Who’s Responsible?

March 2nd, 2012 at 8:58 pm


For substantive, non-partisan reasons—really!—I like this poll result.  It’s just a snapshot and I’m sure these sentiments are volatile, but it shows that fewer people blame the president for the current spike in gas prices, and more people just don’t know why prices spike like this (or refused to answer; back in Sept 2005, gas was around $2.90 and spiking—that’s about $3.50 in today’s $’s).

Source: Washington Post/Pew Research Center.

That’s a good sign, because there’s just about nothing a president or any other policy maker can do about this in the near term.  More drilling wouldn’t help and, in fact, domestic energy production is way up.  There’s a lot of noise about the White House’s decision to deny (I’d say delay) the permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, but anyone who argues that had the decision gone the other way, prices would be lower now, is just blowing smoke.  Even were that pipeline completed, the oil it was to carry was to be refined here and exported.  It would thus amount to a small drop in the barrel of global supply and its impact on prices at the pump here would surely be very small.

Btw, only 1% of poll respondents—again, correctly in my view—argued that “Not using U.S. resources/Not enough drilling in U.S./Environmental restrictions” were responsible for the spike.  Those are all longer term issues, and you just can’t get away from the fact that oil is a heavily demanded, non-renewable, global commodity of which the US share of production is less than 10% with known reserves in the 2-3% range.

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9 comments in reply to "Who’s Responsible?"

  1. azlib says:

    What is ironic, if US production met our domestic demands, gas prices would still be high. People do seem to be waking up to the simple fact petroleum is a global and fungible commodity and the price is set in a global market.

  2. Bud Meyers says:

    We all know EXACTLY why gasoline prices are going higher…it’s no secret.

    Besides union-busting, for the past 30 years American corporations have been outsourcing manufacturing jobs for cheaper labor – – just to drastically increase their profits, enabling them to funnel more of their profits into excessive executive salaries.

    In the interim, American corporations have created a large and growing middle-class in China, consumers who are now buying millions of more cars – – who also get cheap gas because Chinese oil companies are nationalized and subsidize gasoline prices.

    And now Big Oil may also be in cahoots with the Republicans to influence our elections by raising gasoline prices (they have before).


    • Michael says:

      It’s true that the growing Chinese economy is the primary driver of higher gas prices, but they kind of had a plan to get there with or without US corporations.

  3. Bud Meyers says:

    WALL STREET JOURNAL – Gingrich’s Energy Charge – “The candidate has recast an old debate in a way that the GOP can use to great effect against Obama.”


  4. Mark says:

    Please, the reason why is that the MSM is not blaming Obama for the rise in gas prices as they did Bush back in ’05 and ’08.

    • Michael says:

      Because Obama didn’t invade a major oil-producing country?

      • Mark says:

        Right, because Libya doesn’t have the world’s largest untapped oil reserves in the world.

        But that’s ok, Jeremiah Wright’s prime pupil bigot wants Americans to pay $5 dollar gas so we can buy the Volt. Oops.

  5. Michael says:

    I would have been totally incapable of answering that question with any reply other than “Your mom.”

  6. 1AngryRepublican says:

    I see 3 things at work here..
    #1, this is an opinion poll, and opinion is a variable.
    #2, you have policy; Obama’s go-green, bankrupt the coal companies, subsidize solar at the tax-payer’s expense
    and that is a constant.
    #3 is the result, the situation we now find ourselves in which is higher gas prices.
    The last two trump the first one.