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 Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
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Covering gas prices -- in 2008
By Steve Benen - Tue Mar 6, 2012 9:28 AM EST.

With gas prices on the rise, Fox News has been pretty aggressive in trying to convince its audience that President Obama deserves the blame for pain at the pump. With that in mind, Media Matters put together a fascinating item that took a stroll down memory lane.

In the early summer of 2008, when the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. topped $4, a wide variety of Fox News figures were quick to push a simple message: don't blame the Bush/Cheney administration.

Indeed, Fox News was rather explicit on the issue, telling its viewers, "[N]o president has the power to increase or to lower gas prices."

For the record, I think Fox News was entirely right -- at the time. Though the network has shifted gears, and has somehow reached the conclusion that President Obama can singlehandedly affect gas prices, Fox News' 2008 position was the correct one.

I'd just add, as an aside, that long-time readers may recall that I gave Bush/Cheney some grief about this at the time, but the details and context matter. I never said the Republican White House had the power to lower gas prices, but I did argue that Bush was wrong to promise, as a candidate, that he could reduce the cost of gas by "jawboning" countries in the Middle East.

My beef was with candidate Bush making promises in 2000 he knew he couldn't keep, not President Bush's inability to snap his fingers and lower prices.

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2 ... es-in-2008



Considering as this is from Media Matters I'm sure some here will automatically dismiss it, however these statements appear to be coming directly from Fox News anchors / personalities. Admittedly I have not spent the time to verify the context in which these statements were made so I am reaching out to those of you who do and have watched Fox News on a regular basis, are these portrayals accurate? If not, please advise exactly how. If so, then what is the explanation for their seemingly change in direction? At the surface it appears as though they're playing 'politics', are they?

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March 9th, 2012, 10:22 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
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Bill Maher
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Gas is high cuz of tensions with Iran. U can bitch about gas prices, or u can beat the drum for war, but u can't do both.

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March 9th, 2012, 10:45 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
Well, at the time Fox WAS right. Bush wasn't doing anything to raise gas prices, and they didn't presume that any sitting U.S. President would have an agenda to raise gas prices. That latter is the only thing that they were wrong about. Obama has created a moratorium on offshore drilling for 7 years in the East gulf, the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Apparently that's how long he thinks that it will take to place new restrictions on offshore sites to prevent another BP type disaster. However, we can't regulate other countries that want to come in and drill in open waters. China has threatened to drag a rig over here and drill themselves, without regulation. Do we really think that they will do a better, more regulated job than we were doing?

Obama has also shut down 1/3 of all of our refineries, and gave money to Brazil and Columbia to build refineries. Apparently the current regime thinks that we should not only import "oil" but we should also import gasoline! Additionally, apparently the current regime thinks that we're "too good" to pollute, but it is ok if someone else does. The price of gasoline use to more accurately track the price of oil. That's no longer the case. The current regulations that have shut down our refineries have bottle-necked the process, artificially creating demand. The demand for gas is actually LOWER now than it was in 2008, as is the price of oil, yet gas is just as high. In 2008 conflict in the middle east drove the price of OIL up to $130 a barrel, and the price of gas up to $4. Right now oil is about $107, $20 LOWER than where it was in 2008. And that's WITH Obama shutting down offshore drilling.

Further, does anyone really believe that Columbia or Brazil will have tighter environmental restrictions on their refineries than we did? Does anyone think that refining gas in Columbia or Brazil will be MORE environmentally friendly than doing so in a no-mans land in BFE Texas? I think not, but that is currently the thoughts of the administration.

Additionally, ANWAR could be opened, and there is an environmentally conscious and environmental friendly plan to drill up there. I have seen pictures of the drilling sites and they're no where near the "pristine lands" that the environmental Nazis want you to believe they're in. There are some uber nice areas up there, but the drilling sites that they want to use are miniscule. The drilling site is approximately 2,000 acres out of 19 MILLION.


It should not go unnoticed that Obama campaigned on the idea that high gas prices are a good thing, and make alternative fuel sources more palatable, and shockingly, he got just what he wanted... Big surprise there!!! HOPE AND CHANGE buddy... HOPE AND CHANGE...


March 9th, 2012, 11:12 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
The US is a net exporter of gasoline. Gasoline demand in the US is at an all time low. Gasoline prices are higher then last year when entire regiemes were toppling in the middle east. It is not an issue of instability or of supply. It is the fed's interest rate policy...same reason for the rise in the stock market and the price of gold.


March 9th, 2012, 11:29 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
here's another view on it:
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Opinion | COMMENTARY: Don't blame refinery closings for rising gas prices
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The closing of the oil refineries in Marcus Hook and Trainer is without question a human tragedy. The laying off of workers and the loss to those communities in jobs and tax revenue will not easily be made up.

And so it is understandable that the workers and their union leaders would be angry and frustrated to see their "way of life" go the way of the family farm.

Yet, frustration and sadness can be no excuse for unsubstantiated accusations and economic conspiracy theories.

According to industry analysts, the recent rise in gasoline prices is mostly attributable to political instability in the Middle East, where so much of the world's cheapest oil comes from.

As speculators bid up the price of oil out of concern that supplies could be interrupted, prices at the pump go up as well. Which is to say, even if the Sunoco and ConocoPhillips plants were still operating, we'd be seeing the same price volatility we've seen for decades.

Another contributor to high prices is America's devalued dollar. Thanks to the Federal Reserve and its historically low interest rates, dollars are as cheap as they've ever been. That's good for people who want to borrow money to buy houses and build things, but not so good when it comes to world commodities markets. The price of oil is going up, in part because the value of a dollar is going down.

At the same time it's interesting to note that, thanks to a sputtering U.S. economy, demand for gasoline is also down.

Economics 101 tells us that with lower demand and greater supply the price of gasoline should be falling. But this is one of those interesting cases when the law of supply and demand seems out of whack. In reality, it is not. When you figure in the growing economies in Asia and South America, worldwide demand for oil is not shrinking in the next few months, let alone the next couple of decades.

Republicans seeking to blame President Obama for higher gas prices is just politics as usual. Though the president has done little to accelerate oil exploration in the U.S. and can be questioned for postponing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, neither of those things would have prevented today's surge in oil prices.

The American Automobile Association recently cited the idling of the two Delaware County refineries as one out of five reasons it expects gas prices to continue to rise. But AAA doesn't explain why gas prices shot up to almost $4 a gallon last year while the refineries were still in operation. Neither does it explain why it expects gas prices to fall 50 to 75 cents by next fall, when presumably the refineries will still be closed

Usually, the best thing that our politicians can do when it comes to gasoline prices is to allow the free market to work. And the best thing consumers can do is cut down their gasoline use and ignore political candidates who try to blame their opponents for spikes in the price.

If these politicians were truly concerned about the growing number of refineries that have closed in the U.S. in the last 30 years, they might want to reconsider some of the more onerous safety and environmental regulations that make such plants so costly to build and to run.

Otherwise, they should do their best to explain that we can have a strong dollar, higher interest rates, and lower gasoline prices or a weak dollar and higher gasoline prices.

But we can't have both.

The Delaware County Daily Times

http://www.themorningsun.com/articles/2 ... 607041.txt

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March 9th, 2012, 11:35 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
A weak dollar, no doubt, has effected gas prices. However, it doesn't explain why gas prices are not more accurately tracking oil prices, yet closing refineries does. Wags, even your article mentions it:

Quote:
If these politicians were truly concerned about the growing number of refineries that have closed in the U.S. in the last 30 years, they might want to reconsider some of the more onerous safety and environmental regulations that make such plants so costly to build and to run.


It's not just a weak dollar, and it matters not that we're an "exporter of gas." We're not refining as much as we once were, and it has caused a bottle neck in the supply and demand chain. If there was more supply of gas visa vi opening up the closed refineries, then gas prices would be lower, period. I realize that conflict in the Middle East has artificially rose oil prices, but it shouldn't have disproportionately raised gas prices. We don't import gas from the Middle East, we import oil. The conflict explains only why oil prices are up, not why gasoline is disproportionately high.

A weak dollar is an issue, but poses the same problem as above. A weak dollar explains why oil is high, but not why gasoline is disproportionately higher.

I'm all for raising the Fed rate. I really don't think that raising the rate to 0.250% is going to kill the economy, and I think it's necessary to start edging it up to help the dollar. Will that do much, not really, but it's a start. I think we should slowly raise it until it its around 3%, but we also have to make spending cuts so we don't have to keep borrowing from Gwido to pay our gambling debts.


March 9th, 2012, 12:14 pm
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
It's all supply/demand. If you put enough supply of anything in the market, the price of that WILL come down. Basic economic law.

However, I'm talking all things being equal, the current price of gasoline is due to dollar weakness.

Last year, at this time, gasoline was cheaper and yet there was more demand for it, there was less supply of it, and there was more stability in the middle east.

The dollar is weakening and purchasing power is being transferred elsewhere.


March 9th, 2012, 8:50 pm
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
Actually wjb is correct because of obama pelosi Reid spending and legislation has devalued the dollar by about half its worth. This is in keeping with the communist leader Lenin mantra that the QUICKEST way to destroy a nation is to devalue its currency. Now bring people like Soros and van Jones and it becomes very suspicious, if not blatantly obvious what's going on.

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March 10th, 2012, 6:36 pm
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
Wags, this is one of the funniest and most disingenuous things you have ever posted. Why didn't you also post how NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Democratic politcians covered gas prices, as well? My guess is that it didn't fit your agenda, but whatever. Here's what the Dems said about gas prices back in 2008:


Ya just gotta laugh at Obama. It was Bush's fault back in 2008, but it isn't his now. Must be nice to live in an alternate universe where there's no such thing as double standards or hypocrisy.

Here's an article describing how gas prices were covered by the media in 2008 and how they're doing it now:
Business and Media Institute wrote:
Networks Hype Rising Gas Prices 4 Times More for Bush, Than Obama

Gas prices mentioned in 97 stories in one month of 2008 coverage, compared to just 21 in 2012.

Published: 2/22/2012 10:02 AM ET By Julia A. Seymour

Rising gas prices used to be big news, but not so these days. Although the national average climbed to $3.56 on Feb. 20, setting a February record after going up nearly a month straight, there was far less coverage than in 2008. Broadcast networks repeatedly covered the rise under the Bush presidency. Gas prices bounced around eventually reaching $3.56-a-gallon on April 24, 2008.

The Business and Media Institute analyzed broadcast network news references to gas or fuel prices between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20, 2012 and from March 24 and April 24, 2008. BMI found that in the 2008 period there were more than 4 times as many gas prices stories, news briefs or news headlines on ABC, CBS and NBC as there were in 2012 (97 to 21).

Coverage during the time periods differed not only in quantity, but in tone as well. During Bush’s tenure, gas prices were a huge economic threat and cause of suffering. The networks also used the high gas prices to attack the administration. In 2012, the networks aired mostly matter-of-fact stories on the rising gas prices, and worried primarily that they would hinder the economic recovery, not that they are making people suffer.

Dismal broadcast network reports about “skyrocketing” gas prices filled the newscasts in 2008. There were reports about businesses closing, airlines struggling and truckers protesting -- all because of the high prices. One ABC report said families were facing the “tough choice” between food or fuel. Others said that “wallets were running on empty” and consumers were told over and over that there was no relief in sight. But by the end of November 2008, prices had collapsed to $1.82.

The networks weren’t simply reporting the painfully high gas prices in early 2008 though, in many cases they were exaggerating them. NBC’s “Today” focused on Redwood City, Calif. on March 6 where regular gasoline cost $3.99, according to the photograph NBC aired. The national average for gas that day was $3.19 a gallon. Ann Curry also failed to tell viewers that California has the highest state gasoline tax in the nation, a whopping 45.5 cents a gallon at that time.

On gasoline specifically, reporters have routinely showed photos of extreme pump prices despite lower national averages. The Business and Media Institute documented this trend in 2007, 2006 and 2005.

But now, in 2012, gas prices stories are very different. “[W]e’re seeing gas prices creep up every single week,” said one ABC reporter after delivering a positive economic report about the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing in on 13,000 for the first time since 2008. One CBS story just pointed out that if certain steps are taking against Iran, gas prices everywhere could move sharply higher.

Although the time periods BMI analyzed were the same length and ended with the same national average price for gasoline, due to price fluctuations they were not identical. In 2008, prices rose from $3.26 to $3.56 in the month we examined. In 2012, prices were already higher ($3.38 on Jan. 20).

http://www.mrc.org/bias-numbers/networks-hype-rising-gas-prices-4-times-more-bush-obama

And you were right. You should have known better than to post anything from Media Matters. Do you need me to post how they're filled with Democratic operatives and coordinate with the White House? How about their leaked emails where they outline their intent to destroy Fox News and other conservative news sources? Hell, they don't even pretend to be non-partisan anymore, so please don't attempt to pass them off as such.

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March 10th, 2012, 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
Just to be clear, there are several factors which influence gas prices. A President really doesn't have much control over it. Even though the Dems blamed Bush when gas prices rose in 2008, he had no control over it. Conversely, Obama has no control over the current gas prices as well. Sure, you can influence it by increasing production or releasing oil from the strategic reserve, but that's just a drop in the bucket, unless you truly increase production. The fact of the matter is that oil prices are controlled by OPEC and speculators, not supply and demand due to government intervention throughout the globe.

Wanna truly influence oil prices? Force oil speculators to accept delivery of their bets. Most of you probably have no idea what I'm talking about and that's the reason why this country is as screwed up as it is. Nobody knows or understands how the real world works.

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March 11th, 2012, 2:52 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
slybri19 wrote:
The fact of the matter is that oil prices are controlled by OPEC and speculators, not supply and demand due to government intervention throughout the globe.

Wanna truly influence oil prices? Force oil speculators to accept delivery of their bets. Most of you probably have no idea what I'm talking about and that's the reason why this country is as screwed up as it is. Nobody knows or understands how the real world works.


I cannot believe I'm the only person on this forum who has traded options contracts. That said, I thought only stupid socialists bought the speculators explanation? Really Sly? The whole theory is based on playing to ignorance--those evil speculators! No one understands what they do!

First of all, nearly everyone involved in the financial markets is a speculator of some kind. If you own non-dividend paying stocks, guess what? You're a speculator.

Speculators have no influence on the price of oil in the long run. They can contribute to short term spikes and declines, but they cannot influence longer term price trends. Two reasons for this:

(I) They have finite resources. If they are wrong in what they are speculating on, they will (eventually) go bust. I had a family member make a ton of money in the summer of 08 when gas prices were on a tear. Then, he called the top at about $130. Turns out it was more like $150 and he lost 6 figures on the trade.

(II) Going off what I said about my family member--you can speculate to the upside as well as the downside. Notice how the media/politicians only go after a certain kind of speculator. They lampoon commodity bulls (speculators betting that the price of commodities will go up) but hate stock short sellers (speculators betting that the price of stocks will decline). Speculators are not one uniform block of traders.

Blaming speculators for the price of oil going up is like blaming people who bet on "Don't Pass" for the shooter crapping out in craps.


March 11th, 2012, 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
Look at the ridiculous level of correlation across asset classes. Why is it that while oil is going up, other commodities are broadly going up as well? Why are stocks going up? Why are bonds going up (seemingly contradictory if you understand financial markets)?

There is a ton of excess liquidity in the system created by the Fed and the ECB. Just like last spring when the Fed was running QE2.


March 11th, 2012, 1:16 pm
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
Blue, you can't argue that when some Arabian Sheik has a temper tantrum speculators don't "run" to oil and drive the price up. It happens. It's a simple "supply side economics" fiction. It's not a real "shift in demand" it's a shift in a perceived demand or potential demand, or "speculative" demand, and it has a HUGE effect in the price of oil.


That said, I agree that a weak dollar is killing us in the oil market. I just got back from a 10 day vacation/cruise in Jamaca, Cozumel, Grand Caymen, and the Bahamas. Our dollar is worth poop. The whole ship was filled with foreigners buying things at 50% on the dollar, because our money is in the toilet. That said, a HUGE part of that is the spending being done by Obama, his heath care bill, his weak economy, and his huge spending.


March 19th, 2012, 11:37 am
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Post Re: Flashback - Covering gas prices -- in 2008
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Blue, you can't argue that when some Arabian Sheik has a temper tantrum speculators don't "run" to oil and drive the price up. It happens. It's a simple "supply side economics" fiction. It's not a real "shift in demand" it's a shift in a perceived demand or potential demand, or "speculative" demand, and it has a HUGE effect in the price of oil.


In the short-term? Yes, that's the nature of markets. But, in the longer run, it evens out.

Easy example, say the price of oil is $100 at perfect equilibrium (only users and producers are in the market). A "speculator" believes that the price oil is likely to go up in the future. So, he buys some amount of oil which he then stores in a tank that just sits there. His purchase bends the cost curve and sends the price of oil up to $105. Two things then happen:

Either A) he's right, and the price of oil goes up further, say to $110. Looking to make a profit, he sells his extra tanker into the market. Now, the extra supply that he saved in the past is brought into the future, leading to excess supply and bringing the price of oil down.

Or B) he's wrong, the price of oil does not go up, or declines. He goes bankrupt and liquidates his oil. That oil enters the market and brings the price of oil down further still. Since he bankrupted himself, he can no longer speculate on oil prices.

That's the nature of the market. It's a future discounting mechanism. Speculators, over the long-run, actually keep the price of oil stable, by taking supply off the market when prices are low, and putting extra supply into the market when prices are high. If there was no speculation, you would see wild gyrations. Let's say your hypothetical Arabian Sheik does start a war and there was no speculators in the market--the price might instantly spike to $150 because supply has been cut off, and there were no speculators keeping excess supplies in reserve.

Now, of course, you can have speculative bubbles, where there is mania and prices go up to unreasonable levels (see housing in this country 5 years ago). But then you have to ask why there was a bubble in the first place.


March 19th, 2012, 8:43 pm
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