Gasoline Prices · Oil Speculation

Blame Oil Speculators, Not Obama, For Rising Oil Prices

Explaining why gas prices spiked in the last week or so is not easy.

Most people simply tune out from the technical and Wall Street explanations for the sudden rise in gasoline pricing.  They’d rather believe the GOP lie that President Obama is responsible for price spike.

The following piece from Think Progress puts it all into perspective…

Think Progress

As the improving economy has robbed conservatives of their chief talking point against President Obama, they’ve turned to rising gas prices as the next problem to pin on the president.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger,” while Rick Santorum conspiratorially claimed Obama is intentionally pushing up prices to cut carbon emissions. Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich released a 30-minute video today about how “the Obama administration is so anti‑oil” that they’ve forced the price of gas to go up.

But there’s little truth to claims that Obama has curbed U.S. oil production and driven up gas prices in the process. As NPR noted this morning, the number of drilling rigs in U.S. oil fields has quadrupled under Obama and domestic oil production hit an 8-year high in 2011. For the first time in 60 years, the U.S. is now a net fuel exporter.

Oil demand was actually down 4.6 percent last week over last year, while the supply of gasoline has actually increased slightly since a year ago. So why are gas prices so high? As McClatchy’s Kevin Hall explains today, there is a systemic problem: speculation.

Energy futures markets serve a legitimate role in helping producers (like oil companies) and big end users (like airlines) hedge against price volatility, but lately, they’ve been taken over by Wall Street speculators who never intend to actually use the fuel they’re betting on.

As Hall reports:

Historically, financial speculators accounted for about 30 percent of oil trading in commodity markets, while producers and end users made up about 70 percent. Today it’s almost the reverse.

A McClatchy review of the latest Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates oil trading, shows that producers and merchants made up just 36 percent of all contracts traded in the week ending Feb. 14 while speculators who will never take delivery of the oil made up 64 percent.

Many experts, lawmakers (Democratic and Republican), and government regulators have expressed similar warnings.

Finally, after many delays, the government board responsible for regulating commodity futures markets finalized a rule in October to limit speculation, a power it was given by the Dodd-Frank Wall street reform law. However, the rule won’t go into effect until next October, as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) needs to collect “one year of interest data” first. The financial industry is fighting the new rule, but just today, the CFTC took action against a company in different market, providing an example of how the energy regulation can effectively work.

Fox News Lies

No Questions For Mitch Daniels About Indiana Voter Fraud

This is typical Fox News bull crap.

Although they have been incessantly talking about alleged voter fraud committed by Democratic voters, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace never mentioned a word  about Indiana’s voting issues in his Q & A with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R).


Although Fox News obsesses about (Democratic) voter fraud, the subject somehow never arose during Chris Wallace’s lengthy interview yesterday with Indiana Republican Governor Mitch Daniels.

Even though Indiana’s Republican Secretary of State, Charlie White – the man in charge of voting integrity – had just been convicted of multiple counts of  felony voter fraud.

Even though Daniels had considered re-appointing White if the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor (they weren’t).

And even though allegations have recently surfaced that Indiana’s Republican Senator Dick Lugar’s voter registration lists him at an address he moved from in 1977.

And if all that wasn’t enough to pique Wallace’s voter-fraud curiosity, you’d think that White’s recent accusation that Daniels’ own voter registration doesn’t match his domicile would.

But no.

Read more

U.S. Politics

Monday Blog Round Up

Michigan Looking Good for Mitt

What Kind Of Catholic Is Santorum?

How The Right Redefines “Fairness” To Push Tax Hikes On Poor..

Nativist Gov. Jan Brewer Endorses Romney

2008 v. 2012: Is the presidential landscape changing?

Greg Sargent: How vulnerable are Dems on rising gas prices?

Fact-checking claim on Obama and ‘infanticide’

Rick Santorum’s home-school hokum

Academy Awards 2012: Billy Crystal’s Oscar Highlights (VIDEO)

Oscar Winners: Complete List Of 2012 Academy Award Winners