What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GOP's Disingenuous Anti-Obama Gas Price Ad

So the GOP is running this ad where they play Obama singing Sweet Home Chicago against a chart of gas prices since Obama took office.  I thought there was something "not quite right" about the chart, so I went to the US EIA website and pulled the ACTUAL weekly gas price figures for the past 20 years or so.  Then I charted them in Excel and the above graph is what I came up with.

For years I've posted about how gas prices seem to rise right before a presidential election when a Dem is in office and fall when a GOP is in office.  The chart proves this pretty clearly and in fact, gas prices fell in July 2008 almost $2/gallon just before the Presidential election that year.  What's kind of amazing is that one COULD make the assumption that somehow, the energy companies are in collusion with the GOP to make Dem presidents look bad and GOP presidents look good just before an election.  That would only be an assumption, but I find it interesting that this trap is something of an Election Year anomaly.  While it IS true that gas prices were very low when Obama took office and are creeping up now, what is ALSO true is that gas prices made the largest and steepest climb under the 8 years of Bush in the history of gas prices in this country and peaked at higher than they are now.

This ad is disingenuous at best and targeted towards those with short term memory loss.  Obama could just as easily have run an ad that says on January 15, 2001 when Bush took office gas prices were $1.458 and peaked $4.054 by July 15, 2008 before a pre-election massive plunge that led into the Obama Administration taking office with gas at $1.81.

It seems to me that so far, the Bush administration was FAR WORSE on controlling gas prices and that's what makes the new ad so deceiving.  Gas prices have been out of control since the Bush Administration allowed some rules changes that let this happen.  With energy trading in a derivative futures market, the international whims of investors now directly affect the price of gas. Until this problem is solved, gas prices are fungible and can change with a news article instead of based on the actual price of a barrel of oil like they did before Bush stepped in and changed the game.

The GOP won't tell the whole truth in a 20 second ad, so they ONLY tell the part that might freak people out...  and how stupid to use the video of President Obama, Mick Jagger, BB King and Buddy Guy singing Sweet Home Chicago together?  Our POTUS is just TOO COOL and it's driving them nuts.  LOL

(note:  I have all the data if requested or you can pull it yourself at the link below the chart above and also, you can click on the cart to read it better!)


labman57 said...

The price of oil is more about perception than reality.

Inherent in the concept of American exceptionalism is the notion that all other nations should show deference to us, and that the United States is entitled to consume as many of our planet's resources as we see fit without any regard to our impact on the ecosphere -- you could call it a Global Manifest Destiny.

Of course, if people are outraged about the climbing price of crude oil, then they should strive to force Congress to enact meaningful regulatory legislation for the highly speculative oil futures market -- the real culprit in the widely fluctuating price of oil. And of course, don't put it past the petroleum industry to do all that they can to manipulate that market, for they consistently profit handsomely whenever the price of a barrel of crude skyrockets unnecessarily.

Increasing domestic oil drilling will have minimal impact on this market, because oil companies sell their product globally. Petroleum pumped from underground within the territorial United States is sold on the international market, and there is not enough untapped oil in the U.S. to make a significant impact in the global marketplace.

And if people are outraged about the price of gasoline, then they should encourage the automobile industry to improve the efficiency of gasoline engines, expand their production lines of hybrid vehicles, and invest more resources in all-electric R&D. Reduce the demand and you'll compel the oil refining industry to reduce the price of gasoline.

Federal energy policy should be focused on gradually weaning the nation off of our addiction to fossil fuels as our primary energy source and invest more heavily in renewable and reduced greenhouse gas-emitting sources of energy production.

In addition, Congress should examine the pricing policies of this industry to see if collusion has contributed to the speed at which gasoline prices increase whenever the opportunity arises, and the sluggishness at which they come down after that week's crisis has passed.

The American consumer should not be a pawn in the unethical games played by those striving to profit in the highly speculative futures market, especially when it involves a commodity which has such a major impact on the overall economy as is the case with the wildly fluctuating price of crude oil.

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