Category Archives: Oil Dependency

Gas prices expected to drop 50 cents by summer – The Washington Post

Of course, gas prices will drop right after we get back from our driving vacation…

And before the public can shame Congress into ending government subsidies for Big Oil….

As Church Lady used to say, “How convenient!”

Some relief from suffocating gas prices will likely arrive just in time for summer vacation. Expect a drop of nearly 50 cents as early as June, analysts say.

After rocketing up 91 cents since January, including 44 straight days of increases, the national average this past week stopped just shy of $4 a gallon and has retreated to under $3.98. A steady decline is expected to follow.

It might not be enough to evoke cheers from people who recall gas stations charging less than $3 a gallon last year. But it would still ease the burden on drivers. And it might help lift consumer spending, which powers about 70 percent of the economy. A 50-cent drop in prices would save U.S. drivers about $189 million a day.

Typically, gas prices peak each spring, then fall into a summertime swoon that can last several weeks. This year’s decline should be gradual but steady, said Fred Rozell, the retail pricing director at the Oil Price Information Service.

via Gas prices expected to drop 50 cents by summer – The Washington Post.

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Filed under Oil Dependency, Politics, The Economy, Uncategorized

Dems To Force Vote On Ending Oil Subsidies

This should be interesting…

I hope the Dems can continue to “out” the Republicans and their true agenda of supporting the Corporations and the Rich at the expense of the Middle Class…

Or what’ left of the Middle Class after the GOP policies of the Bush Administration….

From the Huffington Post:

Eager to prove that Republicans don’t want to end oil subsidies despite public GOP opposition, House Democrats plan to force a vote Thursday on a measure that would block a major tax break for the five largest oil companies.

As Republicans call for major cuts to domestic spending, Democrats are pushing for tax code changes that would allow the government to bring in more money, particularly from high-profit industries Democrats say do not pay their fair share. President Barack Obama and key Democrats have called for an end to some oil and gas subsidies, arguing gas prices are high enough to sustain industry investment in the United States.

John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil, said in February that major oil companies do not need government help given the high price of gas.

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) made a similar point at a Tuesday briefing with reporters, shooting down questions about whether ending oil subsidies could increase the price of gas.

“The gas companies are making record profits,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a credible argument that reducing the subsidy on a product that is now getting record prices…will lead to higher [gas] prices.”

House Speaker John Boehner indicated some support for reconsidering those subsidies last week, telling ABC News that they “ought to be paying their fair share.” Obama quickly jumped on the statement, sending a letter to Congress urging an end to the tax breaks.

Boehner quickly walked back the statement, and last Thursday turned down a request by Democrats to vote on legislation to eliminate billions of dollars of oil subsidies.

via Dems To Force Vote On Oil Subsidies.

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Filed under Congress, Energy, Oil Dependency, Politics

The Real Reason Gas Prices Are Soaring – DailyFinance

Like I keep saying, our Financial system is totally screwed up…

It has become like an Atlantic City Casino with Las Vegas morals…

Dan Dicker, who has spent nearly three decades in the oil market, has a profoundly disturbing explanation of why the price of oil, and the gasoline that comes from the crude product, has risen so dramatically in recent months. It turns out, Dicker says, that the price has nothing to do with supply and demand for oil. It’s the financial market for oil, filled with both professional speculators and amateur investors betting on poorly understood oil exchange-traded funds, who have ratcheted up the price of gas to such sky high levels.

“There is no supply issue going on here – what you have is the perception of the possibility of a supply issue,” Dicker says. “A whole bunch of people are pouring money into an oil market trying to take advantage of what they perceive to be a real risk in supply. It’s a marketplace that I argue should not be allowed to be wagered on like a stock or bond.”

Dicker notes that Libya produces only 1.3 million barrels of oil a day, just a tiny fraction of the world oil market. Even if Libyan crude were lost to the world market in the current turmoil, and there is no sign that it is, Saudi Arabia has 5 million barrels a day to use in case of an emergency.

Dicker, who has just published a book called Oil’s Endless Bid: Taming The Price of Oil To Secure Our Economy, makes a strong case that if the government stepped in and regulated oil trading so that only investors with a genuine interest in the physical product, such as airlines and heating oil companies, could buy and sell oil futures, then the price of oil would fall by 50% overnight and our economy would be much better off.

via The Real Reason Gas Prices Are Soaring – DailyFinance.

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ThinkProgress » House GOP Says ‘So Be It’ To Taxpayers, Votes Unanimously to Protect Big Oil Subsidies

Anyone still doubt the GOP- and most of Congress- is bought and paid for by special interests?

House Republicans voted in lockstep this afternoon to protect corporate welfare for Big Oil, even as they call for draconian cuts to programs that everyday Americans depend on each day.  As the House of Representatives moved toward approving a stopgap resolution to avert a government shutdown for another two weeks, Democrats offered a motion to recommit that would have stripped the five largest oil companies of taxpayer subsidies, saving tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.  The motion failed on a vote of 176-249, with all Republicans voting against (approximately a dozen Democrats joined the GOP). A similar vote two weeks ago to recoup $53 billion in taxpayer funds from Big Oil was also voted down, largely along party lines. The former CEO of Shell Oil, John Hoffmeister, recently said Big Oil doesn’t need subsidies “in face of sustained high oil prices.”  From 2005 to 2009, the largest oil companies have made a combined $485 billion in profits.

via ThinkProgress » House GOP Says ‘So Be It’ To Taxpayers, Votes Unanimously to Protect Big Oil Subsidies.

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Filed under Energy, Oil Dependency, Politics, The Economy – Is America Becoming The Ugly Step Child Of High Speed Rail?

Since I’ve been on six flights in 48 hours, this seems appropriate to me.  I truly wish we had a rail system that was a reasonable alternative to flying.

I still can’t believe the Government is not willing to invest in infrastructure improvements.  We are so far behind the rest of the world in so many areas- especially high speed rail.

And much of our existing infrastructure is crumbling.

Infrastructure investment is not only good for the future, it’s good for the present.  Infrastructure investment=Jobs= Personal Spending= Increased Tax Revenues

Seems a no-brainer to me…


Excellent advanced infrastructure is a sign of a nation’s ability to compete in the world. President Dwight D. Eisenhower saw the German Autobahns and insisted that for America to be strong we had to build the interstate highway system. Within years, Americans were able to abandon unreliable two lane highways (Route 66) traveling across country for sleek fast roadways.

Many now believe that high speed rail lines are the key to success for the future. If that is the case, then America is really hurting. We have one of the worst high speed rail plans in the world and almost none of them have been implemented. We have the best opportunity in California which seems to be moving rapidly ahead with its system. Then there is the Northeast Corridor with a modified high speed system in its Acela.

More: – Live From Hell’s Kitchen.

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Filed under Energy, Oil Dependency, Politics, The Economy, Travel

Italy Bans Plastic Bags in 2011

This is a great move from both an environmental and oil dependency standpoint….

As usual, that means the U.S. will be one of the last countries to follow suit…

Supporters of the law say plastic bags use too much oil to manufacture and take decades to break down in landfills. The Italian environmental group Legambiente estimates that the plastic bag ban will save Italy 180,000 tons of CO2 emissions, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“This marks a key step forward in the fight against pollution, and it makes us all more responsible in terms of recycling,” Italy’s environment minister, Stefania Prestigiacomo, told Agence France-Presse.

Other European cities have implemented similar measures, but Italy’s is believed to be the first nationwide ban on plastic bags on the continent. Many countries charge customers for plastic bags.

via Italy Bans Plastic Bags in 2011.

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Filed under Food, Oil Dependency, Politics, Social Commentary, The Environment