Crude Oil Drops Below $50 A Barrel, Lowest Since 2009

About two years ago Republicans “blamed” President Obama for high gas prices.

With the price of gas below $2 in some states, I’m wondering does he now get “credit” for the lower prices?

In truth, at the time I shared that Presidents have very little influence on gas prices. And that remains to be true.

The overwhelming issues that affect price is gas productivity around the world and, of course, demand.

The US is currently producing and exporting more oil than ever. And yet, critics still claim Obama is “bad for business.”

With gas prices this low, and the stock market doubled, isn’t it hard to say Obama is “bad for business?”

AP Analysis: “Drill, baby, drill” won’t drop oil prices

An Associated Press statistical analysis of 36 years of monthly, inflation-adjusted gasoline prices and U.S. domestic oil production contradicts the GOP attack claims that President Obama is responsible for the rise in gas prices.

AP’s analysis showed no statistical correlation between how much oil comes out of U.S. wells and the price at the pump.

Political rhetoric about the blame over gas prices and the power to change them – whether Republican claims now or Democrats’ charges four years ago – is not supported by cold, hard figures. And that’s especially true about oil drilling in the U.S. More oil production in the United States does not mean consistently lower prices at the pump.

Sometimes prices increase as American drilling ramps up. That’s what has happened in the past three years. Since February 2009, U.S. oil production has increased 15 percent when seasonally adjusted. Prices in those three years went from $2.07 per gallon to $3.58. It was a case of drilling more and paying much more.

U.S. oil production is back to the same level it was in March 2003, when gas cost $2.10 per gallon when adjusted for inflation. But that’s not what prices are now.

That’s because oil is a global commodity and U.S. production has only a tiny influence on supply. Factors far beyond the control of a nation or a president dictate the price of gasoline.

Much has been made about President Obama and blaming him for higher gas prices. But, as practically every economist has already said, Presidents have little control over gas/oil prices.

When President Bush and running mate Dick Cheney campaigned in 2000, they argued that as oil executives they could get oil prices down, with Bush saying, “I would work with our friends in OPEC to convince them to open up the spigot, to increase the supply.”

Yet it was during the last few months of Bush’s term in 2008 that gas prices hit their highest: $4.27 when adjusted for inflation.

AND even if we did drill more here in the US, that doesn’t mean the oil would STAY in the US.

I think there’s a supposition that if we drill oil here, it will stay here. Oil companies, however, are happy to sell to the highest bidder – even if that’s China or India and NOT the United States. There’s no law saying “native oil” stays in the US.

Oil companies drill for oil and sell it to the highest bidder on the world market. Period.  There’s no national loyalty based on where oil comes from.

Read the whole article. 

Conservative news sources: Obama not to blame for rising gas prices

Recently, Newt Gingrich laid blame for rising gas prices at the feet of President Obama saying “The price of gasoline when Barack Obama became president was $1.89. All of this gigantic increase came from his policies.”

But the conservative Wall Street Journal countered by saying:

“U.S. gasoline prices, like prices throughout the advanced economies, are determined by global market forces. It is hard to see how Mr. Obama’s policies can be blamed.”

“Mr. Gingrich ignores the basic fact about U.S. gas prices: They are largely fixed by the price of crude oil, which is determined by global supply and demand.”

“When Mr. Obama was inaugurated, demand was weak due to the recession. But now it’s stronger, and thus the price is higher.”

“What’s more, producing a lot of oil doesn’t lower the price of gasoline in your country. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Germans over the past three years have paid an average of $2.64 a gallon (excluding taxes), while Americans paid $2.69, even though the U.S. produced 5.4 million barrels of oil per day while Germany produced just 28,000.”

In addition, the Koch Brothers funded Cato Institute had this to say:

“Is President Obama responsible for spiraling price of gasoline? Republicans say yes, but the facts say no. Despite the popular perception of President Obama as anti-oil, domestic oil production is increasing for the first time since the Johnson administration…. Unfortunately, presidents get blamed for world market changes that occur during their time in office … but generally, they do not cause them.”

Fox News 2008: Presidents don’t have the power to lower gas prices

Well, now isn’t this interesting?  The busy people at Media Matters have taken a look through the archives, and lo and behold, guess who said “no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices.”

Very, very interesting clips from Fox News where practically everyone there was giving President Bush a “pass” when gas prices were rising in Summer 2008.

NOW, however, following GOP strategy, Fox News is blaming the Obama administration for rising gasoline prices — a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by energy analysts.

In 2008, Fox’s coverage occasionally even mirrored today’s facts: expanding domestic oil drilling will not significantly lower prices, and the only way to reduce our vulnerability to gas price spikes is to use less oil.

Remember when I mentioned politics is just a big, big game?

Gas prices begin to fall

If you’ve been worrying yourself silly about $4 gasoline, it may be time to relax.

Lower oil prices are finally trickling down to retail fuel pumps, prompting experts to wonder whether gas prices have peaked for the year.

The fading fears of $4 gas also come just in time for the traditional Memorial Day vacation kickoff.

Travel industry officials said consumers were already showing signs they wanted to travel as much if not more than a year ago. But that was in part because they planned to offset their fuel costs by eating cheaper meals and finding less costly hotel rooms.

Now, travel industry officials said, the dropping gasoline prices will at least provide a psychological boost.

A couple of weeks ago, the national average price for gasoline stood at $3.99 a gallon. By Thursday it had dropped to $3.81.

Gas prices are still about $1.15 higher compared to last year. So some consumers are still weighing vacation tradeoffs.

The average price for gas in April was the highest in more than two decades and the momentum pushing prices higher continued into May. The federal Energy Information Administration and other analysts had been predicting the national average for gasoline to top $4 at some point this summer.

But now the federal agency is reconsidering.

“It is possible we have reached our peak,” said Neil Gamson, an analyst for EIA.

Read more here.