Nothing drives voter sentiment like the price of gas -- already up nearly
And nothing energizes Republicans like rising energy prices. House Speaker
If prices at the pump continue to rise, expect the gas wars to intensify.
But the current surge in gas prices has almost nothing to do with energy policy. It doesn't even have much to do with global supply and demand. It has most to do with America's continuing failure to adequately regulate
Oil supplies aren't being squeezed. Over 80 percent of America's energy needs are now being satisfied by domestic supplies. In fact, we're starting to become an energy exporter.
Demand for oil isn't rising in any event. Oil demand in the U.S. is down compared to last year at this time. The American economy is showing only the faintest signs of recovery. Meanwhile, global demand is still moderate.
Hedge-fund managers and traders assume that mounting tensions in the
Where there's money to be made,
Financial speculators historically accounted for about 30 percent of oil contracts, producers and end users for about 70 percent. But today speculators account for 64 percent of all contracts.
In other words, a relatively few players with very deep pockets are placing huge bets on oil -- and you're paying.
Chilton estimates that drivers of small cars like Honda Civics are paying an extra
Funny, but I don't hear Republicans rail against
The gas wars may come to a screeching halt before too long, anyway. The Street is placing so many bets on rising oil prices that the slightest hint the speculators are wrong -- almost any sign of expanding supply or declining demand -- is likely to set off a sharp drop in oil prices similar to the record one-day fall on
But that's small comfort to tens of millions of motorists who are paying through the nose at the gas pump right now. Meanwhile, rising gas prices are wagging the election-year dog.
Just remember what's really causing them.
- Extra Dollars You're Paying At Pump Going To Wall Street Speculators
- Why Americans Are Paying More At the Pump
- Lack of 'Rainy Day Funds' Bringing Consumers Down
- 2012 Job Gains: This Time, It's Different
- The Manufacturing Myth
- Deja View: Consumer Confidence Back Where it Was a Year Ago
- Starving Public Universities Shrinks the Middle Class
- A Farewell to Fossil Fuels
- United States Can't Control the World Oil Market
- Tensions in Middle East Fan Fears of Sharp Gas Price Hikes
- Inflation Outpacing Compensation for U.S. Workers
- The Myth of Economic Inequality
- Occupy Wall Street Must Learn That We Are What We Buy
- Six Unusual Economic Indicators
- Housing Market Improves, but Growth Years Away
- Could Strong Chinese Currency Boost U.S. Economy?
- The Downward Mobility of the American Middle Class
- Unemployment: Fudging the Numbers
- Why the Fed is Lukewarm on the Economic Recovery
- Are Student Loans the Next Debt Bomb?
- One Key Sector That's Still Shedding Jobs
- Globalizing Private Sector, Government Overwhelmed by Corporate Money
Americans Spent Less:
Why That's a Good Thing
- Improving Economy Driving Independents Back to Obama
- Europe Needs a Marshall Plan
Extra Dollars You're Paying At Pump Going To Wall Street Speculators | Politics
Copyright © 2012 Tribune Media Services