American oil production is not the entire reason for lower gas prices, but it is one of the causes. Regardless of the price, America needs to be energy independent. Because the most practical energy in use right now is carbon based, we need to be carbon-based energy independent.
The CHART OF THE DAY shows an index tracking U.S. retail prices for seven foods commonly consumed while grilling climbed 5.1 percent in May from a year earlier to the highest ever for the month, the latest data from Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
Independence Day is the most popular time of the year for Americans to cook outdoors, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. The holiday falls on a Friday this year, increasing chances that revelers will keep celebrating into the weekend. Prices for ground beef are 16 percent higher than a year earlier, while ice cream climbed 1.7 percent and tomatoes soared 12 percent, government data show.
And finally, a chart at businessweek shows what happens when prices go up:
The American economy is not in recovery. The only reason the Stock Market is rising is because the government is subsidizing it. The Middle Class in America is being squeezed by a shrinking labor force and stagnant wages. We need to put more business men and less lawyers in Congress. Please remember that in November.
The only thing that lasts forever is a government program–whether it works or not. This weekend’s Wall Street Journal (no link–subscribers only) posted an article about the government’s Ethanol policies. The use of Ethanol is raising the price of gasoline at the pump and is partially responsible for the increase in gasoline prices this summer.
The article reports:
In 2007 the Bush Administration and Congress mandated how much ethanol the oil and gas industry must purchase each year to be blended into gasoline. This year it is 13.8 billion gallons. The quotas were established when Washington thought gas consumption would rise year after year, but instead it has fallen.
But even though the program does not fit the current scenario, the program continues. American motorists will not buy gasoline that is more than 10 percent Ethanol because it costs more and can be damaging to engines, but because of the purchase requirements set on the oil and gas industry by the government, we are approaching the point where the required Ethanol would result in more than 10 percent of gasoline consumption. Because of this refiners have to buy energy credits for the Ethanol they don’t use (sounds like Cap and Trade). The credits are called Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN). The cost of an RIN used to be less than 10 cents a gallon. It is now $1.40. This translates into roughly 10 cents a gallon for consumers. As a Senator, President Obama stated that high gasoline prices were not a bad thing. The fact that the government standards on Ethanol have not been adjusted or repealed helps keep those prices high.
The article also mentions:
But even environmentalists (including Al Gore) now concede that Ethanol probably increases carbon emissions.
If we are not helping the environment, why are we doing this?
Marty Lamb, a Massachusetts small business owner, posted an article at the Holliston-Hopkinton Patch yesterday about the coming hikes in the Massachusetts gasoline tax. The article was entitled, “To Infinity and Beyond” and stated the following:
The new normal is over $3.50 per gallon. This high price is stretching family budgets. Whether it is filling up at the pump or buying food trucked to the market, we are getting hit hard in the wallets.
The situation is going to get worse if Beacon Hill lawmakers have their way.
Right now, a committee consisting of 3 House and 3 Senate members are meeting to negotiate the differences between the two tax bills. It is not a matter if the gas tax is increasing it is a matter of how much and how often.
What do I mean?
If the tax package is signed into law the gas tax will be forever linked to inflation. It is the gas tax increase “to infinity and beyond.” In other words, there will be an automatic gas tax increase every year. And the legislature never has to vote to raise it again. How convenient. But for the rest of us, it means taxation without representation.
There is no need for higher taxes. This week’s report from the Auditor shows close to $100 million in fraud just within the Department of Transitional assistance (welfare). The crime lab scandal is costing us $332 million. Overall it is estimated $1.8 billion of waste.
I urge readers to call the State House (617-722-2000) and express their opinion on the gas tax. There is no need for the tax increase and it should not be automatic. Taxation without representation should not be tolerated.
If the bill being discussed is passed, the State of Massachusetts can automatically raise gasoline taxes without a vote by the legislature. Therefore, no one has to go on the record and be held accountable for the tax increase. This is a liberal lawmaker’s dream and a taxpayer’s nightmare.
Yesterday CNS News posted an article about the White House’s plan to end the tax breaks oil companies currently receive. Obviously, this will increase the tax burden on the oil companies. As I have previously stated–corporations don’t pay taxes–they simply pass them on to the consumer. Guess what? This is a recipe for even higher gas prices at the pump.
The article reports:
“From our perspective, it’s a fairness issue,” Zichal (Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change) said. “At a time when we’re making difficult decisions about the budget and where to make investments and where to cut, the fact that oil and gas companies are making record profits and at the same time getting $4 billion in subsidies annually, those subsidies should be repealed. The president has called for that, and I believe the Senate will be acting to vote on this as well.”
What about fairness to the consumers who need to gas to get to work?