Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Gas Prices

Obama’s Solution to Gas Prices: More Government!

On Tuesday the President targeted speculators for driving up the price of oil and recommended additional oversight on the oil markets manned by an increased number of regulators to be paid for with additional government funding of $52 million. His new strategy, outlined in the Rose Garden, is “to stop spikes in gas prices that we’ve put up with every single year—the same kind of increase that we’ve seen over the past couple of months.” He explained:

That includes doing everything we can to ensure that an irresponsible few aren’t able to hurt consumers by illegally manipulating or rigging the energy markets for their own gain. We can’t afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage, and driving prices higher—only to flip the oil for a quick profit. We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick. That’s not the way the market should work…

So today, we’re announcing new steps to strengthen oversight of energy markets. Things that we can do administratively, we are doing. And I call on Congress to pass a package of measures to crack down on illegal activity and hold accountable those who manipulate the market for private gain at the expense of millions of working families…

Included in this package, funded by the $52 million he’s requesting, would be an increase to six times the number of surveillance and enforcement police at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an upgrade of computer technology to improve their surveillance of the markets, an increase in penalties for those miscreants caught allegedly doing the manipulating from $1 million per day to $10 million, and a demand that the penalties be applied on each transaction instead of each day.

His call for more government drew immediate criticism from

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Gas Prices Up, Obama Poll Numbers Down

$4.06 Gas Prices, Lewiston, Maine, Cumberland ...

As gasoline prices approach (and in some places exceed) $4 a gallon nationally, the president appears to be taking much of the blame with two recent polls showing sharp declines in support for his handling of the issue.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll now shows a record number of Americans giving the president “strongly” negative reviews on his handling of the economy. Nearly two-thirds of those polled say they disapprove of how he is handling gas prices compared to just 26 percent approving—his lowest rating by the poll. Specifically, 59 percent of those polled disapprove of his handling of the economy in general, a jump of 9 points in just one month and this despite the appearance of some signs of an improving economy. Most of the damage being done to Obama is among independents with 57 percent now disapproving, along with 66 percent of white non-college graduates disapproving as well.

The New York Times/CBS poll also showed the president losing 9 percentage points of approval during the past month, with 47 percent of those polled voicing their disapproval.

In a third poll by the Christian Science Monitor two-thirds of those polled say that the government should allow increased production from offshore wells and from shale deposits on federal lands as a way to increase supply to bring down prices. 54 percent favor drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, while 47 percent favor rolling back some environmental restrictions to help increase energy production. That poll also reflected expectations that the price of gas will exceed $4 a gallon nationally within the next three months and one-third of those polled are expecting $5 a gallon gas by summer.

The president’s response has been, as it has been since his election, to push for alternative energy resources such as renewables and wind. His recent decision to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline project reflects his commitment to raising prices on oil in order to make alternatives more attractive. His comment on Saturday’s weekly address that “We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” reflects that ideology.

In North Dakota, however, that is precisely what is being done to increase oil production, with North Dakota on track to overtake

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Unemployment Up in February, Obama Reelection Chances Down

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, left, and General ...

The U.S. unemployment rate jumped in February from 8.3 percent to 9.0 percent, according to Gallup. Gallup’s numbers are highly correlated to the same reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The differences between the two are very slight: Gallup calls people age 18 and up; the BLS calls people age 16 and up. Gallup polls 30,000 people every month; the BLS polls 60,000. Gallup makes those calls continuously throughout the month; the BLS calls during one week in the middle of the month. Gallup’s numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted; the BLS numbers are.

Gallup also reported that those “underemployed”—working part-time but wanting full-time work—also increased, to 19 percent compared to January’s mid-month report of 18.1 percent. Said Gallup:

Regardless of what the government reports [on Friday, March 2nd], Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment measures show a sharp deterioration in job market conditions since mid-January…[these numbers are] consistent with an economy that continues to struggle with modest growth, particularly as gas prices surge. Further, it suggests that it is premature to assume the condition of the economy will not remain a major issue for Americans both financially and politically in 2012.

With total employment hovering around 130 million since 1999, it is clear that as soon as someone is hired, someone else is laid off. But stepping back, America’s total population has grown from 272 million 12 years ago to over 313 million today, a gain of 41 million people. So employment as a percentage of population has been decreasing, dropping from 67 percent to just over

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Tax Breaks, Subsidies, and Big Oil

Bombay high

Image via Wikipedia

Echoing the Obama administration’s characterization of the tax breaks being enjoyed by the five major oil companies (Exxon, ConocoPhillips, BP America, Shell, and Chevron) as “subsidies,” the Senate tried to remove them on Tuesday, but failed.

The White House said,

The administration believes that, at a time when it is working with the Congress on proposals to reduce federal deficits, the nation cannot afford to maintain these wasteful subsidies.

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High Gas Prices Set to Cause Double Dip Recession

Fuel Guage

Image by smemon87 via Flickr

“I’m sure the rising cost of energy is bothering the market,” said Fred Dickson, chief investment strategist at D. A. Davidson & Company last week. “I do think the uptick in gasoline prices will have an impact on consumer spending in the next few quarters.”

One could scarcely call it an “uptick,” with gasoline prices up by $.70 a gallon since the first of the year, and approaching $4 a gallon. The American Automobile Association said at that level consumers “will have to start cutting back to pay their fuel expenses. This could adversely affect restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues that count on people driving to get there.”

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Speculators and High Oil Prices Explained

Super Contrails as the 767 flies through cloud...

Super Contrails as the 767 flies through cloud… (Photo credit: AvgeekJoe)

Last Thursday, speaking in Reno, Nevada, President Obama announced that the Department of Justice was going to examine the role of “traders and speculators in the gasoline and oil markets,” and how they contribute to high gas prices.

The Attorney General [is] putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators. We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain.

What do speculators do? Here is a cogent explanation by Victor Niederhoffer, a well-known speculator and author of The Education of a Speculator:

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Increasing Gas Prices: What’s Seen and Not Seen

Pumping Fuel

Image by Dottie Mae via Flickr

With the national average price of gasoline hitting the highest level in history for this time of the year, the impact of that increase reaches far beyond the pocketbook of the average worker driving off to work in the morning. For every 25-cent increase in the price of gas (which has increased almost 70 cents per gallon in the last year, and by nearly 30 cents in just the last month), consumers are forced to spend an extra $3 billion that

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Super Bowl Ads: Watch for Chrysler

Pentastar Chrysler Dodge

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Tomorrow, millions of Super Bowl fans will most likely ignore the huge investment Chrysler is making in television ads in promoting its new 2011 models. Those ads are part of the vehicle manufacturer’s efforts to revive the company and start making some money.

Despite ending 2010 with a $652 million net loss, Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s chief executive officer, was determinedly optimistic, even though the company didn’t meet its net revenue objectives, and had to shut down some of its factories in December, despite providing more than $3,600 in vehicle incentives to move its older models off the showroom floors.

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann