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May 6th, 2008
10:42 AM ET

Rising Gas Prices: A perfect storm

Michael Klare is the author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy

Michael Klare is the author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy

Michael Klare
Professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College

It is natural to seek the culprits for today’s high oil prices so they can be roundly punished – and maybe, in the process, we can see some relief at the gas pump.

The big oil companies are obvious candidates, given the colossal profits they’ve been reporting over the past few days. On Thursday, Exxon Mobil posted first-quarter earnings of $10.9 billion, its highest ever except for the fourth quarter of 2007, when it raked in $11.7 billion. But while the oil giants are certainly amassing vast fortunes at our expense, the rise in gasoline prices is the product of many factors – some building for many years – not the greed of oil companies alone.

Two underlying conditions are at the root of our current dilemma: The worldwide demand for oil is skyrocketing at the precise moment when the global energy industry has hit a wall in its ability to grow supply.

For years, the global thirst for petroleum was largely driven by consumers in the United States, Europe, and Japan; but now, tens of millions of newly-affluent consumers in China, India, and other developing countries are buying automobiles, and this is pushing world oil demand to unprecedented levels. That wouldn’t be a problem if the world’s oil fields were pumping out sufficient additional crude to satisfy this increased demand – but that’s not happening. Rather, we are seeing a negligible increase in world oil output, and this is largely responsible for the rise in oil prices.

On top of this, many of the world’s leading oil producers are riven by ethnic and religious conflicts, are located in dangerous neighborhoods, or are ruled by corrupt and rapacious officials, thus causing production to fall below maximum attainable levels. In Nigeria, for example, a tenacious insurgency in the Niger Delta region (where most of the country’s oil production is concentrated) has forced foreign oil companies to suspend production on about half of total national output -– a major factor in the recent spike in world prices.

The rise in prices at the gas pump is thus the product of a perfect storm of deep-seated, systemic factors combined with day-to-day events like the insurgency in Nigeria. This suggests it cannot be fixed by band-aid measures like a temporary reduction in gasoline taxes or a suspension in additions to the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as suggested by numerous politicians.

Rather, it will take long-term efforts to reduce oil demand through improvements in fuel efficiency and public transportation, combined with the accelerated development of petroleum alternatives such as second-generation (non-edible) biofuels, liquids derived from coal, and hydrogen-powered fuel-cells.


Filed under: Michael Klare • Oil
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Anna Allen

    hybrid cars are energy efficient compared to diesel or gas powered cars.'-"

    July 23, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  2. james

    Obviously in order for the new technolgy that will give us much better mileage to kick into majority of US transportation will take very very very long time – perhaps at least 5-10 years. Does that mean we are going to passively watch the gas price climb up? How much more increase in fuel/food price can we tolerate? $4, $5, $6 ...?
    The short term solution is very obvious to me. Pump more gas right now. Petroleum is what US has in mass. In Venezuela, 1 gallon gas is 16 cents. We canreduce the fuel cost $2 ASAP. This will give a lot of breathing room to our ill-economy and perhaps gets us out of recession quickly.
    I agree that environment issue (makine world greener) is very important issue. We can slowly reduce the pumping of petroleum as the new technology matures and the demand for oil will slowly subside.
    The US economy is going to the toilet right now as we speak.
    We need to save this economy and there is something we can do right now: PUMP more OIL and reduce the gas price to $2/gallon and if we can reduce it more.

    May 7, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  3. Cindy, Cincinnati, OH

    Yes, many of you are right. We are a nation of sick, psycho, wasteful, spoiled-rotten, ADD-prone, selfish, greedy people. Shame on all of us. We have lost our collective soul(s) to the corporations who run our government through their evil lobbyists buying off our corrupt, selfish idiotic politicians. Good luck to all of us.

    May 7, 2008 at 1:32 pm |
  4. Claudia

    This is a good article for those that don't understand some of the conditions that spike oil prices which our country has no control over. This issue being used for political pandering is very dangerous for consumers if we don't have an alternative, which we don't at this time. There needs to be more media information about this to the public and maybe it would help people be more conservative on this issue, even though it is depresssing. Many don't remember the 70's when our country was affected by OPEC pricing and mom and pop gas stations were shut down. We got thru it then and we will get thru it now.

    May 7, 2008 at 11:45 am |
  5. Ruth

    It doesn't surprise me that Oil will look like going even higher. It would really be interesting to know who the investors on the "Stock market" are? Governments or Big business should give Tax rebates back to people who use their vehicles for employment reasons perhaps? How much of an impact is it on people who can afford the fuel? There has got to be better ways and alternatives to the ones that we currently have. Change is eminent, pay now or pay later.

    May 7, 2008 at 6:28 am |
  6. Jane, Detroit, MI

    Since most senior citizens don't drive, it's no wonder they didn't care about Hillary's stupid gas tax exemption, which is really McCain's. More of the same, Hillary? Stop copying John McCain, that's why you lost big time in North Carolina!

    May 7, 2008 at 3:37 am |
  7. Ellee

    I'll probably get stoned for saying this, but I think the high cost of gasoline is a GOOD THING, because NOW we ALL feel the absolute NEED to do something about it. As long as gas was inexpensive ,we had no qualms about buying the biggest, gas guzzling vehicles known to mankind, and didn't hesitate driving those babies two blocks to pick up milk. Gasoline has always been expensive in Europe, SO, what does common sense dictate? You walk; you take public transportation, and you bicycle everywhere. Does America do that? Absolutely not!

    Also, if we could make that extraordinary leap to get a man to the moon, certainly with the same drive, we can develop alternative, and renewable fuels sources. We just have to be convinced that it is in our best interest to achieve this, and I do believe we are almost
    there-another buck and a half at the fuel pump should just about do it.

    May 7, 2008 at 1:38 am |
  8. landon kelsey

    (1) John King (map guy) deserves mountains of praise! I am a software engineer/electrical engineer and I see great performance in John King!

    (2) the mayor of Hammond(?) who kept dropping political comments should be kept off CNN! He intimated that the vote in Gary was crooked!

    He was called down once about saying Obama was a weak candidate!

    Tell him to take his "sour grapes" back to Hammond!

    May 7, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  9. Kelvin Minneapolis,MN

    I understand the rising gas price dilemma, the home foreclosure crisis and the health care problem. Oil companies are greedy but which corporation isn't. We have two democratic candidates, one named Clinton who is a typical Washington politician who lies and promises the American people the moon and stars, but will do nothing when she gets elected. Obama, in my opinion, will bring back real prosperity and democracy to this country, with power in the hands of the people, real democracy. Everyone talks about the middle class, which is ok because i grew up middle class. But the facts remains that there are 39.5 million Americans living below the poverty line, including 12.9 million children. Who will be their voice? I've never heard the poor mentioned in any speech or on any of your polls. Obama is a real leader. Clinton is a good politician...

    May 7, 2008 at 12:12 am |
  10. Lauren Rogers, Wheeling WV

    I recently learned that back in 2000, the way crude oil is bought and sold was deregulated. Now, crude can be traded on futures shares, like pork bellies. And when did the price of gasoline begin to skyrocket? Back in 2000. So much for the old war theory, which, while having some affect, never really did explain why the first Persian Gulf War didn't raise the price of oil all that much. We are having world-wide food riots. When will the riots over the price of drinkable water start? Those evil humans who are currently malipulating oil prices are creating the stage for the next World War...which will NOT be confined to Europe and north Africa, nor even to the northern hemisphere–and there will be no "winners", not even amongst the wealthiest of the oil barons.

    May 6, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  11. John

    "can anyone really explain why the prices are going up so quickly?"

    Yep. Increased demand + decreased production + speculators = increased prices.

    Don't blame the oil companies and don't blame the President. They really had very little to do with it.

    BTW, based on my driving habits, a three month "tax holiday" on gas will save me a whopping $18 total.

    May 6, 2008 at 8:37 pm |
  12. xtina, chicago

    Some states take THREE TIMES what the fed. gov't takes in taxes on a gallon of gas. One way to lower the price (other than increasing our own supply with drilling off Fla. Calif, in the Dakotas and Alaska and through clean, safe nuclear technology) is to find leaders in your state to elect who believe gov't can make do with less just like the average person has to make do with less.

    May 6, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  13. Betty Ann

    Hi Michael,
    Gas prices make me sick. It's all political. We should have been way past the oil dependent stage by now. Somebody is getting rich offf us.
    As much as we have invested in Iraq, you would want to think that Americans could get a break on oil.
    The rich are getting richer and richer and the poor. . . .
    Everytine I go to the grocery prices are up, up, and away~~~
    I am beginning to get really ticked off.
    I believe that we should all protest.
    I plan on getting a bycycle and eating lots of rice and beans. Even that cost way too much.
    We have all been a project of our current administration to make them wealthy oil barrons.
    Haven't we all paid enough?
    You know here in Texas the rednecks always said that Texas should secede from the union and become the republic of Texas again.
    I always thought of that statement as being arrogant but now I believe that there may be something to that. Go Sam Houston.
    At least we have our own oil.
    I know it sounds ludicrous but there will have to be desperate measures from desperate people. Until then, gas will continue to eat our lunch so to speak.
    I hope as a nation of the free we don't wait too long to rise up~
    Thanks and peace~
    Betty Ann
    Nacogdoches,Tx

    May 6, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  14. Larry

    The gas tax break isn't meant to resolve anything. I don't know why anyone would suggest that it is. Imagine getting a xmas bonus at work, it certainly wouldn't pay off your debts; so should you say to your boss 'nah, I don't want it; the company can't afford it'

    May 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  15. Jay, Denver CO

    Do a series of investigative reports on big oil... I want to know all about who is making the money and all the 20 thousand dollar shower curtains they buy... I'm telling you... that series would be a winner!

    May 6, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  16. Karen, Silicon Valley, CA

    I'm not sure what I was more impressed with, this blog entry or the thoughtful comments written by its readers. Having a president in the oil and gas industry for the past 8 years has put us so far behind the 8 ball in terms of energy conservation. It's just not in George W Bush's personal financial interests!

    Remember how JFK inspired our country to put a man on the moon within 10 years? We did it! What we need is a president who sets lofty goals then puts thoughtful policy in place to help achieve them.

    Just think of the technological advances we as a nation could make with the right amount of inspiration and fiscal support from a strong leader. The time for change and inspiration is now.

    A three month break on gas taxes is like throwing yourself in front of a tidal wave to stop the flow. It might get Hillary votes, but it doesn't resolve a darned thing.

    May 6, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  17. alex espo

    I can not get over Senator Clinton and McCain's agreement with this Gas Tax holiday. Just what our country needs, less money. It's simple economics, the money spent today is just going to have to be paid back in some way in the near future. This isn't even a short-term solution, its a stupid political ploy to get elected. Senator Clinton's endoresment of this is outrageous and only helps her opponent, who is responsible and honest enough not to make such selfish decisions.

    May 6, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  18. Kim in NY

    so – let me get this straight - we outsource jobs so we can pay less for products, but put thousands out of work. The people we outsource to now have some money and then buy products (ie. automobiles) that Americans can no longer afford, nor can others afford any product made here because of tariffs. Then the demand for gas goes up but production does not. (Can't/won't outsource that – too much to be gained by big oil by not outsourcing) Now we can't even afford the "cheaper" products because it costs too much to ship the products from port to port and then to warehouse and then finally the store shelf.... Wouldn't it be beneficial to this country to start manufacturing our own goods once again. More jobs. Less fuel consumption shipping goods from place to place, and hopefully quality merchandise that will not poison our children, patients or pets.... I am no economist, but I am scared.

    May 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  19. Illinois

    Hillary's right, of course. The oil companies and anyone who's associated with them are likely guilty of manipulating the system in order to maximize profits for themselves....while the average american keeps on paying huge amounts of money at the pump. Not that the oil companies care, though. And neither do the people who don't have to worry how much money it costs to fill their tanks.

    We need to go after these companies that are heavily increasing their prices for gas to stop the price-gouging that's going on right now. It won't stop until they are forced to stop.

    I don't see Obama coming up with any sensible alternative to provide some relief....ANY relief...for working class families. All he does is spout off that it's not a good idea, but offers no concrete way of fixing it. As usual, he'll follow Hillary's recommendations on what to do about the problem. Hillary plans to actually do something to the oil companies that engage in price-gouging and while that will be an uphill battle, it's worth the fight. Otherwise we'll be paying $8/gallon some point soon. At some point we have to stand up to them and say ENOUGH!!

    May 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  20. Ayesha Hasan

    I am not the least bit impressed by Clinton's short term solution to the rising oil prices.I think what the American people need is an honest long term solution. I am not sure what that is, but I think that a person like Barack Obama would be the best person to steer them toward a direction that is both reasonable and fair.

    May 6, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  21. Jon

    What will be the end? At this point the price per gallon rises and your wages fall as the cost of groceries rise and the building materials go up in cost and people losing their jobs due to the increase in fuel prices, where is the end? You can’t afford to travel so you have to stay home to save money to put in your gas tank to go to your job that pays you almost nothing. It is very sad to see and watch the rippling affects of what is happing here and you really wonder who is behind all of this, is it the big oil companies? Or is it our government paying for a war that we really don’t have any business being there in the first place? It really does not make any difference who the puppet is that will win the seat in office this is not going to get any better any time soon the only thing we could hope for is some kind of change and that would be? Who knows. I can only do what I can do drive smarter conserve on what I can and see where it takes me. Who knows maybe one of the new idiots will push the big red button and we won’t have to worry about this for another ten thousand years and then maybe those people will have a better plan.

    May 6, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Michael, Canada

    Anderson,

    As a consultant in alternative fuels and technologies, the writing has been on the wall about a growing global energy crisis for the past twenty five years. North Americans have been spoiled with low energy and fuel prices. The Europeans have spearheaded initiatives for alternative energy for over ten years to combat rising energy prices that are least double those here in North America. Many businessmen that I have worked with over the past 25 years have only given lip service to supporting technology transfer opportunities to North America. Only until we experience the pain of higher energy prices will we start to act on alternative energy opportunities that have been available for many years.

    And please do not consider corn-grown ethanol as an alternative fuel. Take a close look at the cost for growing, harvesting and converting corn into ethanol. Without subsidies, it doesn't make economic sense. And besides, can you you put 25+%ethanol fuel into a vehicle without reconfiguring the engine and exhaust systems?

    I predict (although I hope it never happens) that the next major war will be between China and the US for control of the Middle East oil.

    May 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  23. Monika

    Well, I would like to mention something that nobody ever talks about: CONSERVATION. Americans have been wasting energy for as long as there has been energy. And everything else for that matter. I can see it every day. If people in this country would only consume what is absolutely necessary, we would have a much different picture. But everywhere I look, there is waste, waste, and more waste. Whether
    it’s parents chauffeuring their kids around all day instead of letting them walk or ride their bike, people letting their car engines run for hours when they visit somebody, 2 people living in 3,000 or 5,000 square feet or bigger houses, leaving all the lights on when they’re all in one room, leaving TVs, radios, and other appliances on day and night..... the list is endless. And that’s just in the country where I live. I can’t even imagine the waste that goes on in the big cities.

    And I am not only talking about fuel, I am also talking about water and electricity (which is usually generated by coal, another source of energy).

    I don’t know where that waste mentality comes from but it’s exclusively found in this country. xtina’s way of thinking in her earlier comment is a perfect example. Just because you CAN AFFORD to waste, doesn't mean that you HAVE TO! The most painless answer is CONSERVATION, not finding more resources. All of those natural resources (water, oil, coal, gas) are NON-RENEWABLE which means, when they’re gone, they’re gone. Whether we use them all up today, in 20 years, in 100 years etc., they will be used up, and then what??? And the more we waste today, the faster they’ll be used up.

    Despite alleged shortages or cutbacks in oil production and increased demand, I still don’t understand why the oil companies have to make quarterly profits in the tens of billions, while the little people are struggling to put food on the table or heat their modest homes. What exactly are they doing with all that money? How about the government of “we, the people” forcing them to invest it in alternative energies that actually work?

    May 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  24. Rob

    can anyone really explain why the prices are going up so quickly? is it a coincedence that the oil companies make record profits every quarter? isn't this just bare faced gouging? hmmm is it a coincedence that oil prices started their climb the same time as Bush/Cheney went into Iraq? or that Bush/Cheney are connected to big oil? Am I the only one capable of this math?

    May 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  25. reed feldman

    big oil does pay lots of taxes, but they also got an 18 billion dollar tax break. if they wanted to earn some goodwill they would donate 1 or 2 billion dollars we let them keep to the war effort. what happened to war bonds? I am only 23 but I know increasing money availability while climbing prices occur only causes rapid inflation while we spend billions in iraq.

    May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  26. kevin lynch

    This govt needs to unleash our national reserves completely!!! Flood the market with our reserves.
    Bush then needs to pull tankers up to IRAQ and take the oil to make up for our expense to fund the war and to stabilize their economy!!
    Refill our reserves with Iraq oil asap. Do this as a national emergency act. Young Americans died in Iraq, we need to replenish our national treasures by taking the oil to fill our reserves!!

    May 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  27. Tina

    Oh, I know what I was going to say... I feel so bad for talking my Dad out of staying in the stock market with Exxon. They would have made so much money already. My mom brings this up often. I see it a change coming though. I don't know. I really don't.

    May 6, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  28. kevin lynch

    American oil companies could run even,paying their pay roll. They could do this for two years and never see the difference. These people have hundreds of millions in personal savings! Their lives will not see any change!!
    As a matter of national security why cant they run a budget that would benefit America and its strength.
    Thgese people are filthy rich!! They raise prices to gouge!!!! Let their oil sit there cut back on personal consumption. Buy mopeds!!!
    These people are snakes, they would sell their own mothers for profit!!!
    Companies like NIKE, did simuliar things. They made it into billions in profit , operating in America!! Then they decided to exploit labor and leave the US where Americans bought their products.
    The govt needs to look at these companies as terrorist! They need to boycott their products from entering into the US if they leave heresuccessful jsut to exploit labor!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  29. Christine

    @ Gary in Canada – I am neither uneducated, unskilled nor an "old" Catholic, and I wouldn't vote for Obama if he were running alone. He can not and will not change anything – he is too "unskilled" to run MY country.

    As a trucking company owner – I could use a "tax holiday" while the government works on a solution.

    May 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  30. kevin lynch

    The congress needs to deam these American oil companies as threats to our national security! They are acting like terrorist.
    Americans need to never buy gas from exon or mobil or any big name company, buy from the no names for cheaper.
    These oil companies are gouging big time!! This is coming from the sharks on wall street also!
    It is like when companies like NIKE who made fortunes in the US and then decided to move out of the US. The American government needs to boycott all materials from entering into our market when an American successs story makes it in America and decidesd to move out exploiting labor!!!!!!

    May 6, 2008 at 12:53 pm |
  31. Susan

    Michael:

    It has become a national security issue in the United States that we become dependent on ourselves for our own energy. The Artic National Wildlife Refuge ( ANWR ) is the largest oil field in North America. Surveys have estimated that there are significant deposits of crude oil in this area, but drilling there is very controversial. Many of us American's are concerned about our environment, but maybe in light of this global oil crisis we should do some re-thinking for the long term. The Gulf Coast area has also proved to have significant deposits, but again it is controversial. Do we want to be at the mercy of unstable and corrupt governments for the energy that runs our whole economy?

    We have also not built one refinery or nuclear power plant in many, many years. Another controversy!!!!! What do we want?????

    RE: BIG OIL-- Only makes .8 cents per gallon profit on gasoline. It carries the burden for obtaining, refining and distribution. Very capital and labor intensive
    RE: FED GOV"T-- Makes .18 cents per gallon on gasoline for doing nothing.
    RE: THE STATES- Depending on your state, they also take their cut for doing nothing.
    Who looks like they make the most money on a gallon of gasoline?????

    Oil is an international currency. It is also a commodity. Wall Street speculators play their own role in the manipulation of the prices

    Just some of my rambling thoughts. Thanks for the great post.

    Susan
    Phoenixville,PA

    May 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  32. Renee

    Like xtina said we are not a Communist country so we need to grow and expand our minds and our hearts and give up on this NIMBY philosophy. We need leadership on energy! I'll let the Rockerfellers gang up on Exxon Mobil. Good for them!

    Like John said we need to quit blaming. Let's start finding better solutions. Trust me when I say I would rather see windmill ads on the stations than ads for drug companies.

    We need to expand our oil production to include FL and LA and start drilling offshore. I mean how far can the naked eye see? Even in a 50 floor condo/coop the naked eye can only see about 5 miles off shore.

    Next we need to expand wind and solar technologies. I would love to have a windmill in my yard just like they have in Europe. I would love to have affordable solar that heats more than my swimming pool and while I will continue and want to invest in these technologies they are not readily available or affordable.

    I think now I can find a solar hot water heater but what about solar electricity for my house. The investment cost would be about $40,000 to heat and cool a home. My breakeven on that investment is about 8.5 years. That is a big investment. There has to be a better way.

    What are the best and brightest scirentists working on? What about Congress, are they setting up federal affordable loan programs for start up "green" businesses? What about better tax credits for homeowners who install updated technologies? Better windows, better doors, more solar, better AC's and tankless solar hot water systems. Have you seen the DOE tax credits? They are a start but what about an expansion of that plan for homeowners? Where is Congress? Drew Griffin, can't you try to keep Congress honest about energy? I think Drew and Joe Johns are the only ones checking on Congress! Thank you gentlemen.

    If anyone knows a better way on how to heat and cool my home, I am all ears!

    May 6, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  33. Marc in Canada

    Many of the same people that are complaining about high gas prices are the ones driving gas guzzling SUV's or trucks. Many of the complainers are the same drivers that refuse to change their driving habits and slow down on the highway.

    Did you know you could save 2 gallons of gas during a 2 hour drive by slowing down from 70 mph to 60 mph?

    If everyone did that and more of us purchased fuel efficient vehicles we would change the dynamics of supply and demand.

    May 6, 2008 at 12:46 pm |
  34. Jessica

    What about the auto makers? Every car they produce should be getting good gas mileage.

    May 6, 2008 at 12:37 pm |
  35. Larry

    Instead of talking about how much big oil profits in terms of $$ a real look will show you that their profits are a little bit over 8%, which is not all that much compared to any other industry. big oil pays billions in taxes.

    May 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  36. Gary Chandler in Canada

    as second-generation (non-edible) biofuels, <<< The whole world has to understand this point! I know what you mean by (non-edible), but what is second-generation?
    Does this take into account the destruction of the the environment by a race to grow first-generation (non-edible) crops, like Palm plantations in Asia? I think this is wnat you mean.

    May 6, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  37. John

    I have been warning people about this for several years now. International demand keeps increasing in huge leaps while production is down due to natural disasters, conflicts, etc. In simple terms, it is a seller's market meaning prices are increasing.

    The US has long enjoyed lower prices than the majority of other countries and we have gotten spoiled, driving around our gas guzzling SUVs when a small sedan would do (most of the time SUVs are driven without any passangers and without large cargo).

    Americans need to quit blaming the oil companies and start blaming themselves.

    May 6, 2008 at 11:42 am |
  38. Gary Chandler in Canada

    I have no doubt that Obama will attempt to keep his promises. However the oil Lobby is so entrenched, even the president of the USA will not have the power to make fuel supply a 'service' industry. He will need YOUR help.
    Get this the oil propoganda machine is already accusing him of threatening domestic oil exploration because of his plans to curtail their outrageous profits. (Yes they have a room full of paid preofessionals to come up with these ideas.)
    Notice how they are not attacking Clinton on her plan to make the oil companies pay for any tax holiday. Wouldn't that make her just as unpatriotic in the effort to curtail foreign dependency?
    (Attack oil profits and you attack America!?) what a joke!
    The oil companies will not attack someone who is in their hip pocket.
    (It's a wonderful thing that that the super delegates are not in the demographic of the uneducated, the unskilled and old Catholics. Unfortunately for her, they more in the demographic of Obama's supporters; people who can see the whole picture through myths and smoke screens.)

    May 6, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  39. Cindy

    I think the gas price dilemma will continue to get worse because like was stated in the post the demand is beginning to out way the supply. We have to come up with better fuels to run our cars with besides gas. But the product has to be so abundant that the supply will always be there. The things already being tossed around aren't really that great. The cost to produce them would make the cost for that fuel to be high also. So we still would have a problem.

    But in he meantime I am all for getting a break on gas tax. Any money I can save is great to me! But I know it is a very short term solution that really won't help anything. And really we all know that the gas companies will stick the cost of the taxes back in somewhere so we will still be paying for it regardless.

    May 6, 2008 at 11:32 am |
  40. xtina, chicago

    We can affect the price of oil by increasing our supply, and we need to vote for leaders who will make this happen. Off the coast of Fla., in the Dakotas and in Alaska we can and should increase our own oil production to lower our dependency on foreign oil. The price will go down when we increase our supply. We also need leaders who want more nuclear technology. It wouldn't hurt for car co's to make more fuel – efficient cars but I don't like the fed. gov't having that much power to force them. People who want Escalades should be free to have them; after all, this isn't a communist country.

    May 6, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  41. Amber

    What about the fact that rising gas costs cross into other economic areas? Agriculture for one. Doesn't this attribute to some level on food problems? If it costs more to run the machinery to grow food, trucks pick it up, and stores to get it shipped to them then the price of food will rise as well. Milk? Eggs? Used to be a dozen eggs cost under $1 now it's more like $2?
    Hybrid cars and alternative energy programs for vehicles is a great idea but what about other types of vehicles like farm machinery?
    I hear nothing about that.

    May 6, 2008 at 11:06 am |
  42. Anthony

    I am so exhausted with Hiilary Clinton and her aspirin politics. I don't have a financial headache I have a full blown economic aneurysm. This gas tax she and others are trumpeting is a joke, chump change instead of true change. Freeze the gas tax all they want the super market prices wont drop bread and milk will remain the same. They will not take a break. Prices are climbing wages are stagnate and the political shell game continues but as you watch the movement on the table just know that Hillary is palming the pea .

    May 6, 2008 at 11:02 am |