Gasoline Prices More than Double Under Obama: $1.84 to $3.85

Average retail gasoline prices have more than doubled under President Obama, according to government statistics, rising from $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon.

The average gasoline price is calculated by the Energy Information Agency, and shows that over the past 43 months of President Obama’s term retail gasoline prices have more than doubled, rising from an average of $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon.

Rising gasoline prices were particularly prevalent in August, which saw a 9.0 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for gasoline, a rise that almost entirely accounts for the general increase in prices seen by families across the country over the past month.

In other words, the recent spike in prices for all goods – tracked by the government’s Consumer Price Index – can be almost entirely accounted for by the rise in gasoline prices. Prices in the economy rose by 0.6 percent overall in August.

Read more here.

Obama Mocks Ed Henry: Do You Think I Want Gas Prices Going Up In An Election Year?

Ed Henry, FOX News: Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before that will wean the American people off fossil fuels onto renewable fuels. How do you respond to that?

President Obama: Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the President of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go up higher? Is that — is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense? Look, here’s the bottom line with respect to gas prices: I want gas prices lower because they hurt families.

Gas prices are highest ever for this time of year

Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year.

At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.

“You’re going to see a lot more staycations this year,” says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react.”

Already, W. Howard Coudle, a retired machinist from Crestwood, Mo., has seen his monthly gasoline bill rise to $80 from about $60 in December. The closest service station is selling regular for $3.39 per gallon, the highest he’s ever seen.

“I guess we’re going to have to drive less, consolidate all our errands into one trip,” Coudle says. “It’s just oppressive.”

The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil.

Oil around the world is priced differently. Brent crude from the North Sea is a proxy for the foreign oil that’s imported by U.S. refineries and turned into gasoline and other fuels. Its price has risen 11 percent so far this year, to around $119 a barrel, because of tensions with Iran, a cold snap in Europe and rising demand from developing nations. West Texas Intermediate, used to price oil produced in the U.S., is up 4 percent to around $103 a barrel. That’s 19 percent higher than a year earlier.

Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the U.S. economy.

A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. That’s only 0.2 percent of the total U.S. economy, but economists say it’s a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so. The economy grew 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, a rate considered modest following a recession.

Gas prices are already an issue in the presidential campaign. Republican candidate Newt Gingrich spoke several times this week about opening up more federal land to oil and gas drilling as a path toward U.S. energy independence – and lower pump prices.

“Our goals should be to get gasoline to $2.50 or less so that working families can actually get to work and retired families can travel,” Gingrich said at a campaign event in Los Angeles Thursday.

High oil and gas prices now set the stage for even sharper increases at the pump because gas typically rises in March and April.

Every spring, refiners suspend operations to switch the type of gasoline they make. Supplies of wintertime gas are sold off before March, when refineries need to start making a new formula of gasoline that’s required in the summer.

That can mean less supply for service stations, resulting in higher gas prices. And summertime gasoline is more expensive to make. The government mandates that it contain less butane and other cheap organic compounds because they contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a primary constituent in smog. That means more oil, a costlier component, is needed to produce each gallon.

The Oil Price Information Service predicts that gasoline could peak at $4.25 a gallon by the end of April. That would top the record of $4.11 in July 2008.

Read more here.

Why Obama’s hometown has the highest gas prices in America

Think California has the highest gas prices in America? Think again. Chicago: the one party town wears that crown.

What are the consequences of living in the last of the one-party machine towns, a town that has hosted the Daley family as well as being the hometown of Barack Obama and the cronies he put in power (including Bill Daley, his Chief of Staff)? Politicians who have no problem imposing the highest gas prices in America on their citizens.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago-area gas prices have been running about 50 cents per gallon more than the national average. Fifty cents doesn’t sound like much until you consider a two-car family might buy 1,400 gallons of gas a year, which siphons some $700 more from their pockets than other Americans.

The clipping of the wallet causes damage throughout the economy, as consumers have that much less money to spend on retail purchases, save for their future, invest in their children.

The main cause of the high prices? Taxes and regulations-the Democrats solution to all our problems. There is a “mind-boggling array of tax levies that get tacked on gasoline’s retail price.”

There are excise taxes (both federal and state — and actually the Illinois state tax is in-line with other states); but also taxes that are charged to fill the underground storage tank fund and environmental impact fees. But together these last two only amount to a penny a gallon.

The killer is the sales tax. Illinois is only one of seven states to charge a sales tax on gas. What makes it worse is that these taxes are not a fixed number of cents per gallon but fluctuate as a percentage of the sale. This is a recipe for compounding the damage to the consumers; as oil prices rise, so does the amount taken from Illinois drivers — at a faster rate than for others across America. The state sales tax is 6.25 percent, so the take per gallon rises as the total bill at the gas station rises.

Illinois is also unusual in that it allows counties and municipalities to also get in the action.

In Chicago, city, county and Regional Transportation Authority (for our government-run trains and buses) sales tax add a few more percent. Thank you, Democrats.

But wait..there’s more.

When you buy gas in Chicago, you pay a couple more flat taxes. The city of Chicago and Cook County not only levy sales taxes but also flat taxes of 5 cents and 6 cents, respectively. Illinois is the only state to allow all these different taxes to be levied in concert, Sykuta said.

Worsening the problem is that some sales taxes are applied on top of flat taxes, charging motorists tax on tax, which only accelerates the total cost.

“One reason for higher prices is because of the multiple layers of taxes in Chicago,” said John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute.

The grand total? Taxes add an average of 69 cents to every gallon of gas in Illinois, and far more in high tax areas such as Chicago. That places Illinois up with the highest gas-taxing states in the nation, along with Connecticut, 70.3 cents, and New York, 69.1 cents, according to an analysis by petroleum institute. The national average is about 50 cents.

Taxing taxes — a Democratic dream.

But wait …there are even more costs, courtesy of politicians. Chicago is required by the Environmental Protection Agency, as are most cities, to use pricier reformulated gasoline in the summer. Chicago formulated a toxic brew so unaffordable that the rest of Illinois gets to use a cheaper blend.

This boutique blend is pricier. What adds to the costs, is that the cocktail of summer gas must include a heavy dose of corn-based ethanol. Only a few refineries make this unique blend, adding more to the costs. No wonder Obama supported the ethanol industry: Illinois is the second-largest producer of corn. So this government-imposed rule was yet another sop to the ethanol industry. Since there are so few refineries in America (thanks to rules and regulations, and the NIMBY problem) an outage in any of the very few refineries that produce Chicago gasoline can cause prices to spike even when crude oil pricing is stable.

Chicago is a microcosm of what Democratic policies lead to: sky-high prices and the ever-present risk of government caused-shortages.

Obama sees benefits in high energy prices (he and his minions have repeatedly said so) –especially those that transfer money from motorists into the hands of Democratic politicians.

America, welcome to the world of Cook (“Crook”) County politics.

Comin’ this summer… $5 gas

The forecast for the summer driving season: Hit the road early. Not to beat the traffic, but to beat the higher gas prices expected in mid-July.

Goldman Sachs’ crystal ball is proclaiming that oil will soon soar to $135 a barrel, and likely have service stations jacking up fuel prices to $5 a gallon in New York just like the summer of 2008 that preceded the recession.

Indeed, analysts say Goldman and the other oil trading giant that also has the might to move prices, JPMorgan Chase, have already placed their energy bets for the summer. JPMorgan predicts oil hitting $130 a barrel in the coming weeks.
Thought for fuel: Oil prices already are sky high for the Memorial Day holiday, but gas is expected to go even higher later in the summer, banks believe.

Despite all the turmoil in the Middle East associated with the Arab Spring rioting, oil has fallen to the $100 level, closing out May with a stunning 12 percent drop.

But before the storm, the calm. There appears to be a backlash by some oil-pit analysts.

“Whoever would buy into these rising prices is just paying homage (to Wall Street firms) and helping the speculative positions,” said one oil trading source familiar with energy bets of Wall Street trading desks.

Gas prices, meanwhile, should benefit from the brief respite in oil prices.

“We should be seeing some big declines at the gas pumps after Memorial Day,” said energy analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover.

“Wholesale prices have been dropping, and that could cause some serious revisions downward at the pumps,” he said.

“The competition is fierce among the retailers, and whoever lowers his price first gets a big jump on everyone else and a lot of new business.”

Pump prices have dropped about 10 cents a gallon this week, while wholesale prices at the Nymex have steadily skidded 50 cents a gallon in the past two weeks.

Those declines came despite upward pressure on wholesale prices here in the past two days due to speculation that Mississippi River flooding could disrupt Gulf Coast refineries.

At the start of the Memorial Day holiday, the national average for gas was $3.80 a gallon.

Tom Kloza, an analyst at Oil Price Information Services, expects gas to fall to between $3.50 and $3.60 between now and the July 4 holiday.

Read more here.

House Says No to Obama Dictatorship

The House of Representatives voted to open more of the nation’s oceans for oil and gas exploration on Thursday by a vote of 243 to 179.

The “Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act,” requires the Interior Department to set a production goal of three million barrels of oil per day for its 2012-2017 leasing plan.

In order to reach that target, the legislation requires the department to hold lease sales off the coast of Southern California, in the Arctic Ocean, off Alaska’s Bristol Bay, and in the Atlantic Ocean from Maine to North Carolina.

Republicans say that the bill, along with two other drilling measures passed earlier this month, would create 1.2 million jobs and lower the price of oil. The Congressional Budget Office says that the offshore lease sales would generate $800 million in revenue over ten years.

The Obama administration released a statement opposing the bill Wednesday. The White House argued that the proposal would undermine the current leasing process and mandate drilling leases without input from the affected states.

Obama floats plan to tax cars by the mile

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

The plan is a part of the administration’s “Transportation Opportunities Act,” an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.

This follows a March Congressional Budget Office report that supported the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven.

Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.

The CBO report was requested by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), who has proposed taxing cars by the mile as a way to increase federal highway revenues.

Obama’s proposal seems to follow up on that idea in section 2218 of the draft bill. That section would create, within the Federal Highway Administration, a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office. It would be tasked with creating a “study framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems.”

The administration seems to be aware of the need to prepare the public for what would likely be a controversial change to the way highway funds are collected. For example, the office is called on to serve a public relations function, as the draft says it should “increase public awareness regarding the need for an alternative funding source for surface transportation programs and provide information on possible approaches.”

Read more here.

The Osama Bump

Here’s a note for the Obama administration, or any administration that follows: If you are going to release a story as huge as the killing of the most wanted terrorist in the world, you might want to consider having your story straight before you go to press. It’s been three days now since Osama had-bin Laden was killed and at the end of the day, the fact remains that this murdering Islamic POS is lobster food. But exactly how he became food for the bottom-dwellers of the ocean has become less clear. The administration’s story has changed: at first he resisted with fire fight, now we are told he was unarmed; at first he used his wife as a shield, now we are told that the woman wasn’t his wife; at first we were told that the woman was killed, now we are told that she was shot but not killed. Then we were told that OBL was virtually throwing women at the Navy Seals during the firefight. If there was one thing that could kill Obama’s mojo coming off of this event, it is uncertainty over which story of the raid is correct and what actually happened. Not that I am all that concerned with Obama’s mojo … but we are still coming to find how Bin Laden’s death will affect PrezBo in the polls. According to Politico:

President Obama’s approval rating has jumped to 56 percent, a 9-point increase, in the days after he announced Osama bin Laden had been killed, according to a Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll.

On his handling of Afghanistan, 60 percent of people said they approved; the number was a career high of 69 percent for the threat of terrorism. His numbers on the economy, though, have barely changed.

Gallup polling wanted to find out who the America public views as being responsible for the killing of Osama bin Laden. In other words … who deserves the credit for killing the Islamic menace.

When Americans are asked how much credit they would give to Barack Obama, George W. Bush, the CIA, and the U.S. military for finding and killing bin Laden, the U.S. military and the CIA emerge as the big winners in the public’s eyes. Nearly 9 of 10 (89%) say the military deserves “a great deal of credit,” while 62% say the same about the CIA.

Americans are more reserved in giving credit to President Obama. Thirty-five percent say he deserves a great deal of credit and another 36% say he deserves “a moderate amount” of credit. More than a quarter say he does not deserve much or any credit at all.

You can bet that the ObamaMedia will milk this like story as if it had 80,000 teats. News reports like this one from Lawrence O’Donnell: “Thank God Barack Obama is president.” But no matter how long the ObamaMedia tries to draw it out, the voters in 2012 will be voting with their pocketbooks … and the death of Osama bin Laden has done nothing to generate economic prosperity or to lower gas prices.