Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

Where’s Their Outrage Now?

From April 27, 2006:

Walking -- or in many cases driving -- one block to protest gas prices, senators gather at a Capitol Hill gas station. Charles Schumer, center, offers a thumbs down. He is with Minority Leader Richard Durbin and Barbara Boxer.

Walking — or in many cases driving — one block to protest gas prices, senators gather at a Capitol Hill gas station. Charles Schumer, center, offers a thumbs down. He is with Minority Leader Richard Durbin and Barbara Boxer. (By Alex Wong — Getty Images)

Gas prices have gone above $3 a gallon again, and that means it’s time for another round of congressional finger-pointing.

“Since George Bush and Dick Cheney took over as president and vice president, gas prices have doubled!” charged Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), standing at an Exxon station on Capitol Hill where regular unleaded hit $3.10. “They are too cozy with the oil industry.”

So, how do they justify their silence on this?

Yes, that is the same Capitol Hill Exxon station in the 2006 photo above with today’s prices here below (just photographed from the opposite side of the sign).  The average gas price the week of President Obama’s inauguration – Jan. 26, 2009 – was $1.84 / gallon.  So, where is Sen. Boxer now that “Since Barrack Obama and Joe Biden took over as president and vice president, gas prices have more than doubled” ???  Even if you go by the 2006 prices that these senators were so outraged by, this is still a 39% increase over that.

(H/T Susan Valentine for sending me the link to the 2006 story and photo.)

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18 Responses to “Where’s Their Outrage Now?”

  1. Uncle Caveman

    Riley,

    Do you have an actual solution to the gas price situation or is this just more snark? And don’t give me any of that “drill, baby, drill” BS. If we started today (to which I wouldn’t object), we wouldn’t see an impact for years.

    • Ken Reynolds

      blame, blame, blame……shame, shame, shame…..i understand the hedge players run the prices up along with perceived or possible shortages…..it is no one in washington at fault, even though you guys blame obama no matter what he does!!!!

    • Riley

      That is the same argument that Harry Reid & Co. were advancing a decade ago — if we expanded drilling, it won’t have an impact for ten years! Well, that was ten years ago and we sure could use that impact now.

      Putting aside the drilling issue, a big reason why gas prices spike like this is speculators — but they’re the ones managing pension funds and the like. Another issue is OPEC — why we put up with any sort of cartel is beyond me. A third factor is the weak dollar. The loose money policies of the Fed have contributed significantly to the high price of oil.

      So, I guess my solution would be 1.) drill, 2.) get pension funds out of the commodities market where they distort market prices, 3.) crack down on OPEC, 4.) get us back to a sound money policy.

    • Riley

      And I don’t consider it snark to point out hypocrisy, either, which is the goal of this post. Where ARE Boxer, Schumer et al.? I haven’t seen them at that gas station since they became the majority in the Senate.

    • Uncle Caveman

      Wow, Riley. That’s a pretty darn good answer. I’m a big propponent of drilling, though I do believe it won’t help for years. There’s too much evidence out there to think that, all other things remaining the same, that it’ll make a difference in the short term. And let’s face it, the monetary policy issues have been killing us for far too long.

    • SGT Cajones

      Uncle C.,

      Solution? Absoulutely Drill Baby Drill!

      Facts:
      14 Jul 2008 Bush lifts the ban on offshore drilling, oil is $147/bbl, gas is $4.12/gal

      By 16 Oct 2008 oil is $70/bbl and by Nov 3rd gas is $1.72/gal, all without one drop of oil being produced.

      When Obama took office gas was ~$1.65/gal, now with the moratorium and his refusal to allow more drilling even on land, the price is topping $4/gal again.

      So which policy actually works? I have yet to see a car running down the road with a solar panel or a windmill powering it. The technology is not mature, but it is being forced on us at the expense of developing our own proven energy supplies.

      What part of supply and demand Progressives understand?

      And don’t give me that “Evil Speculator” Crap.
      ?;->

      If there were more supply, as in our own supply, they would “Speculate” the price right on down.

      The adminstrations policy makes no sense. Ban ALL drilling here, then give $2 billion to Brazil to drill offshore in water 3 times as deep as the gulf, and promise to buy the oil from them.

      Please explain to all of us the reasoning behind that? What is the reasoning behind raising taxes on oil companies? They only pass tax increases along to consumers because it just becomes part of their operating costs.

      And let’s continue to actually subsidize the production of ethanol to add to the gas at $3.85/gal (acutal payouts, not tax breaks) all the while driving up the cost of our food.

      There are some of your solutions.

      But the Progressive solution? One thing, raise taxes; that is the solution to everthing.

      And as far as how long it would take to bring oil to market if the drilling bans were lifted now? The oil companies have varying estimates, but some say as soon as a year, others maybe 3 years.

      One thing is certain though; if we don’t start sometime it will never happen, and energy will only increase in cost as we become more and more dependent on foreign sources.

  2. thebulletproofmonk

    In other words, Riley— they remain hypocrites. Two entirely different sets of rules. No interest in explaining what is not explainable, and totally ignoring the tax per gallon being 6 to 8 times what the oil company makes on each gallon.
    And the false statement that if we drilled today , we wouldn’t see the results for years. In truth, Ken and caveman just put two and two together, but were so dense they didn’t even add the comments together… If we drill tommorrow, those “hedge players ” will have to lower the commodity because suddenly there’s more coming. We are trading FUTURES after all. I swear that some folks who are supposed to be smart are not any closer to the reality of the world than someone who’s been insulated from it their entire lives.

  3. Uncle Caveman

    BPM,

    Set aside the vitriol, then, and explain to me just how quickly drilling today will have an impact at the pump. By all means, tell us. Because I’m no environmentalist and have no problem whatsoever with expanded drilling (including ANWAR). Of course, Obama has already done that to a degree. And our current production is at its highest point since 2003. So why hasn’t that helped if it’s all about “trading FUTURES” and all? Saying that we’re “supposed to be so smart…” implies that you’ve got the answers. Well, then, spill ‘em. Cause a lot of economists and energy experts have concluded that significant increases in drilling won’t make a bit of difference for a long time. But since that doesn’t jive politically the oil industry and their paid minions, there must be some magic formula that you know (and much smarter people don’t) that will fix this.

    • Riley

      We need to build more refineries as well, given it has been nearly 40 years since any new ones have come online in the U.S.

    • Uncle Caveman

      And add some serious nuclear power. I think it’s inexcusable that we haven’t expanded that. We can do it safely and be an energy exporter in ten years if we do.

  4. Isophorone

    I favor having a nuclear powered car. Imagine: You can get 19 million miles per pellet! There might be a slight waste disposal problem, however.

  5. earl

    Uncle Caveman,
    If we had “serious” nuclear power then we could have serious nuclear problems like the Japanese. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Chevy’s Corvair was unsafe at any speed.
    Nuclear reactors are unsafe in any country. Reactors have been built near California fault lines. Our days like Japan are just one earthquake away.

  6. Loudoun Lady

    Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are total hypocrites. If the leftists didn’t have hypocrisy, half their ideology would be missing.

  7. Ken Reynolds

    ll – Are you suggesting LL that Democrats have a monopoly/control the entire market on hypocrisy??

  8. thebulletproofmonk

    Uncle, what drove the price per barrel up? It started with Venezuela’s dictatorship (we recieved 35% of our imports from him at the time) , and festered with the Egyptian uncertainty factor…and the availability of the Suez Canal. What did not help at all was QE ll…because if you’re just printing money that’s not backed by a commodity, it might surprise you to learn that it’s not worth anything. Buying back our own bonds was an idiotic move that pushed the dollar even lower.
    In order to lower the price per barrel, you need to show those “speculators” that it is a more plentiful commodity — all supply and demand.
    And no more buying Gubment bonds with paper money!!
    Here’s another vote for nuclear. We have the technology to build the plants to withstand the quakes.

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