Do It Yourself Solar

Pretty fascinating little development in downstate West Virginia:








Make The Gas Face For Those Little White Lies

One of the nation’s biggest oil lobbyists in January warned the President that he could make life very uncomfortable for his re-election chances if he didn’t approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

The oil industry’s top lobbyist warned the Obama administration Wednesday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline or face “huge political consequences” in an election year.

Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said it would be a “huge mistake” for President Barack Obama to reject the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Obama faces a Feb. 21 deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.

“Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest,” Gerard said at the trade association’s annual “State of American Energy” event. “A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences.”

Jump to six weeks later:

Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to undercut President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects and offering Republicans an easy target. With prices pushing $4 a gallon and threatening to go even higher, Obama sought Thursday to confront rising public anxiety and strike back at his GOP critics.

Obama said dismissively that all the Republicans can talk about is more drilling — “a bumper sticker … a strategy to get politicians through an election” — when the nation’s energy challenges demand much more. In a speech in Miami, he promoted the expansion of domestic oil and gas exploration but also the development of new forms of energy.

For all the political claims, economists say there’s not much a president of either party can do about gasoline prices. Certainly not in the short term. But it’s clear that people are concerned — a new Associated Press-GfK poll says seven in 10 find the issue deeply important — so it’s sure to be a political issue through the summer.

You do the math.  I’m thinking Big Oil already has, and they’re liking the numbers they see.  The Republicans and the Village certainly aren’t above concern trolling President Obama, either.  Remember, he’s “bad for business” when he doesn’t give corporations the “certainty” of a negative tax rate and all the steak fajita grandes they can eat on Tuesdays.

Presidents may not be able to do much about gasoline prices, but oil companies sure as hell can.



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.”



Burning Desire

Secondary to John’s earlier post, Rick Ungar at the Washington Monthly had already dipped a toe into the murky waters:

According to the Automobile Club of America, gasoline prices have risen, on average, 13.1 cents in the past month—despite the fact that gas prices traditionally fall in the month of February as people drive fewer miles during the wintery month.
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What’s more, virtually every projection out there suggests that gas prices are about to make a dramatic rise to, potentially, record levels with some suggesting that $5.00 a gallon gas or more —double the prices of just a few months ago—could very well be in our future.
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This becomes a particularly odd statistic when one considers that Americans are using less gasoline than it has at any time in the last fifteen years. Currently, we burn up 8 percent less gas than we did during the peak year of 2006 while most experts expect the trend to continue to where we will be using 20 percent less gasoline by 2030…
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While Wall Street’s ‘priority one’ is to make money, it is clear that, for this year, priority two is the destruction of Barack Obama’s presidency. Accordingly, from a Wall Street point of view, it certainly is a happy coincidence that that priority one, making big money on oil speculation, could directly lead to accomplishing their second highest mission. I am left to wonder whether this is a happy Wall Street coincidence or a clever strategy that could pay off big-time come November.
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Gasoline prices have a ‘real time’ impact on middle-class voters. Can you imagine a better way to make voters good and angry than to insure that they are paying five bucks a gallon for the gasoline that will be powering them to the voting booth in November? And if you subscribe to the theory that the President’s opponents would like to keep economic growth down until the election is over, what better way to accomplish such a goal than to force a precipitous rise in gas prices?…
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As a result of what is coming, it might be a good idea for the Obama Administration to start talking about the reasons for rising gas prices and I’d start talking about it now. This is one instance where silence is anything but golden and without a plausible explanation as to why the Administration is not responsible for what might be a dramatic rise in gas prices, it may be President Obama who is left holding the pump nozzle come December.

Of course, if the President does talk about “the reasons for rising gas prices“, he’ll be accused of both scare-mongering for electoral advantage and of depressing the vote for down-ticket Democrats by poor-mouthing what will be labelled as his administration’s failures. But if you believe that more information is always better, it’s another piece in the jigsaw puzzle…








Round and Round and Round We Go

Here we go again:

Rising gasoline prices, trumpeted in foot-tall numbers on street corners across the country, are causing concern among advisers to President Obama that a budding sense of economic optimism could be undermined just as he heads into the general election.

White House officials are preparing for Republicans to use consumer angst about the cost of oil and gas to condemn his energy programs and buttress their argument that his economic policies are not working.

In a closed-door meeting last week, Speaker John A. Boehner instructed fellow Republicans to embrace the gas-pump anger they find among their constituents when they return to their districts for the Presidents’ Day recess.

“This debate is a debate we want to have,” Mr. Boehner told his conference on Wednesday, according to a Republican aide who was present. “It was reported this week that we’ll soon see $4-a-gallon gas prices. Maybe higher. Certainly, this summer will see the highest gas prices in years. Your constituents saw those reports, and they’ll be talking about it.”

Seems like only yesterday:

Policy differences between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been far and few, but a new one emerged on Monday over a proposed gas tax holiday. Obama says he’s against while Clinton says she’s in favor, putting her on the same side as John McCain, who proposed such a holiday last week.

Gas prices could hit $4 this summer, raising the ire of voters and putting pressure on presidential candidates to promise immediate action.

Speaking on Larry King Live on Monday night, Clinton outlined a series of steps to address the issue at the beginning of the show, reflecting the growing importance of pocketbook concerns among voters. “I would also consider a gas tax holiday, if we could make up the lost revenues from the Highway Trust Fund,” she said, without specifying how to make up those lost revenues.

Earlier Monday at a community college in the Philadelphia suburbs, Obama rejected a tax holiday as bad economic policy. “I’ve said I think John McCain’s proposal for a three-month tax holiday is a bad idea,” Obama said, warning consumers that any price cut would be short lived before costs spike back.

“We’re talking about 5 percent of your total cost of gas that you suspend for three months, which might save you a few hundred bucks that then will spike right up,” Obama said. “Now keep in mind that it will save you that if Exxon Mobil doesn’t decide, ‘We’ll just tack on another 5 percent on the current cost.’”

I’m so glad to see this election cycle we’ll be covering all the previous election’s greatest hits: Iran, abortion, gas prices, immigrant bashing, gay bashing, and the Bush tax cuts. Just this morning Santorum rolled out the “Obama isn’t a real Christian” bullshit, so we’ve got that to look forward to again. Maybe we should be happy they threw in contraceptives so we could have some new material this election.

GAMETIME:

Who will be the first Republican to call for a national gas tax holiday? My guess- ROMNEY.

Who will be the first Democrat to trip over himself rushing to a microphone to undercut Obama and call for a gas tax holiday? My guess- MANCHIN.