You have probably noticed that prices at the pump, which were getting quite high in the Bush years and then Obama’s first term, finally began to calm down. I wish they were lower, but this was a huge relief to me and my household.
But instead of being grateful, I am supposed to be suspicious and hostile. Thus, the Washington Times story:
Crude oil and natural gas supplies have risen dramatically in the past three years. In October, the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported — a milestone last reached in 1995. Yet averaged nationwide, prices dropped 11 cents last year. GasBuddy, which tracks pump prices, projects a drop of only another dime this year, to average $3.39 a gallon.
“We’re not seeing that it’s having a tremendous impact on the retail price of gas at the pump, but we do see that consumers are saving. We saved a little bit of money in 2013, and we expect consumers will save a little more this year,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.
What consumers are seeing since the oil boom began in earnest is better stability, analysts said — a reliable domestic supply translates into capacity to handle problems, which means more stability.
“There’s a lot less volatility,” said Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA, who said the spikes are easing. Two years ago, the average price peaked at $3.94 a gallon, while last year it peaked at $3.79.
Still, the disconnect between higher production and price stagnation is tough for some consumers to reconcile, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have demanded an explanation.
“I just am troubled with the basic proposition that really questions what we’ve been told around here, and that is when you have new oil supplies, the consumer at the pump is supposed to benefit,” Sen. Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat and chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, demanded to know at a hearing last year. “We’re not seeing that in too many instances.”
Just stop it.
I hated it when the government used us to bail out the financial and auto industries in this country. That needs to stop. And, for the same reason, questioning prices and attempting intimidate people for what they charge also needs to stop. If we aren’t going to bail out industries when they go bankrupt (as we shouldn’t!) then we need to stop threatening to “bail out” consumers.
The bottom line is that we are willing to pay those gas prices for the time being. If we weren’t then the companies would lower them.
Furthermore, the last people I am going to trust with oil prices are the people that make me damage my fuel efficiency and my car engine by forcing me to mix in corn product with my gasoline. Such oppressors are not qualified to be my champions against over-pricing.
The article also praises the government for making cars more fuel efficient. If we wanted them more fuel efficient then entrepreneurs would have developed more fuel-efficient cars. Having this stuff forced on us by government edict is robbery.