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Nader writes: "Gasoline and heating oil prices are ratcheting up ... President Obama declared that 'there is no quick fix' for this problem. Meanwhile, the hapless but howling Republicans are blaming him for the fuel surge as if he is a price control czar."

File photo, gas station. (photo: Getty Images)
File photo, gas station. (photo: Getty Images)



Gouged at the Pump

By Ralph Nader, CounterPunch

09 March 12

 

asoline and heating oil prices are ratcheting up. In California, some motorists are paying over $5 per gallon. President Obama declared that "there is no quick fix" for this problem. Meanwhile, the hapless but howling Republicans are blaming him for the fuel surge as if he is a price control czar.

Indeed, President Obama has some proper power to cool off retail petroleum prices. David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's Budget Director, said it plainly on CNN last week, "Stop beating the war drums right now [against Iran], and Obama could do that, and he could say the neocons are history." Having done his stint on Wall Street, Stockman knows that war talk by the war hawks inside and outside of our government is just what the speculators on the New York Mercantile Exchange want to hear as they bid up the price. Your gasoline prices are not charging up due to strains between supply and demand. Speculation, with those notorious derivatives and swaps, is what is poking larger holes in your fuel budget, according to Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyers. The too-big-to-fail Wall Street gamblers - Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley - are at it again.

Dr. Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America documented that speculation added $600 to the average family's gasoline expenditures in 2011.

Earlier, the head of Exxon/Mobil estimated that speculation was responsible for over $40 per barrel in price increase at a time when oil was more than $100 per barrel.

Last June, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman, Gary Gensler, declared in New York City that "huge inflows of speculative money create a self-fulfilling prophecy that drives up commodity prices."

Mr. Gensler and the CFTC received more legislated authority to police these Wall Street gamblers, but key members of Congress refused to give him a budget to, in his words, "be a more effective cop on the beat," at a time of sharply-increasing trading volume. Congressional campaign budgets are being swelled by campaign contributions from those very Wall Street gamblers. This is called "cash-register politics." Meanwhile, you the people pay and pay at the pump and wonder why no one is doing anything about it.

But an inadequate budget only explains part of Mr. Gensler's problems. He is continually undermined by other CFTC Commissioners who do not want real enforcement action. He also seems to be wearing down under the pressure.

Back in the 1970s, a sudden increase in gasoline prices - even a few cents - led to an uproar among consumers and demands for regulation, price controls and other government action. Now that the New York Mercantile Exchange, with its big banking and hedge fund speculators loading up on fat profits and bonuses is right here in the U.S., officials are throwing up their hands saying "there are no quick fixes."

Yet by the constant Israeli-Obama-Hillary Clinton-Congressional-AIPAC belligerent talk about Iran developing a capability to produce nuclear weapons is provoking Tehran's warnings about the Straits of Hormuz, and the oil price speculators are having a field day with your gas dollars.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) regularly demands that that Obama's regulators impose limits on oil speculations. He asserts that the "skyrocketing price of gas and oil has nothing to do with the fundamentals of supply and demand." Even Goldman Sachs analyst, David Greely, claimed Wall Street speculation in the futures market is driving up oil prices.

In response to such clamorings, President Obama announced in April 2011 a new inter-agency working group to combat fraud. Don't hold your breath waiting for any action here.

So why doesn't President Obama invite the various industries such as the trucking and airline companies that are hurt by spiraling oil prices, together with consumer groups, motorist organizations, such as AAA and Better World Society, and the relevant government agencies to generate the pressure on Congress and the recalcitrant members of the CFTC to stop fronting for the Wall Street casino giants?

Mr. Obama and Energy Secretary Chu keep saying that there is enough oil in world markets and that speculatively-driven higher oil prices are undermining the U.S. economic recovery. Yet Mr. Obama seems unwilling to fully use his administration's existing authority to crack down on the surging speculation.

There is much more action possible under current statutory authority for the regulators to use and earn their salaries. They need to hear louder rumblings from the people. While the people need, whenever possible and safe, to walk short distances instead of drive there, if only to stiffen their determination to fight back in more than one way.

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press.

 

Comments   

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- The RSN Team

 
+59 # Barbara K 2012-03-09 09:46
Republicans blame Obama for everything they caused themselves. They act like spoiled little brats on the playground, bullying all the others. We, the Dems are smarter than the Rs think we are. We know Obama has nothing to do with the price of gas. But they are the ones who refuse to allow the vote in the Senate to put the regulations on these fuels, they are dumb enough to think they can blame Obama and get away with it. The truth means nothing to them.

VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC AT ALL LEVELS

our future is at stake
 
 
-11 # Observer 47 2012-03-09 10:29
Voting straight Democratic at all levels is going to get us the same thing as voting straight Republican at all levels. Wake up, Barbara!!! They're ALL bought and paid for. Your continual reiteration of this theme isn't helping anything.
 
 
+53 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-09 11:26
Quoting Observer 47:
Voting straight Democratic at all levels is going to get us the same thing as voting straight Republican at all levels. Wake up, Barbara!!! They're ALL bought and paid for. Your continual reiteration of this theme isn't helping anything.

I have long viewed voting as an impotent gesture, a chance to choose the lesser evil, but conservatism has ceased to offer any good (constructive) ideas for dealing with the problems govt. must address right now. I'm inclined to say, "Vote for anyone other than a Republican and we will have less evil." "Greedy Old Pigs" is a description that is too kind to "conservatives" and an insult to the elderly and the porcine.
 
 
+41 # John Locke 2012-03-09 11:50
Observer 47 you are absolutely correct! Both parties have been bought and paid for by Wall Street and Oil. Oil companies are making billions in profits quarterly and are still being given an oil depletion allowance. That is idiotic; however it shows their control over government with their money and lobbyists.

But there is a solution to the problem of the oil companies gouging us periodically as they want to raise prices. Do what Chavez did, nationalized the oil companies. It is in the best interest of the US for the government to take over both Oil and Banking as these are the two places where there is the highest level of corruption.

This is not inconsistent with Democratic principles. It is very consistent with capitalism but state capitalism rather than Wall Street’s form of theft capitalism.
Both State and Federal Governments own and operate for profit businesses in Utah its liquor. As for the federal government its forms of banks, colleges and utilities; like the Export-Import Bank of the United States; the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation; the Farm Credit Banks; the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation; the Federal Financing Bank; the Federal Home Loan Banks; Gallaudet University; Howard University; National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak); St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; Tennessee Valley Authority, and on and on, so why not oil and banking?
 
 
+24 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-03-09 13:12
Great comment! Let's add health insurance and health care to your list of things provided by the government. You left out the biggest government provided service - national defense! Although I would like to see the Army, Navy, and Air Force abolished so that rich people and their corporations would be forced to pay for whatever security they thought they need out of their own pockets entirely! The Republicans tell any lie they wish on a regular basis because they know that most of the TV and radio news media will not call them on their lies. As for Obama, he is so afraid of being labeled a Communist or Socialist or even Liberal, that he won't do anything to really go after the greedy scum who are robbing the rest of us because the rest of us don't donate enough campaign cash!
 
 
+19 # Firefox11 2012-03-09 15:30
As for Obama, he is so afraid of being labeled a Communist or Socialist or even Liberal, that he won't do anything to really go after the greedy scum who are robbing the rest of us because the rest of us don't donate enough campaign cash!

The American people have bought into the idea that the government is bad (circa Ronald Reagan) and the Republicans have been able to redefine the meaning of words like socialist and liberal. Bring back Civics in the school system so that people in this country actually have some understanding of what these concepts represent. An educated citizenry is the best defense against hypocrisy.
 
 
+7 # SundownLF 2012-03-10 12:59
Quoting Firefox11:
As for Obama, he is so afraid of being labeled a Communist or Socialist or even Liberal, that he won't do anything to really go after the greedy scum who are robbing the rest of us because the rest of us don't donate enough campaign cash!


The American people have bought into the idea that the government is bad (circa Ronald Reagan) and the Republicans have been able to redefine the meaning of words like socialist and liberal. Bring back Civics in the school system so that people in this country actually have some understanding of what these concepts represent. An educated citizenry is the best defense against hypocrisy.


And, when Obama advocates for a college education for 'all,' Republican presidential contender (!?), Rick Santorum, calls him a "SNOB"!
 
 
+22 # Firefox11 2012-03-09 15:23
But there is a solution to the problem of the oil companies gouging us periodically as they want to raise prices. Do what Chavez did, nationalized the oil companies. It is in the best interest of the US for the government to take over both Oil and Banking as these are the two places where there is the highest level of corruption.

Totally agree. When certain industries threaten the very survival of the country, they are parasites and their control must be excised.
 
 
-20 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 11:10
Corruption and Despotism are parllel class outcomes as the deformed, post Colonial and Stalinist States were similar, parallel class outcomes linked to the dominating Western class deformed markets that prevented independent states, so long s class hierarchies subordinate, corrupt socil power and continue to exist throughout our milleniusm of class history, from Patriarchy to Late, Fascist capitalism.

The Western Enlightenment failed and degenerated into Western Fascism because the deformed class hierarchies reproduced class parties, class ideologies, whose class centers were always false claimed as real social centrism. Instead they all degenerated into further class compromising, totalitarianism , corruption and Fascism, including the Liberal class party that was born on the historical BETRAYAL of the Enlightenment, and like other class parties became fascist appeasing liberals, and finally fascists themselves, voting for ILLEGAL WARS, endless financing of wars, fascist laws, a police state, the complete "WEIMARIZATION" degeneration of Liberal into Fascists/totali tarians, ENDLESS BETRAYERS OF SOCIA VOTES FOR CLASS AGENDAS AND FASCIST EMPIRES.

VOTE FOR SOCIAL PARTIES, GREEN PARTIES, STOP WASTING, CORRUPTIN YOUR VOTES ON DEMOCRATS/REPUB LICA CLASS SHILS, EMPIRE THUGS. END CLASS HISTORY BY ENDING ALL SUPPORT, VOTES FOR CLASS PARTIES, WHETHER FAKE SOCIALISTS,FAKE LABOR OR LIBERAL CORRUPT ELITES.
 
 
-9 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 11:13
OBAMA uses War mongering rhetoric, threats against Iran, which is itself criminal under the U.N. Charter, and therefore, allows Wall Street speculators to drive up the price. DON'T VOTE FOR ANY CORPORATE, CLASS,EMPIRE PARTY.
 
 
-35 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-09 11:18
Barbara, did you read the above article at all? Ralph is saying that Obama can do things, but is a disaster and has caused even higher prices due to his ignorance and/ or lack of constraining the speculators. The GOP has nothing to do with it. Get your head into the sunshine!
 
 
+10 # Firefox11 2012-03-09 15:20
[quote name="Barbara K"]Republicans blame Obama for everything they caused themselves. They act like spoiled little brats on the playground, bullying all the others. We, the Dems are smarter than the Rs think we are. We know Obama has nothing to do with the price of gas. But they are the ones who refuse to allow the vote in the Senate to put the regulations on these fuels, they are dumb enough to think they can blame Obama and get away with it. The truth means nothing to them.

Yes, generally, it seems that Republicans bully anyone who does not agree with them. As for Rs thinking other people are stupid, the battle for control on the country is not about intelligence, as we can clearly see by the so-called election of Bush Jr. Rs are just following the Golden Rule, he who has the gold rules.
 
 
0 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-03-10 07:39
Please, Barbara K, read and try to understand's RSN's comment and concern re. a recent drift toward vitriol.

There's a staph infection of greed and power addiction in both political parties today. Granted, the Greedy Old Party got sick and stayed infected more incurably, in spite of all FDR's attempts at a cure. But, Barbara, your constant, one message strategy (get the dumb sheeple to knee jerk vote for one party only) has many of us wondering who is funding/control ling your media campaign. Please do continue to encourage critical thinking, but let that include 'outing' phoney balonies vs. not promoting voting for other than real McCoy Dems. (i.e. vote Kucinich and other people servers like him, including Independents like Sanders).
 
 
+47 # WFO 2012-03-09 10:00
The CFTC can raise margin requirements, all speculation is done on margin - up the ante.

They are not raising margin requirements because they don't want to cool speculation - in the Casino Economy, this is how money is made, not providing goods and services.

The War Drums are an important part of the con, keep the drones scared - shock and awe.
 
 
+44 # Doctoretty 2012-03-09 10:24
Obama is not the one beating the war drums. In fact, he asked that the war talk be stopped for the very reasons outlined here. You don't suppose the neo-cons will listen, do you?
 
 
-12 # globalcitizen 2012-03-09 11:23
Liberal delusions, once again. Obama promised MILITARY, FASCIST, AGGRESSION against Iran should it get a nuclear weapon to defend itself aginst Israel which already has hundreds of nuclear weapons, and also by the U.S.

War against countries that have nuclear weapons IS STILL AN ACT OF AGGRESSION, as well as the illegal threats made by Obama. EVEN WORSE, OBAMA, unlike Bush, is giving BUNKER BUSTER BOMBS TO ISRAEL to bribe them into a delay.

However, giving Fascist Israel weapons for AGGESSION IS NOT ONLY BETING WAR DRUMS, but giving the green light of AGGRESION TO WESTERN FASCISTS, NATO AND ISRAEL.
 
 
+55 # DaveM 2012-03-09 10:28
The price of gasoline went up steadily during the Bush Administration. I don't recall any Republicans blaming George W. Bush for the trend. Market conditions were the same then as they are now, with the exception that we kept getting into wars in oil-producing countries.
 
 
-58 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-09 11:30
Pelosi tried to crucify GW Bush for gas prices being so hi. Under Obama those prices have doubled in three years. Obama's plocies are a disaster for America. Get Obama out of office and let's see the country get back on track of production and integrity. Obama and his cronies (Solyndra, for example) are killing the US economy.
 
 
+53 # hobbesian 2012-03-09 10:51
Does America not see that the price of gas is up everywhere? Do complainers have any idea of how much gas costs in New Zealand? UK? Canada? How can it possibly all be the fault of Obama? People, this is going to be a shock to you but there is a WORLD out there and our US gas price not at the high end! Actually, artificially low cost of gas is what has left us without a good bus system. Look into the future and tell me - do you see cheap gas ever again for any of us. I think not but it is our own fault that we are so dependent, not Obama's.
 
 
+27 # aitengri 2012-03-09 11:35
"Actually, artificially low cost of gas is what has left us without a good bus system."
Agreed - but the higher cost of gas should be encouraged by taxation on the gas, and those proceeds used to provide a good bus system, and much more in the way of energy and transportation policy. The speculation driving prices right now sends valuable resources into the enemy's hands: enemy defined as free floating speculative capital with no accountability to the society being robbed.
 
 
+23 # PaineRad 2012-03-09 12:41
The low price for gas was only one, almost irrelevant factor, that cost us good transit systems. The collusion among Firestone, GM, Standard Oil, Phillips Petroleum and The National City Lines to buy up community transit companies, dismantle all the streetcar and interurban rail lines and replace them with buses (built by GM, turning Firestone tires, fueled by gasoline and running on highways to the suburbs).

Buses were not the solution but a huge part of the problem.

Gasoline prices in Europe and Canada are much higher because of taxes that provide services to people. Here higher prices only make speculators and oil companies richer. (BTW I do not know of a single gas station operator who does not hate the oil companies because of their continual screwing over of the operators.)

At this very moment, oil companies are EXPORTING gasoline because we have a surplus of supply. At this very moment, as has been going on for almost 30 years, most of the North Slope Alaskan oil goes to Japan and other Asian countries instead of to the US as oil companies prevent oversupply from cutting into their prices and profits.

The world prices for oil have not been determined by supply and demand for decades. The price for gasoline is almost as much determined by speculation as by demand. The oil companies hide behind (and probably collude with) the speculators to provide a coverstory for their price gouging.
 
 
+22 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-03-09 13:31
Congratulations ! You have been paying attention! In 2008 when gas hit $4.00/gallon our oil companies were exporting record amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel and were laughing all the way to the bank at the "oil shortage" talk! Bush kept using our tax dollars to take oil off of the open market and put it into our strategic reserve, that would last us about 30 days if that was all we had. And remember how many people thought in 2002 and 2003 that it was a great idea to invade Iraq and take their oil to get gas prices down from around $2.00/gallon to $1.00/gallon? That has worked out really well hasn't it? Iraq's oil did not pay for Bush's long sought war to finish the job he and his neo-con buddies thought that Bush Sr. failed to finish in 1991! Prices have mostly climbed since March 19, 2003 to the complete satisfaction of our oil companies. The intention of invading Iraq was to prevent the oil development deals being negotiated in 2002 between Saddam and Russia, China, France, and Japan because if Iraq's production ever reached its potential we would see a dramatic drop in oil prices which would make Alaska's, and off-shore, and Bakken oil profits a lot smaller and our oil companies won't tolerate that, will they?!
 
 
+33 # bobt 2012-03-09 10:56
yes...where was the outcry when gas was this price even 4.75 in my neighborhood during the w reign?
 
 
+27 # BobbyD1 2012-03-09 11:06
Maybe if Exxon-Mobil would be content with a few less billion$ in record profits, they could help the country in the same way the country helps them with ridiculous financial concessions and subsidies. They are no better of different than the lottery winners who still get food stamps.
 
 
+20 # grouchy 2012-03-09 11:13
This is another example providing us information on who is actually in control of our economy. Now, just when will the voters get mad enough to consider this fact when they vote?
 
 
-44 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-09 11:32
Yes, totally agree...get Obama out of the Presidency and put someone in who cares about America.
 
 
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-11 09:49
You must mean Jerry White, of the Socialist Equality Party.
 
 
+22 # soularddave 2012-03-09 11:19
What I'm understanding is that the USA has become a net EXPORTER of crude oil, precisely because prices are higher everywhere else. This can be controlled, but for the pressures exerted by the producers, no?

I also understand that the speculators add more than 50¢ to the price of each gallon of gas at the pump. If so, could we not insist that speculation on fuel supplies be reigned in by regulation?

Now who's going to do that? How so we go about *insisting*?
 
 
+12 # PaineRad 2012-03-09 12:44
No, the US is not a Net exporter of crude oil. But we do constantly export distilled petroleum products. And we are currently an exporter of gasoline because demand is lower than our current supply.
 
 
+6 # dick 2012-03-09 11:24
I would have preferred that we would have established public option energy sources "of last resort." They could contribute to assured competition & some manageable "stability" during crises. I didn't like ENRON gouging California with a fake shortage in supply. Also, they could moderate reckless speculation. But, prices will soon be leveling worldwide, & at very high levels. GOOD! But why leave ourselves TOTALLY at the mercy of the likes of Enron, BP, Shell, etc. ? That's not smart.
 
 
+19 # Hank 2012-03-09 11:27
Why don't we take trading of oil off the commodities market?

Let the price be determined by supply and demand.
 
 
+15 # PaineRad 2012-03-09 12:52
The problem is not the trading of futures. Some industries that actually consume large quantities of oil products need that market to hedge their costs.

The problem is that they are only a small percentage of the futures market. The problem is that traders buy and sell futures in a whole bunch of commodities that they never intend to actually use. These traders are merely using futures contracts like poker chips which they are gambling with. They buy poker chip oil, poker chip wheat, poker chip gold, poker chip gasoline, poker chip orange juice, etc., etc. It is this casino atmosphere that drives up prices far beyond supply and demand.

I must add that the ramifications of all this go far beyond the price of gasoline at the pump. By pushing up commodity prices, people all around the world are starving to death because the traders have pushed the price of corn or rice or soybeans beyond their ability to pay for them.
 
 
-46 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-09 11:35
You mean that if Obama let the Keystone pipeline go ahead; or allow permits for drilling again in the Gulf and Alaska, and off the east coast, and on public lands the price wouldn't go down? Let me see...if the Middle East knew we were self sufficient, they wouldn't have to lower their prices? Come on get your heads into the fresh air and sunshine and wake up to the fact that Obama's policies are killing us.
 
 
+14 # mebemo 2012-03-09 12:38
Quoting Robt Eagle:
You mean that if Obama let the Keystone pipeline go ahead; or allow permits for drilling again in the Gulf and Alaska, and off the east coast, and on public lands the price wouldn't go down? Let me see...if the Middle East knew we were self sufficient, they wouldn't have to lower their prices? Come on get your heads into the fresh air and sunshine and wake up to the fact that Obama's policies are killing us.


Not that the fresh air and sunshine wouldn't take considerable hits from Keystone and offshore drilling...
 
 
+20 # PaineRad 2012-03-09 13:05
Robt, get a clue!

We are currently producing more oil from federal waters and lands than at any in our history. We are currently producing more oil from all locations than at any time since 2003. Do you remember who was president for more than half of those years?
 
 
+7 # jerryball 2012-03-10 17:44
You obviously don't have land going into imminent domain (cents on the dollar) for that pipeline that will move oil from Canada straight through the USA taking thousands of acres of American land, to the Gulf of Mexico where it will be refined -- AND THEN all the oil will be shipped out to China and to foreign entities. Nary a drop for America after we give up thousands of private acres to the oil companies. Kinda like the Railroad Barons did in the 1800s for the railroad, but WE DID GET TO USE that railroad. We WON'T GET TO USE THIS OIL that is for import to foreign countries. The only gain is two years of jobs for Americans, then no more jobs but oodles of oil for foreigners. Drilling is up 1/3 over Czar Bushette's 8 years in the throne. Too bad you never saw a fact you didn't like and want to spin it for your selfish purpose.
 
 
+2 # amye 2012-03-09 11:50
Remember, these speculators, Wall Street banksters, etc. almost fully fund Obamas Billion dollar campaign for re-election!! Its huge bucks for his campaign war chest. Ha! No pun intended! War is again destroying our country economically! We invaded Iraq for their oil. Done deal now for the big oil companies! Now on to Iran for their oil!! Do you think the pipeline in Afghanistan is done yet??
 
 
+22 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-09 12:00
Outlawing all speculative investment in finite energy sources and other basic necessities (food, water) would make the world a better place. Getting capitalists to comply seems like an impossible dream.
 
 
+6 # aitengri 2012-03-09 12:38
Quoting Feral Dogz:
Outlawing all speculative investment in finite energy sources and other basic necessities (food, water) would make the world a better place. Getting capitalists to comply seems like an impossible dream.

Fear of retribution and street justice might encourage a bit of compliance, even if there are no enforcement agencies or adequate international institutions to bring about compliance.
 
 
+13 # Archie1954 2012-03-09 14:18
Republicans are gross hypocrites or just plain stupid. The more they call for war with Iran the higher the gas prices go.
 
 
0 # aitengri 2012-03-09 14:29
Quoting Feral Dogz:
Outlawing all speculative investment in finite energy sources and other basic necessities (food, water) would make the world a better place. Getting capitalists to comply seems like an impossible dream.

Fear of retribution and street justice might encourage a bit of compliance, even if there are no enforcement agencies or adequate international institutions to bring about compliance.
 
 
+13 # Peace Anonymous 2012-03-09 14:33
This has erupted into another finger pointing experience, democrats vs republicans. I ask you who is going to deliver change? Can we continue the way we are going? If anybody believes the free market will carry us forward are they not the ones that brought us here? Do you think Romney is interested in doing anything for Main Street? I believe Obama in 2008 really wanted change. The Democrats he was elected with did not support him because their campaigns were paid for by corporate America. If he has no support in Washington then the only place the support can come from is the people. It is up to us and we cannot wait until November. We must get involved and you must tell your government what you want NOW.
 
 
+10 # Grizzled 2012-03-09 14:47
As far as I can tell, we, the people, have relatively little control over our government. Politicians really don't need to be responsive to us. There really isn't any compelling reason for them to be. Unfortunately, I think we talk a lot and do little. And unfortunately, I think real change is likely to come only at the point of a gun. In the meantime, I take the train or ride my bike as often as possible, and try to use as little energy as possible.
 
 
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-09 19:28
He can stop the prices from reeling, many have done so before him.
You can make changes also, we usually do, buy less, go nowhere, make sure you let Republican Companies know you will not buy from them.
We have to make the changes happen, fine to text, fine to encourage voting but it is time to do things.
 
 
+5 # Peace Anonymous 2012-03-09 20:40
"We the people" have little control over our government because American Idol is on. You have a choice. You can start writing letters and getting after your elected officials to advocate for constitutional amendments which will remove a lot of the corporate influence from government or you can stay glued to the tv and wait to see what Romeny or Santorum want to do to make your life better? Its up to you.
 
 
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-09 21:58
Rick Wolff is not blaming Obama
5 minute audio:
http://www.rdwolff.com/content/david-pakman-show-gas-and-oil-prices-and-presidents-impact

He says the war talk is driving up the price, but that's it's coming from others, including Israel. He also talks a little about the nature of prices in the market.
 
 
+5 # XXMD48 2012-03-09 22:44
Quoting Archie1954:
Republicans are gross hypocrites or just plain stupid. The more they call for war with Iran the higher the gas prices go.


Beating the war drums contributes to rising oil prices by speculators. The higher the oil price, the higher the profit for big Oil companies and the more money to BUY the election 2012 in order to defeat president Obama, then freely build pipelines across the whole country.
What a perspective.
 
 
+1 # barbaratodish 2012-03-10 03:42
Some futurists have predicted that we will resist and even overcome our fossil fuel addictions by eventually doing everything technologically at home. Maybe we will access our own "dark energy resources" sufficiently, by technology and/or by such awareness of ourselves (our dark sides, etc.), that we will be able to entertain ourselves, and/or REFINE our priorities to what REALLY pleases us, instead of what merely distracts us from knowing that our current "priorities" HAVE us! Then we may prefer focussing on presentness WHERE WE ARE instead of travelling, running away, etc., to despairing consumer distractions, and vicarious performances by others that consume us!http://reade rsupportednews. org/pm-section/ 84-84/9114-ralp h-nader-plants- subliminal-qsee dsq-in-his-nove l-qonly-the-sup er-rich-can-sav e-usq
 
 
+1 # Eliza D 2012-03-10 14:12
Thank you Mr. Nader for being a truth teller. You are one of my heroes. If only there were one candidate out there as intelligent, selfless, and diligent as you are, I would be excited to vote in November. But I guess this ain't heaven.
 
 
+3 # 1984 2012-03-10 16:15
To me the underlying cause of our gas prices is the the greed of the oil companies. Why else has Exxon declared its greatest profits ever, year after year, after Katrina.
The oil companies are just playing with the Americans and preparing them psychologicaly by raising and lowering the prices a little at a time, to accept a $4.00 plus price for gas. As Bernie Sanders said, the prices of gas do not correspond to the supply and demand.
 
 
+2 # jerryball 2012-03-10 17:37
Remember the words of Utah Phillips: Arguing with a conservative is like arguing with a refrigerator. The light goes on, the light goes off, but you're not going to get anything else out of it.

You ever notice that all of the chaos the Republicans predicted during the Clinton presidency never happened?

They were ALSO wrong about Obama's first term.

...AND the WMD in Iraq,
And Saddam Hussein having a link to 9-11,
And their energy bill lowering the price of fuel,
And the increase in terrorism that would follow if Obama was elected,

But I'm sure that THIS time you're totally right. "Conservatives thy name is chaos and BS."
 
 
+1 # noitall 2012-03-10 20:00
Of course its a no-brainer, oil companies are and have been making record profits on the price of gas and when it rises we pay the increases, blame someone and don't miss a beat as oil companies again report record profits. Duh. Other than that its a perfect world, we vote for the Democrat, are unsatisfied, disappointed, pissed off, screwed but our choices are: move to another country, vote for one of the two party's "candidate", the Democrat or the completely insane, sociopathic, greedy, racist, sexist, perverted, scared, dangerous, candidate put up there by the Republicants. Makes it pretty simple, I vote Democratic and like the 99% wait for someone to get fed up and get out into the street. Then I'll follow.
 

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