Gas, Past Tense, Made Facially

What the price of gas has done over the last 12 months (top green line there):

Source: AAA

What FOX News makes out of the green line:

Fox News

“Man, Mr. Murdoch’s third period math class is effin’ hard.  But just leave out the uninteresting data points AND BLAME PRESIDENT MELANIN MCDARKGUY LOL HOMEWORK’S DONE.  I bet I get a B plus for this one.”

118 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    I like how “last year”, “last week”, and “current” are evenly spaced on the graph. They should have added “last decade” and “last century” as well; I’m sure gas prices in 1912 were quite a bit lower than today.

    Edit: There’s a classic little book called “How To Lie With Statistics”, which devotes a chapter or two to deceptive chart design. Clearly, Fox News’ graphics department has read the book.

  2. 2
    General Stuck (Bravo Nope Zero) says:

    And now all the liberal oil stock holders will show up and tell us it’s just normal market based free enterprise. 1 2 3….. It could get the wingers to cease tacking up ‘this is ours’ signs on the wall of the national uterus, so it might not be all bad. Or, they can double down on all of it.

  3. 3
    Egg Berry says:

    @dmsilev: There’s a sequel to that book, I believe. As for FOX, they already admit they are not a news channel, but that shit is just pathetic.

  4. 4
    Bill Arnold says:

    I’m not sure what the FN graph even means. Is the point for “last year” a yearly average?

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    @dmsilev:
    That Darrell Huff classic and Peter Thouless’ Straight and Crooked Thinking are essential texts for developing one’s bullshit detector.

  6. 6
    freelancer says:

    Fox is the only place you can go to get the REAL news. Inclusion of maths that go for Obambi is librul biased maths.

  7. 7
    HelpThe99ers says:

    Cue the Best Fox Chart Evar.

    I used to think that it was important to recognize that there were objective truths out there: that two plus two would always equal four, no matter who did the math.

    Now? I’m not so sure. I expect to see something like two plus two equals Anticolonial Crypto-Islamo-Kenyan Socialism.

  8. 8
    Rafer Janders says:

    @dmsilev:

    Also, too, “last year” as a unit of time? After seeing the top chart, I know the answer, but if I only saw this on TV, as a Fox viewer, I would have no way of knowing if this is “last year” as in two months ago last year, i.e. December 31, 2011. Or one year ago February 21, 2011? Or January 1, 2011? Or some completely random date last year? It’s purposely designed to be vague and confusing.

  9. 9
    Lev says:

    @dmsilev: My first thought too.

    I also like how they don’t use exact dates. Hey, about a year ago it cost that much. Like twelvish months ago. Or so.

  10. 10
    dedc79 says:

    Fox is of course exaggerating/misleading, but it is problematic that prices are so high this time of year, given that they usually rise again in the summer (a few months before a kind of important election)

  11. 11

    The high price of gas of course means we have to eliminate fuel efficiency standards and gut rail programs and public transit. CLAP LOUDER.

  12. 12
    Jonny Scrum-half says:

    Fox News is shameless, and serves as the propaganda arm for the Republican Party. But I don’t see any evidence that Fox would treat a White Democratic President any different from “President Melanin McDarkguy.” It’s not always about race, and trying to shoehorn it where it doesn’t belong decreases credibility.

  13. 13
    gelfling545 says:

    @Amir Khalid: Purchased the slim volume entitled “On Bullshit” for my son in law last Christmas. I haven’t read it myself yet but, from the title, it seemed like a volume that should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

  14. 14
    Redshift says:

    OT, via the Rude Pundit: from the judge in the Texas public prayer case, in response to criticism from Newt Gingrich:

    “Any American can pray, silently or verbally, seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, in private as Jesus taught or in large public events as Mohammed instructed.”

    Love it.

  15. 15
    Redshift says:

    @gelfling545: Absolutely, it should be required reading. I used to be mystified by the Bush Administration telling really obvious lies (like “he didn’t come back early from vacation to sign the Schaivo bill, he was always planning to come back then), but after reading it, I understood.

  16. 16
    Jay in CA says:

    Post title win. 3rd Base.

  17. 17
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Is the point for “last year” a yearly average?

    @Bill Arnold: The point for “last year” is whatever makes the Negro Menace Kenyan Mau Mau Usurper look worst.

    Might be a decade ago, they don’t fuckin’ care.

  18. 18
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    After the comments I see that last year was “about one year ago”. That is an appallingly misleading graph.

  19. 19
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    But I don’t see any evidence that Fox would treat a White Democratic President any different from “President Melanin McDarkguy.”

    @Jonny Scrum-half: Are you on drugs? And will you share? Cause that sounds like some good shit you got there.

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    @gelfling545:
    Oh yes, I recommend On Bullshit as well. All three are necessary books for anyone.

  21. 21
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity:

    Bill Clinton. And we don’t have to imagine, do we, how’d they’d have treated Al Gore if the Supreme Court had not intervened to prevent his rightfully assuming the presidency?

    Sure, the exact ways in which they’d undermine a white Democratic president would be different, as they couldn’t use the direct racist appeals, but let’s not imagine they’d give a white Democratic substantively more respect.

  22. 22
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Clearly, Faux News viewers don’t need telling that that’s a fuzzy logarithmic horizontal axis, which is what all legitimate charts use to measure time.

    Dear fucking me.

  23. 23
    jeff says:

    The Fox chart also shows, disturbingly, that time is contracting extremely rapidly, so that one year now elapses in just a week.

  24. 24
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    let’s not imagine they’d give a white Democratic substantively more respect.

    @Rafer Janders: I don’t, but let’s not sit here and pretend that in addition to the bucket of shit Fox always keeps on hand to dump all over illegitimate Democratic presidents, that they have a whole septic tank that they keep brewing especially for those who are blessed with melanin in their skin.

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    Silly peopleDFHs, Fawx is smarter than you! They’re clearly using logarithmic graph paper, as any Cheetoes-eater will be happy to inform you.

    D’oh, beaten to the punch!
    @pseudonymous in nc:

  26. 26

    Rethugs simply do not recognize any Democrat, of any color or sex or ethnicity or whatever, as legitimate. Period. They will throw absolutely every single thing they have at them to prevent a Democrat from being elected, and to overturn it should one make it through, since they obviously could not attain the office legitimately.

    With Obama, they just *also* happen to have racism to go with.

    (beaten to it by much more, ah, “colorful” metaphors in #22 … or maybe not, I can’t quite parse the negatives)

  27. 27
    Redshift says:

    @jeff: Well, at least that means the Republican primaries will be over sooner…

  28. 28
    Egg Berry says:

    @dmsilev: I have to correct myself. There was no sequel to that book. There was another book about misleading statistics from the 90s, IIRC, that had a sequel. If I remember the title, I’ll post it.

  29. 29
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Hey. It’s the Fre-e-e-e market. Just shop around for a better deal.

    It’s the same with gas prices. You just have to use a couple dollars worth of gas to find that awesome discount of 2-3 cents per gallon.

    “Paper, or plastic, ma’am?”.

    Eyes opening wide

  30. 30
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    Anyone else noticing on that graph that last summer the price of crude and the price of gas began behaving differently? If it followed the price of crude, the price of gas should have gone down significantly in summer, then up again in fall. Instead, it dropped gradually until New Year’s, then started up again.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    Rethugs simply do not recognize any Democrat, of any color or sex or ethnicity or whatever, as legitimate. Period. They will throw absolutely every single thing they have at them to prevent a Democrat from being elected, and to overturn it should one make it through, since they obviously could not attain the office legitimately.

    This.

    With Obama, they just also happen to have racism to go with.

    They have it in any case. Black Democrat => nig[DING!] White Democrat => nig[DING!]-lover. To be sure, having an actual black guy in the White House opens a whole host of avenues for attack that a white guy wouldn’t (the “secret Muslim” and “not born in America” accusations, for example, could never stick to Carter, Clinton or any white guy). But the Democrats are the Party of Hated Minorities regardless.

  32. 32
    pragmatism says:

    i love the facebook posts that i have been seeing that say, “I’m not rooting for gas prices to go up, but…”

  33. 33

    Indeed! I wrote about this today as well. Someone needs to ask: ya know when the peak for gas prices was in this country? Try July 2008. Suddenly gas prices are high for February and we’re all supposed to panic? What the fuck for?

  34. 34
    jnfr says:

    Fortunately we’ve been promised that once President Gingrich takes over, $2/gallon gas is assured. Hooray!

  35. 35
    BGinCHI says:

    Where is our troll when we need him?

    Someone poke a stick under the bridge.

    This whole thing reminds me of the numerous times over the last couple of years the right has been screaming that “inflation is going to go through the roof!”

    And has it? Hell the fuck no.

  36. 36
    ACK says:

    Why is it that Fox News doesn’t extend that graph a bit further back — to say, July of 2008, when Bush was president? The cost of a barrel of oil hit the highest it has ever been during Bush’s term — $147.27. Today it closed at a little over $105. Drives me nuts.

  37. 37
    Satanicpanic says:

    I would love for some sports writer to try this- pick out a popular player, create a chart with random games carefully selected to show a phony trend and then wait for the death threats to pour in. FOX viewers must be the dumbest, more incurious people to have such low expectations of their news because people would not put up with this on any other subject.

  38. 38
    trollhattan says:

    @jnfr:

    I thought it was President Bachmann who promised two-buck gas. Getting my talking points mixed up, I am.

  39. 39
    pragmatism says:

    @BGinCHI: i was promised: stagflation, bread lines, full bore marxism, FEMA camps, nationalization, etc. why did the wingers’ promises not come true?

  40. 40
    Egg Berry says:

    Wait, all I heard on the news today was DOW 13,000 ! ELEVENTY ! What’s this you say about gas prices?

  41. 41
    BGinCHI says:

    @Satanicpanic: If you will it, Dude, it is no dream.

  42. 42
    TooManyJens says:

    @Chris:

    Black Democrat => nig[DING!] White Democrat => nig[DING!]-lover.

    Exactly. One of the biggest reasons why “Rethugs simply do not recognize any Democrat, of any color or sex or ethnicity or whatever, as legitimate” is that they see Democrats as the party that wants to take Our money and give it to Those People.

  43. 43
    Egg Berry says:

    @pragmatism:

    why did the wingers’ promises not come true?

    The strategic forces of Planned Parenthood (aka the Girl Scouts) were not deployed until late 2011.

  44. 44
    BGinCHI says:

    @pragmatism: Yep. And now their echo chamber has convinced them that they are streaking and the whole world is following them. They truly believe they can nominate Santorum and he’ll win the general.

    Nothing factual can dissuade them.

    They are factproof.

  45. 45
    BGinCHI says:

    @Egg Berry: This needs a mash-up with Terminator:

    2012: the year the Girl Scouts became self-aware.

  46. 46
    pragmatism says:

    @Egg Berry: are they putting birth control pills in the girl scout cookies so it not only causes prostate cancer directly, but not all of the birth control is filtered out and then is recycled and further causes prostate cancer? it’s like a mystery wrapped in an enigma wearing an adorable beret.

  47. 47
    Svensker says:

    Drill, baby, drill! USA! USA!

    [Looks around, notices strange silence…]

    Did I do that right?

  48. 48
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    O/T

    Kagan votes with conservative bloc……..I am quite sure there is a very good reason for this. :>)

    http://www.emptywheel.net/wp-c.....10-680.pdf

  49. 49
    Linnaeus says:

    Zandar does not get the gas face. But Rick Santorum gets a gas face!

  50. 50
    BGinCHI says:

    @Svensker: Depends. What are you wearing?

  51. 51
    pragmatism says:

    @BGinCHI: yep. i was also promised that the gopers could put forth (X) in the general and win. the most common solution for X, for some strange reson has been a chimp or monkey. i know, i’m the racialist for pointing that out.

  52. 52
    Egg Berry says:

    @pragmatism: I was told this morning that they put RU-486 in the thin mints.

  53. 53
    pragmatism says:

    @Egg Berry: makes sense. i have always considered thin mints to be the morning after cookie. samoas are for partying.

  54. 54
    BGinCHI says:

    @Egg Berry: How else would they keep them so thin?

  55. 55
    Egg Berry says:

    @Benjamin Franklin: Meh, there was a concurrence in part, dissent in part opinion from the other 3 justices.

  56. 56
    dmsilev says:

    @pragmatism: It’s truly a pity that the Girl Scout uniform is green. If they used Boy Scout colors, there’d be a whole lovely set of ‘brownskirt’ jokes that we could use.

    Ah, well.

    Edit: Though now that I think of it, what does green represent? RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM! The Girl Scouts represent an alliance between the Radical Environmentalists and Planned Parenthood! Someone call Glenn Beck; we need his blackboard!

  57. 57
    pragmatism says:

    @BGinCHI: are you wearing depends and asking what sort of bladder control device sven is using?

  58. 58
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Egg Berry:

    She will recuse herself from ACA to avoid voting against and further embarrass her President.

  59. 59
  60. 60
  61. 61
    Origuy says:

    @Egg Berry: You may be thinking of How to Lie with Statistics. There was also How to Lie with Maps.

  62. 62
    BGinCHI says:

    @pragmatism: Do I use language or does language use me?

    It’s conundrical.

    I see what I did there….I almost corrected but I figured, if Jesus wanted it that way who am I to go against his will (practicing for a Santorum Administration).

  63. 63
    BGinCHI says:

    @Origuy: I also liked How to Lie with a Whole Network, How to Lie with Your Mouth, and How to Lie With Another Man’s Wife (US Senator Edition).

  64. 64
    Egg Berry says:

    @Origuy: yeah, that’s the one. thanks

  65. 65
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Meh.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/10-680

    “28 U.S.C. § 2254, MIRANDA WARNINGS, CUSTODY, FIFTH AMENDMENT, PRISONERS’ RIGHTS

    While Randall Fields was incarcerated, officers unaffiliated with the prison questioned him regarding activities unrelated to his incarceration. Fields made incriminating statements to the officers, and was convicted after these statements were admitted into evidence. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted Fields’ petition for habeas corpus relief, holding that the state court decision was in conflict with clearly established Supreme Court precedent forbidding the admission of statements made without the protection of Miranda warnings. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether a prisoner is “in custody,” and thus entitled to Miranda protections, any time the prisoner is separated from the general prison population and questioned. Petitioning Warden Carol Howes contends that habeas should not be granted because the state court’s decision is not in conflict with any clearly established precedent of the Supreme Court. In contrast, Respondent Fields argues that there is a clearly established rule granting Miranda protection to prisoners anytime they are isolated and questioned. Howes maintains that recognizing a Supreme Court precedent requiring Miranda rights to be issued any time a prisoner is questioned will grant prisoners greater protections than those given to ordinary citizens. Fields counters that requiring officers to issue Miranda warnings is essential to protecting prisoners’ Fifth Amendment rights.”

  66. 66
    pragmatism says:

    @BGinCHI: if we could make a Depends adult undergarment large enough, we could contain teh santorum.

    also, too, writing Depends aduult undergarment reminded me that David Foster Wallace would have turned 50 today.

  67. 67
    Egg Berry says:

    @Benjamin Franklin:

    ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. GINSBURG, J.,
    filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which
    BREYER and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined.

  68. 68
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    @jeff:

    to be fair, when you are as old as a fox viewer, it must sure seem that way.

    funny stuff.

    the best part is, i don’t think the price of gas will stick to “liberals” the way the noise machine is hoping it will. i mean its not a slam dunk, its not even a good issue, provided obama, democrats, etc don’t turn tail and run.

  69. 69
    BGinCHI says:

    @pragmatism: We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

  70. 70
    Egg Berry says:

    @pragmatism:

    if we could make a Depends adult undergarment large enough, we could contain teh santorum.

    Is this like that question could God make a rock big enough s/he couldn’t lift?

  71. 71
    Jager says:

    @jnfr: Newt is going to have to nationalize the oil companies to get it down to 2 bucks. The average worldwide price for refined unleaded is right around 2.29 a gallon, no shipping, storage, handling or taxes. 55 gallons in a barrel at just over a 100 bucks a barrel plus refining, figure it out. The only places in the world where gasoline is cheap is where the government owns the oil companies.

    Its like I keep telling my rightist friends, the XL pipeline doesn’t have shit to do with the US, its Canadian oil being shipped to a warm water port for sale overseas! What part of a Canadian company owning the oil don’t you understand?

  72. 72
    Anonymous37 says:

    Wow, a 3rd Bass reference. Nice, Zandar.

  73. 73
    BGinCHI says:

    @Jager: If your handle is Veritas, pretty much all of it.

  74. 74
    pragmatism says:

    @Egg Berry: it is a santorum conundrum. only the superpacs will save us from santorum now. so sez teh oracle of veritas, based on whatever he’s huffing.

  75. 75
    Anoniminous says:

    @pragmatism:

    And terrorism. Also.

    Too.

  76. 76
    Suffern ACE says:

    Saw the headline in one of the local papers for NJ blaring that gas prices hit new five month highs. I think this crises is a bit overblown.

  77. 77
    PeakVT says:

    @Suffern ACE: Hype about gas prices is a reliable eyeball catcher. Local teevee news just lurves gas price spikes

  78. 78
    Brachiator says:

    @Jager:

    What part of a Canadian company owning the oil don’t you understand?

    If Sarah Palin can see Canada from her porch, it’s part of Real America(tm), also too.

  79. 79
    JPL says:

    @Brachiator: with Real Christians ..also,too.

  80. 80
    Jager says:

    @Brachiator: I think all she can see from her porch in North Scottsdale is 4 Peaks.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    I’m not sure this is going to work for the GOP this time. Unlike 4 years ago, we’re now a net exporter of gas. Obama can quite directly make the argument that it’s not a lack of supply if we’re exporting, rather that people overseas have greater purchasing power than Americans. If gas prices are unduly burdensome, then the problem is that Americans earn to little compared to foreign workers. And then he rolls right into his income inequality stump speech.

  82. 82
    gbear says:

    @jeff:

    The Fox chart also shows, disturbingly, that time is contracting extremely rapidly, so that one year now elapses in just a week.

    When you get old, time seems to pass by much faster. For Fox viewers, stuff that happened in 2010 feels like it happened 20 minutes ago.

  83. 83
    Raven says:

    @gbear:
    A lifetime with a beautiful woman is like a second and a second with your hand on a hot stove burner is like a lifetime.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    I’m not sure this is going to work for the GOP this time. Unlike 4 years ago, we’re now a net exporter of gas.

    You’re never going to see this acknowledged on Fox News or by anybody in the GOP. They are going to double down on drill baby drill.

    If gas prices are unduly burdensome, then the problem is that Americans earn to little compared to foreign workers. And then he rolls right into his income inequality stump speech.

    This works for both the GOP and the Democrats. The GOP is magically promising to create jobs.

  85. 85
    Bullsmith says:

    It’s not blatantly anti-democratic propaganda. Not sure why, but apparently it’s not. Not any other immoderate term either, like fascist. Nope. Just news, Fox style.

  86. 86

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  87. 87
    Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    You’re never going to see this acknowledged on Fox News or by anybody in the GOP. They are going to double down on drill baby drill.

    Well, of course. I don’t know why people keep saying “But the 27%ers will never go for this, so it’s pointless”. I don’t give a shit what Fox News says. Their audience is unreachable – quit bringing them up as a counterfactual.

    Fox isn’t going to swing an election. Neither is Lawrence O’Donnell. But when ABC evening news pulls a quote, they’re going to pull the President and then the leading opponent. That’s much more representative of what the swing voters are going to see.

    This works for both the GOP and the Democrats. The GOP is magically promising to create jobs.

    In this case they aren’t. In this case they’re arguing in favor of government intervention in market pricing over increasing wages.

  88. 88
    Raven says:

    Soundtrack for the Revolution is on PBS in the ATL.

  89. 89
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    ‘Since the USA is now a net exporter of gasoline, then all Obama has to do is ban the export of gasoline.’

    If that idea got leaked, how fast do you think the oil companies would tell Fox to shut up?

  90. 90
    gbear says:

    @Raven: So where would having your hand on a hot woman fall?

  91. 91
    Downpuppy says:

    I don’t think Zandar really gets this stuff, so I asked Barbie to explain it.

  92. 92
    Raven says:

    @gbear: on the floor

  93. 93
    Woodrowfan says:

    @gbear:

    So where would having your hand on a hot woman fall?

    wherever she wanted it to!

  94. 94
    Egg Berry says:

    Everyone needs to get a room!

  95. 95
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Canuckistani Tom: I was going for having the administration make a rule that foreigners must accept our dollars so we can buy their goods, but those foreigners cannot use those same dollars to buy our goods. That kind of market turmoil should be fun to watch for a few weeks.

  96. 96
    Raven says:

    @Egg Berry:

    I just flew in from the coast.

    Man are my arms tired!

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Jay C says:

    @gbear:

    So where would having your hand on a hot woman fall?

    Heh. I know where I would LIKE it to fall….!

  99. 99
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Satanicpanic:

    Well, people actually CARE about sports. In a way, curiously enough, that they don’t care about politics, considering that politics and not sports will actually have much more of an impact on their lives.

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    Well, of course. I don’t know why people keep saying “But the 27%ers will never go for this, so it’s pointless”. I don’t give a shit what Fox News says. Their audience is unreachable

    This thread began with an example of a lie propagated by Fox News. But here’s the larger point. How long has the US been a net exporter of oil? Why isn’t it more widely known right now, today?

    I certainly am not claiming that Fox is going to swing the election. But the point is that simplistic and false beliefs about the economy and about oil still are winning the day. Even with swing voters.

    But when ABC evening news pulls a quote, they’re going to pull the President and then the leading opponent. That’s much more representative of what the swing voters are going to see.

    A lie and the truth will be given equal measure. Let’s hope the truth gets through.

    RE: This works for both the GOP and the Democrats. The GOP is magically promising to create jobs.

    In this case they aren’t. In this case they’re arguing in favor of government intervention in market pricing over increasing wages.

    Newt is promising 2 buck chuck gas. Mittens is claiming to be Mr Businessman who knows how to create jobs. Rick Santorum is promising the the deity will bless us if we outlaw abortion, or something.

  101. 101
    Arundel says:

    Not just Fox. I flipped past that horrid woman Erin Burnett’s show on CNN last night, and the screeching top story was about hight gas prices… and that’s why we MUST attack Iran. No mention of speculators, Iran is the villain, Iran is the enemy to hate next time you fill ‘er up!

    Just naked propaganda, and this Erin Burnett is freaking shameless with her war-drum uh, constant lying.

  102. 102
    PeakVT says:

    How long has the US been a net exporter of oil? Why isn’t it more widely known right now, today?

    Because the US isn’t, you know, a net exporter of oil.

  103. 103
    priscianusjr says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half:

    But I don’t see any evidence that Fox would treat a White Democratic President any different from “President Melanin McDarkguy.”

    They would use everything they could against a white Democratic president, true. But they couldn’t use the “Melanin McDarkguy” dogwhistles (except to allude to many of the folks likely to vote for him). In the case of President Obama, they do use racist dogwhistles all the time. Hell, even Clinton used ’em in the 2008 primaries. So in a way it’s the same, but in a way it really is a lot worse.

  104. 104
    priscianusjr says:

    @Jay C:

    Heh. I know where I would LIKE it to fall….!

    I think you guys got distracted by the thought … for understandable reasons. But the question wasn’t where your hand would be likely to fall, but where the situation would be likely to fall within Raven’s scale of time-perception.

  105. 105
    West of the Cascades says:

    There’s nothing fundamentally inaccurate or misleading about Fox’s graphic except connecting the data points with a red line. If they had made a bar graph with those same three data points, they’d reflect two correct points:

    – the average price of gas was $3.14 per gallon a year ago, but was at $3.51 a week ago, and
    – the average price of gas rose by 6 cents in the past week.

    I imagine Fox didn’t give any meaningful explanation for this (rampant speculation, higher tensions in Iraq, Peak Oil), but presenting these three data points in a single chart isn’t inherently misleading.

  106. 106
    uptown says:

    We’re exporting something like 100+ million gallons of refined fuels a day. Almost three times what we were just a decade ago.

    But of course Fox doesn’t bother telling their viewers facts like that.

  107. 107
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @Brachiator: This thread is probably dead, but we are NOT a net exporter of oil. Not sure if Martin meant gas as in gasoline or natural gas. Obviously two very different things. Oil is something else as well.

    On the oil side, what has changed is that we are getting much more crude from Canada (they are now our biggest source) and we are also producing a lot of oil from within the country (see: Bakken shale – this is why North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the country).

    The glut of oil from Canada and ND has created an interesting over supply situation in the middle of the country where there is a lack of refining capacity relative to say the gulf coast (keystone would solve this in the medium/long term and some publicly dicussed reversal of flow projects to debottleneck and get supply flowing to gulf coast refining would also alleviate this). The net result is that WTI crude (benchmark US crude) has de-coupled from Brent (benchmark North Sea crude) such that Brent has been substantially more expensive over the past year. In theory, non-gulf-coast refiners should be able resist rising gasoline price pressures despite speculation and a general rise in crude due to turmoil in world energy markets (i.e. Iran).

    Our supply of nat gas is way up, as are storage levels. Coupled with the warm winter, nat gas prices have been plummeting in recent months.

  108. 108
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @uptown: Right but this is not oil. This is function of our economy becoming more fossil fuel efficient and Latin America moving toward first world usage rates of fossil fuels. Latin America does not have the refining capacity to meet demand.

  109. 109
    uptown says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    Never said it was oil…

    “We’re exporting something like 100+ million gallons of refined fuels a day.”

  110. 110
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @uptown: Was responding less to you than the the folks who confused the comment about “gas” with thinking that was oil. My experience is that the lay person has little conception of what happens to a barrel of oil once it gets here.

    With regard to exports of refined products, this is part explains the upward pressure on prices. On balance, demand from hungry economies in LatAm, will probably will help keep a floor on gas prices as home.

  111. 111
    moderateindy says:

    @Jager:

    XL pipeline doesn’t have shit to do with the US, its Canadian oil being shipped to a warm water port for sale overseas! What part of a Canadian company owning the oil don’t you understand?

    I think it was the CEO of Valero which is a big part of the oil shale/Keystone thing that told the stockholders thatone of the reasons for the pipeline was that it would make it possible for them to ship it worldwide and get the best price for their product.
    Right now the product produced in that area would go to the midwest via already established pipelines. Said pipelines will not be at full capacity for another 30 or so years.
    So less security in supply, more expensive gas and possible environmental catastrophe in exchange for tens of thousands of construction jobs for a couple of years, most of which will be subsidized by the American Taxpayers. That is the actual choice in the whole Keystone debate. Not that the “liberal media” would ever bother to tell you what the guys from the big oil company actually said, in public, to its investors.

  112. 112
    Jimbo316 says:

    @dmsilev: Don’t know for sure but I’ll bet that gasoline prices in 1912 were, in real terms, were a lot higher than today simply because there were fewer suppliers and the supply chain much less developed.

  113. 113
    moderateindy says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    The glut of oil from Canada and ND has created an interesting over supply situation in the middle of the country where there is a lack of refining capacity relative to say the gulf coast (keystone would solve this in the medium/long term and some publicly dicussed reversal of flow projects to debottleneck and get supply flowing to gulf coast refining would also alleviate this).

    This is a load of crap. The reason for the so-called bottleneck isn’t a lack of refining capability, it comes from the refineries in the Midwest intentionally restricting refining capacity. Something most American refineries have been engaged in for years. There is an oil glut, and a gas glut because of better oil production and much reduced demand for gas there are record inventories even with intentionally restricted capacities. Along with the consolidation of oil companies came a big consolidation of refineries. with less actual competition, comes the ability to keep prices high.
    If we were to believe in an actual free market then gas and oil prices should have been quite low over the past 4 years as poor global economic growth and increased production has reduced demand while all metrics of supply have increased to historically high levels. So why the ridiculous price of both oil and gas? And no Keystone won’t change this a bit. If oil and gas prices don’t have any relation to supply and demand either nationally or globally, why would increasing outlets to refine it make any difference?
    I wonder how quickly our economy would recover if instead of the extra 30-50 bucks people pay in ridiculously inflated gas prices were to actually go into local economies via consumer spending? Instead huge chunks of that possible stimulus goes into the pockets of a tiny fraction of speculators and oil company execs.
    If you look at it from an actual supply/demand perspective, even accounting for a weakened dollar, and considering the actual cost of production, oil should be around $45 a barrel and gas around 2 bucks at most.

  114. 114
    moderateindy says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    The glut of oil from Canada and ND has created an interesting over supply situation in the middle of the country where there is a lack of refining capacity relative to say the gulf coast (keystone would solve this in the medium/long term and some publicly dicussed reversal of flow projects to debottleneck and get supply flowing to gulf coast refining would also alleviate this).

    This is a load of crap. The reason for the so-called bottleneck isn’t a lack of refining capability, it comes from the refineries in the Midwest intentionally restricting refining capacity. Something most American refineries have been engaged in for years. There is an oil glut, and a gas glut, because of better oil production, and much reduced demand for gas. There are record inventories, even with intentionally restricted capacities. Along with the consolidation of oil companies came a big consolidation of refineries. with less actual competition, comes the ability to keep prices high.
    If we were to believe in an actual free market then gas and oil prices should have been quite low over the past 4 years, as poor global economic growth and increased production has reduced demand while all metrics of supply have increased to historically high levels. So why the ridiculous price of both oil and gas? And no Keystone won’t change this a bit. If oil and gas prices don’t have any relation to supply and demand either nationally, or globally, why would increasing outlets to refine it make any difference?
    I wonder how quickly our economy would recover if instead of the extra 30-50 bucks people pay in ridiculously inflated gas prices every week were to actually go into local economies via consumer spending? Instead huge chunks of that possible stimulus goes into the pockets of a tiny fraction of speculators and oil company execs.
    If you look at it from an actual supply/demand perspective, even accounting for a weakened dollar, and considering the actual cost of production, oil should be around $45 a barrel and gas around 2 bucks at most.

  115. 115
    moderateindy says:

    sorry for the double post, got distracted by the dog while doing a quick punctuation edit on original post.

  116. 116
    Jonnjonzz says:

    Ahem.

    Gas past tense made facially
    3rd Bass will express . KMD
    3 blind mice on sight
    Zen lover gave it the first light. -3rd Bass “The Gas Face”

  117. 117
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Jonny Scrum-half: Disagree. Of course they would be obstructing any Dem president, but since they don’t have much of real scandals to pin on Obama, reviving the dog whistles is all they’ve got.

    And then there are the real racists. They’ve had a full-blown case of Obama Derangement Syndrome since November, 2011.

    The week after the election I recall seeing a truck with a handmade “NOBAMA” sticker, and they weren’t talking about the Crimson Tide…

    And remember the concern trolling about Sasha and Malia’s elitist lunches at Sidwell Friends? And the horror of Obama putting his feet on his desk? (Btw, Chelsea went to Sidwell Friends as well, but they stuck to calling her ugly.) For all of 2009 we had faux outrage at the Obamas doing things that every First Family in memory have done. And that’s not even getting to the Birthers and the secret Muslim and the racist forwards…

  118. 118
    chopper says:

    @Jager:

    true that. in CA gas is about 4.04. 19 cents of that is distro/profit/advertising, 67 cents is state/federal tax/fees and the rest is wholesale (3.20, of which about 30 cents of which is refinery costs and profit). assuming a typical gas/oil ratio of 35, 3.20 a gallon wholesale corresponds to about 112/bbl oil, which is about right since most of our oil is imported at about $120/bbl.

    even nationalizing the oil companies and refineries and thus cutting out oil company and refinery profits and reducing gas taxes and fees to zero (and thus foisting the costs of highways and shit onto other parts of the tax system), gas would be at least $3.00 a gallon in CA.

    the only way to get gas down to 2.00/gallon nationally is 1) a horrible and i mean horrible recession which destroys demand, 2)nationalization plus huge government subsidization and tax reduction which merely pushes the cost to other parts of the budget or 3) we somehow replace oil with something of equal energy value literally overnight, causing a glut of oil in the market and depressing prices, at least until producers decide to slow down production in order to ramp the price back up to a target of 80-100/bbl.

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