Guest Post: Gasoline Is Expensive - Deal With It

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Daniel Graeber of OilPrice.com,

The White House announced it was getting into the commodities game in an effort to protect consumers from some of the geopolitical factors spilling over into the retail gasoline market. OPEC and the IEA both said in their monthly reports that market perceptions were behind higher energy prices, not physical shortages. With most U.S. consumers still economically gun shy, gasoline consumption is down amid high retail prices. But on the business side, protection against potential oil shocks in the long-term could help push a reinvigorated U.S. economy over the recessionary hump. Apart from the murky waters of economic nuance, however, President Obama said that, no matter what, American commuters need gasoline. Speculation aside, maybe that's the problem.
 
High gasoline prices make for angry constituents. That means politicians, especially politicians fighting to keep their paychecks, start pointing their legislative guns at Wall Street almost as soon as the gavel strikes. Market indices don't particularly care one way or the other if consumers and lawmakers are frustrated, but they are concerned nonetheless. U.S. lawmakers in March complained to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that nobody was watching energy markets closely because perceptions are trumping real-world scenarios. Demand is down and supplies are up, which typically means prices drop. But not so fast, the critics say. Someone must be cheating.
 
Energy wonks note, correctly, that hedging your energy bets is a good way to protect against future shocks. Imagine how much plane tickets would cost if the airline industry practiced a just-in-time policy for its fuel needs. The same would likely hold for refineries and oil producers. But that doesn't mean much for the average consumer when gasoline prices can increase as much as 10 percent overnight because Iran's Press TV ran a false report about a Saudi pipeline explosion, or U.S. refineries closed for maintenance or the weather suddenly turned colder or any of the other reasons cited for volatility in consumer gasoline prices.
 
It's getting close to the so-called driving season in the United States when Americans take to the road for their summer vacations. But gasoline demand is down more than 3 percent compared with the same period last year. That may be because of improved fuel economy, a lack of general consumer spending or because of sluggish employment numbers means nobody has a job or vacation to drive to anyhow. Yet, the government said gasoline prices are starting to come down. But no matter. U.S. lawmakers, including the president, made a big show of their rhetoric on gasoline, jobs, energy security, American families and the like.

 


 
"Obviously rising gas prices means a rough ride for a lot of families," said Obama. "Whether you’re trying to get to school, trying to get to work, do some grocery shopping, you have to be able to fill up that gas tank."
 
And therein lies the problem. Most commuters go to school, get to work and run errands using a vehicle that runs on gasoline. Gasoline is a necessity and that's in part why the debate ensues. Without massive subsidies, gasoline is going to get more expensive no matter what the politicians say. And until commuters move beyond the carbon mindset, that ride to work will continue to be a rough one.

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EscapeKey's picture

http://www.usfunds.com/media/images/frank-talk-images/2011-frank-talk/jul-dec-2011/DevWorldOilDemand-072111.gif

Anyway, I see that "the invisible hand of the market" has started buying DJIA an hour early.

iDealMeat's picture

Grasping the consequences of Peak oil and its subsequent paradigm lifestyle shift for everyone is the greatest show on earth..

 

carbonmutant's picture

Is this a commercial for telecommuting?

itstippy's picture

"The invisible hand ON the market"

There, fixed it for ya.

Jason T's picture

Dealth to the suburbs where you need to have a car for just about everything. 

johnnymustardseed's picture

The United States exports 117 MILLION gallons of gas a day to foreign countries!!! Fucking oil companies could give a rats ass about what it does to people or the economy. It is all about profit!!! What difference would the Keystone Pipeline make?? They would ship it all away.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2011-12-31/united-states-export/52298812/1

FlyoverCountrySchmuck's picture

70% of our EXPORTED gas goes to MEXICO, stoopid...

High-sulfur fuels WE CANNOT USE HERE due to EPA regulations. Another 20% goes to PANAMA, guatemala and the Carib Islands, in that order.

Would you rather they get it from Nationalized Venezuelean refineries?

imapopulistnow's picture

U bin smokin too many yeller seeds there Johnnyboy.  Exports of refined products be a good thang.  Not like them imports of crude.

SelfGov's picture

Could we export as many refined products if we didn't import so much crude?

imapopulistnow's picture

We import more crude than we need for ourselves, add to its value by using our surplus of natural gas and spare refining capacity, and export it back to other places at a profit.  Now for those who do not understand why this is good, or why this process has nothing to do with price of gas at the pump, I am very worried.  Graduates from one of our enlightened public schools perhaps? 

TaxSlave's picture

"Carbon mindset"???  What kind of idiot wrote this?  I suppose his products are produced and then transported to him using power from Unicorn Farts, which have no carbon.  Christ.

 

12ToothAssassin's picture

Unicorn farts are a greenhouse gas that cause global warming. You just cant win.

Grinder74's picture

Do not! And you're racist!!  (typical lib response)

machinegear's picture

As if it is a *choice* to drive to work or anywhere in this damn country. Where does this hippie live? New York? San Fran? Try riding a bike 9 miles in 6 inches of snow. Oh. Yeah. And don't forget about hitch'n up the Kid Trailer so you can drop off lil'Joey at day care on your way to work!

http://bicycletrailers.com/

imapopulistnow's picture

Mr. Guest Post lost his cred on that one.

rajonmestra's picture

"Obviously rising gas prices means a rough ride for a lot of families," said Obama. "Whether you’re trying to get to school, trying to get to work, do some grocery shopping, you have to be able to fill up that gas tank."

Obama's right. Scarcity in gas really makes the economy go down. According to the law of supply and demand, prices will go up when demand goes up and supply goes down. And this is what's heppening on our country right now. All we could do is at least buy high quality gas tanks to make sure that leaks are avoided and no fuel is wasted.

Dr. Engali's picture

Next up..price controls followed shortly there after by shortages. It's a good thing we have those darned Iranians to blame it all, especially after the spike when Ben turns the printers back on.

Seorse Gorog from that Quantum Entanglement Fund. alright_.-'s picture
Iceland ex-PM Haarde 'partly' guilty over 2008 crisis

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17817174

Ted Baker's picture

GET THEM ALL A BIKE AND RIDE TO WORK -- TIME TO CHANGE AT LEAST THAT WAS WHAT OBAMA CAMPAING WAS ALL ABOUT

12ToothAssassin's picture

I live 38 miles from work and ride my bike once a week.

 

#WINNING

12ToothAssassin's picture

How does that warrant a downrate? Dont blame me for your fat lazy ass.

DCFusor's picture

In case you haven't noticed, there are some people at fight club who are mean for its own sake.  Look at the total shit I got for mentioning I bought a Volt, and love it (still do).  Charge it off solar panels, so now I piss off big oil, the guys who collect road taxes, the power company, car companies overseas, and MOST IMPORTANT - everyone else who didn't do as I did.

So, here, if you get it right, you're smug, and people hate you.  If you are a loser like many here, well, you can fit in, but you have to be a loser, so at least to me, it's not worth it.  You could be a winner and just keep your mouth shut about it, I suppose.  Any other way is going to get you junked.  So, don't look at the arrows.

Having the right friends is important - but that goes for enemies too - if I'm pissing off the "right" people - the ones I want to or don't care about, hey, that's a win.

For example, like most, I'm not made of solid money - therefore I had to scrimp and save some to buy my Volt cash.  No big screen TV.  No cable.  Less of a lot of other things.  Most would have to do similar to be able to write that big a check to get freedom from a "subscription" to oil  and coal burning power plants both.  And they didn't, though they know it's not only the right thing to do, but that people who did, like me, are now better off than they are.

Rather than wanting to learn from such, they want to tear them down - we who stand taller just make them jealous and guilty for not doing it themselves, it's not like the writing hasn't been on the wall for at least 4 decades...

When things are going well - yeah, I earned that, personal responsiblity rocks and is the thing.

When things go the other way - look at how quick everyone runs into the blame game.  Has to be someone else's fault.  I think there was another article saying this eternal verity elsewhere hear today...

 

 

 

SilverRhino's picture

Some of us have commutes measured in steps, not miles.    Good for you to have a Volt (I mean if that's what you REALLY want).  I'll modify my work environment to fit. 

 

LFMayor's picture

mean people at fight club?  Oh quick, get me to the fainting couch!

Do you charge your volt from solar panels, or a treadmill?  Wait, don't answer that.  When you talk about living off grid and back in the sticks you're actually pretty cool.

It's that whole govt subsidized underperforming and over hyped grill ignitor on wheels that you bought that makes you a dick every time you start rambling on about it.  That and this wistful longing for everyone to play nice.  But mostly the Volt.  It's like a prius that's been nuetered.

I come here for for the lulz.  And for the cheering effect when I see that there are like minded people all over the damn place.  Something that 25 years ago the MSM wouldn't allow,  all the square pegs were labled as such and non-conformity to the approved script and lifestyle was chagrin and marginalized.

Fortuanately, some of this finance shit has rubbed off on me in this past year or so.  Enough that I know Sam Waterson and that scot trade cock sucker need to have ash stakes driven through their blood sucking hearts.

 

Pure Evil's picture

I just hope his Volt battery catches fire, that'll teach that eco-nazi.

Obviously, turd-holes like Volt drivers, and their "proud of it" mentality is ushering in the pay-by-the-mile goobermint revenue enhancer.

So tell everyone to eat shit while you can. As soon as you get a little goobermint black box and gps tracker, you'll soon be paying your fair share of transportation taxes.

And since states won't be collecting their fair share of fuel taxes either, expect all major intra and inter-state roadways to offer toll access only.

Idiot Volt drivers think they have the last laugh, but the goobermint will soon be sticking it's big dick down their throats in order steal cash out of their pockets so that they can feel smug and pompous about how they're saving the environment.

FrankThinkTank's picture

Winning, on the backs of everyone else visa vi the $10k government subsidy, and encouraging inefficient solar production methods. Excellent. At least some portion of those "losers" are driving something they enjoy, for regardless of smarmy peak oil et al, life is ever fleeting. 

My guess is you either fear driving, suck at it, or some combination of the both.

The real losers are those that buy into this government operandi and then flaunt their exhaulted self professed "efficiency".

BeetleBailey's picture

You get that fire retardant suit as an option on that POS Volt?

I drove one. El Crappo! At a sticker price (4 months ago) of 42,132 with several select options, this modern day Edsel is destined for the ash heap of car failures.

How many sold now? close to 10,000? Wow. Chevy Runs mud puddle Deep.

By the way...you aren't pissing off "big oil" there, hot shot. They could give a rats ass about you - or me for that matter.

Your post veers from being semi-decent to full blown doucha-rama. I can't tell if you hate yourself, or every dog you've owned ran away from you...never to come back.

12ToothAssassin's picture

Dont confuse sweaty ass for smelly ass. I know what a shower is - I am not a hippie drowning in patchuli.

SemperFord's picture

I work 25 miles away and will ride my bicycle too but I enjoy my V8.. downshifting and scaring the tards who are slowing down traffic in their ECO cars while talking on the phone, texting or reading. Been knocked off my bicycle twice in 3 years so its worth the gas sometimes plus I enjoy what I drive. So Up arrow for you, don't take it bad I am sure I will get junked.

akak's picture

Why can't we have human-powered rickshaws instead of cars? 

I am sure there are literally tens of millions of  latter-day, would-be Middle Kingdom coolies who would rather pull a rickshaw than toil away locked in some Chinese sweatshop making cheap and toxic plastic crap for 72 hours a week (or washing dishes, as the case may be).

Sure, it may not be politically correct (just like using the sensible word "Oriental" apparently is no longer acceptable, for some idiotic reason), but just think about how fun it would be!

(We would have to put diapers on all the imported rickshaw-pullers, though, to keep the Sons of Heaven from shitting on the streets, as is their wont.)

CrashisOptimistic's picture

In a world where the pie doesn't get bigger, voluntarily making your slice smaller  ensures the Chinese have a bigger slice.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonfucius say:

"Bringing up the past is quite nice but one goes into debt by loaning money."

Employer of AnAnonfucius say:

"Chop chop, Chang! This here rick-a-shay ain't gonna pull itself across town."

 

NidStyles's picture

Oriental only applies to the Occidental regions of Asia. You know like Vietnam and the such. China is not the Orient. Hong Kong was the Orient for a while, but not China.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

WTF???

Eastern only applies to the western regions of Asia?

The Occidental regions of Asia would include Arabia, Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Turkey.

 

Are you kidding's picture

It would put all those welfare collectors and unemployed to work!

Misean's picture

"And until commuters move beyond the carbon mindset"

Yes, I myself have moved beyond the carbon mindset and I now no longer exhale CO2. This guy is brilliant....

Pure Evil's picture

I have to completely agree. I gave up eating all vegetables and protiens since they contain carbon and only result in carbon being extruded into the sewer system.

I've found that the nobel gases and elements like silicone, lead and mercury are not only fullfilling but life sustaining. And, I've been looking into the lanthanoids and the actinoids to take the place of salads, while topping my lanthanoids and actinoids with Flerovium and Livermorium.

I'll I can say is now I know how a copper wire extruder feels like.

DosZap's picture

And until commuters move beyond the carbon mindset, that ride to work will continue to be a rough one.

Most American commuters are urban, and must drive 20-50 miles one way to their  jobs.

Those that are not in areas w/any mass transit.................are forced to drive.

So be it, at least they have a damn job, if your working a job that requires a vehicle, then you pay the piper.

Been that way forever, try sitting in lines for an hour or so , or only being able to get filled every other day........................

Been there ,done that, and as long as you net more than your trans costs, and have a decent pay rate, your happy in this shitty no economy to have it.

akak's picture

And how many of those cars are transporting just ONE passenger?

What the fuck is wrong with carpooling?

You can be sure that if I had to make the insanely long daily commute of most lemminglike Americans (thank God I do not), I would be trying to carpool with at LEAST one other person.  But I guess making minor sacrifices for major payoffs does not fit into the typical me-me-me, terminally impatient, terminally self-indulgent modern American mindset.

This is NOT about forcing anyone to do anything --- it is about practicing common sense, which as Ben Franklin cogently observed, is unfortunately "not so common".