 or so freeway iirc. someone even told me they can get up in the 70's easy, only "problem" is it runs on diesel, which until recently was AS readily available at gas stations. lets see, a huge V8 (or bigger) truck that gets 15 mpg on a diesel, or a tiny car that gets 60-70 mpg on diesel, which would you like? not to mention, the truck will cost more up front as well.
 

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hybrids are not worth it if your purpose is to 'save money'. It will take you 15 or more years of solid driving to make up for the initial investment.

Seriously, all of the national and international influences aside, gas prices are going up, and the value of the dollar is going down. If you must find a way to save money on driving, trade your Legend for a 1993 civic and get 40mpg.
 

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hybrids are not worth it if your purpose is to 'save money'. It will take you 15 or more years of solid driving to make up for the initial investment.

Seriously, all of the national and international influences aside, gas prices are going up, and the value of the dollar is going down. If you must find a way to save money on driving, trade your Legend for a 1993 civic and get 40mpg.
im not too worried here. my daily driver is an accord that gets 35 mpg freeway, with the a/c running, and my wife's daily, dodge neon, which she drives about 5 miles a day to work, gets 27 city, 32 freeway. but if i was to get a different car, it would be a TDI.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
im going to have to agree with 93legendsedan here, the OP is just another "blame bush" guy. youre telling me that bush had something to do with gas going up in 1999-2000? "he had ties to oil" and any smart person wouldve. im sure his dad had/has money invested in oil, but not many people hate him.
Raymond J. Learsy on OPEC on National Review Online

Back in 1986, then-vice president George H. W. Bush traveled to the Persian Gulf to urge the region's oil producers to rein in oil production. Oil prices had hit a low of under $10 a barrel and the economies of Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma were hurting badly. In successfully prodding the Mideast oil producers to cut production, the American government became a virtual partner in OPEC's manipulation of the international oil market. The immediate result was a doubling of oil prices to over $22 a barrel by July 1987. This at a cost to American consumers of $60 billion a year - while hundreds of billions of dollars flowed into OPEC members' coffers in the years following.
Though old, it goes to show that we can effect the price of gas by going and asking.

Not to mention, Bush still insists in filling our Strategic reserves and denied knowing that gas was going to hit $4 a gallon. You can call me a bush basher all you want, and I dont care if you do, more power to you. If you feel an impending deep recession and a "sit and wait" method as an act of a good president, so be it. At $115 a barrel, a dollar nearly worthless in other markets, and an economy experiencing stagflation, im glad you can still stand behind your president, especially when he is so oblivious to the pains being felt here at home.

Not to mention these articles too:
U.S. Oil Reserves Get a Big Boost - washingtonpost.com

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Announces Record Setting Well Test at Jack

Im sorry, but there is not enough being done by this administration, and while it may be the fault of the people under Bush, i still bash him because he hired them.
 

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Raymond J. Learsy on OPEC on National Review Online

Though old, it goes to show that we can effect the price of gas by going and asking.

Not to mention, Bush still insists in filling our Strategic reserves and denied knowing that gas was going to hit $4 a gallon. You can call me a bush basher all you want, and I dont care if you do, more power to you. If you feel an impending deep recession and a "sit and wait" method as an act of a good president, so be it. At $115 a barrel, a dollar nearly worthless in other markets, and an economy experiencing stagflation, im glad you can still stand behind your president, especially when he is so oblivious to the pains being felt here at home.

Not to mention these articles too:
U.S. Oil Reserves Get a Big Boost - washingtonpost.com

Chevron Press Release - Chevron Announces Record Setting Well Test at Jack

Im sorry, but there is not enough being done by this administration, and while it may be the fault of the people under Bush, i still bash him because he hired them.
economies fluctuate. anyone who has taken any economic classes can tell you this, you can only be in good graces for so long before you will eventually go through a regression and eventually depression. we are heading that way, europe is going through that too. bush is not to blame for the value of the dollar being decreased, the FED is to take that responsibility. by printing fake money now, that is money with nothing to back it, they have made the value of the american dollar drop drastically. in turn, oil has to go "up" in price to keep up with the inflation of the dollar, milk is also $3.50 a gallon, are you going to stop drinking milk?

dont get me wrong, people in the oil business are raking in the money, if you dont like that, stop buying gas. like i said, go ride a bike or ride the bus, driving is a luxury that if you dont wanna pay for it, dont. blame bush all you want, but you are contributing to all of this by A) accepting the Fed's bonus money in your tax return, and B) continuing to buy gasoline.
 

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Hehe that's what I've been saying once you take quite a few economics classes you actually understand how these things work.
And yes a Hybrid would be more expensive because you're buying a new vehicle. My point was as Innovation continues, we will all switch to hybrids in the coming years, which will drive the demand for Oil down. Innovation will only get better. Technology increases capacity...

Article (MSN)

Filling up at the pump has become such a pain in the pocketbook that for the first time ever, gasoline consumption in the U.S. has stopped increasing. But even though America's consumption has been virtually flat for the past five years, prices in that same period have nearly doubled, with crude oil recently hitting record highs.

While commodity prices typically decline along with demand, gas has defied these market fundamentals. But the forces behind ever-escalating prices at the pump aren't a mystery once you look at the big picture - and the good news is relief may be just down the road.

The Crude Truth

The price of crude oil accounts for up to 70 percent of what drivers ultimately pay for gas at the pump, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. So with crude prices recently cresting at over $110 per barrel, you don't have to be an economist to calculate why gas prices have also hit record levels.

Like any commodity, crude oil prices are governed by the laws of supply and demand, but they are also affected by market speculation. While oil industry analysts disagree on which of these two forces exerts a greater influence on oil prices, the "fundamentals" of supply and demand present an unambiguous picture of why gas prices keep on rising even though we haven't been buying as much.

On the supply side, the Organization of Petroleum Export Countries (OPEC), which controls around 40 percent of worldwide crude oil production, exerts significant influence on supply by setting strict production limits for its members.

But Bob Tippee, editor of the petroleum industry trade magazine Oil & Gas Journal, notes that OPEC has limited ability to increase supply and therefore decrease prices. "The only way OPEC could bring prices down is to increase production," he says, "but it doesn't have much room to do that. They are pretty much at practical capacity limits now. "

With an already tight oil supply, unpredictable elements such as political unrest and weather also adversely affect production and ultimately gas prices. Turmoil in the oil-rich Persian Gulf invariably pushes oil prices higher, for example, as do natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, which battered the epicenter of U.S. oil production along the Gulf Coast in 2005.

And while U.S. demand has leveled off, the world's oil appetite has grown substantially. "Over the last several years, global demand has increased much faster than supply," notes Douglas MacIntyre, a senior oil analyst with the Energy Information Administration

In 2003, total international oil consumption was 79.6 million barrels, and that jumped to 85.7 in 2007. What we've seen and expect to continue," MacIntyre adds, "is that growth in demand - particularly in China, India and the Middle East - will be much faster than in the U.S."

Irrational Exuberance

Tom Kloza, chief analyst of the Oil Price Information Service, says the recent run-up in oil prices is due more to speculation in the commodities market than to supply shortages and the growing economies and populations in Asia. "The EIA has been steadfast in saying that it's all about supply and demand, but I disagree," Kloza contends.

"It's not the demand from average Joes, but demand from hedge funds, banks, commodities pools and so forth that's responsible for taking crude oil from $70 to $110 a barrel. There are a lot of huge funds that are invested in commodities, and one of their favorites is crude oil.

"I estimate that there's about $25 billion in oil futures - and that's $25 billion speculating on a higher price right now than a lower price," Kloza adds. "I think you'll find a lot of people in the oil industry will agree, and they're not going to complain if Wall Street is carrying the water for them. They've been the beneficiaries of that irrational exuberance."

Like many who follow the oil industry, Kloza believes that the price of crude oil is "overheated" and due for a correction.

"I compare it to the housing market a few years ago," he says. "It's been lifted by the sentiment that the oil market is a place where you can't lose money and values will move up higher and higher every year. But I think we'll see less of a bubble burst and more of a letting the pressure out like we've seen in the housing market. It could be a template for what we'll see in oil."

The EIA's MacIntyre agrees and says crude oil prices will be softened by new production streams. But he predicts prices will rise before they lower, mainly due to seasonal demand this spring, when pump prices traditionally shoot up as predictably as May flowers

Along with many other analysts, we've been expecting crude oil prices to decline for many months, and they keep going up," he says. "In March they were down considerably, but the expectation is not just that the price will slow demand a bit more, but that a lot of non-OPEC production that has been delayed will catch up to us later this year and next year. And as the market starts proceeding with that production, prices will start dropping."

"From what I hear, oil companies are investing based on $55 to $75 a barrel oil," says Tippee. "Historically, that's still pretty valuable oil. But I think that's what we'll see and gas prices will come down. But the big question is when."

Wait for the Fall

Just don't expect to see any dramatic price drops until well after the summer driving season, MacIntyre warns. "We expect gas prices to increase and peak nationally somewhere around $3.50 a gallon," he says. But consumers could see some relief by the end of 2008 and into 2009 as new production comes online.

"A couple of things are going to work in the favor of a more temperate price of gasoline down the road," adds Kloza. "Ethanol is going to displace a lot of the demand for gasoline because it's going to take 10 percent of gasoline out of the formula and replace it nearly everywhere east of the Mississippi this year. The second thing is prices won't be up a spectacular amount from previous years; it may be up a percentage point or so. But this is not the start of the $4- to $5[-dollar-a gallon] apocalypse for gasoline."
 
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