Fueling the spin on gas

Media try to distract public from the reality of rising prices

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So, gas prices are up and headed way up, according to experts. What do you suppose was Good Morning America’s take on the subject?

That middle- and lower-income Americans will be hurt most?

That it will cause all kinds of businesses problems, and perhaps jobs, as Americans siphon money from other things?

That President Obama, like all presidents at time of high gas prices, has a problem?

Nope. Show host and former Bill Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos grumbled this week that “This is something (Republicans) think they can exploit.”

Really? That’s the important point?

So, immediately, he’s going to the political angle – and cynically suggesting the GOP will “exploit” the issue. Never mind the pain the high prices will cause the nation’s most vulnerable.

Once a political operative, always a political operative.

Rather than wondering, like someone who has a personal stake in the politics of it, “What, if anything, can the White House do about” the issue, wouldn’t a more objective talk-show host note that this president and his men actually have pined for high gas prices all along?

First, consider how high gas prices were “exploited” by Democrats – who were cheered on by the media – under President George W. Bush.

“What do you say to people who are losing patience with gas prices at $3 a gallon?” one reporter asked Bush.

“Drivers are paying a heavy price for the Bush administration’s failure to enact a comprehensive energy strategy,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in 2007.

Barack Obama, himself, felt your pain – at least when someone else was responsible for it: “I know how bad people are hurting,” he said as a candidate in 2008.

Last year, he was visibly less sympathetic, laughing off the cost of gas by suggesting you trade in your car to avoid them.

It’s interesting how the media focused on the White House before, but seem to go out of their way to protect Mr. Obama as president. Consider: The Associated Press story containing his sarcastic trade-in remark to the car owner was later edited out. Why? One newscaster even called high gas prices a “blessing in disguise” that created jobs. CBS’ Harry Smith once explained, helpfully, “why gas prices, even at over $4 a gallon, can sometimes be a good thing.”

A senior writer at Time magazine argued that higher prices were saving lives – she even knew how many: 2,220 – due to reduced “particles” in the air.

Prices certainly fluctuate – but apparently not as much as the media’s view of them, depending on which party’s in the White House. Even Russian newscasters would be embarrassed by these attempts to excuse the current head of state.

But it could be argued that high gas prices aren’t just an accident under this president. They’re a policy – helped along by his blocking of oil drilling and his recent veto of a pipeline project. Asked directly once if high gas prices can help us, Mr. Obama didn’t disagree – only lamenting that “I would’ve preferred a more gradual adjustment.”

His secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, told The Wall Street Journal in September 2008, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Website Politico.com writes, “In a follow-up article, ABC News interviewed a scientist who had worked with Chu, Lee Schipper, who estimated that European gas prices were at about $7 to $9 per gallon.”

So who’s exploiting the price again?

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faithson
4606
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faithson 02/23/12 - 12:37 am
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6
gotta love the 'simplicity'

gotta love the 'simplicity' with which the Chronicle explains things... no 'detail' of what is going on... just a partisan explanation to keep the troops informed. Such poor, poor journalism.

specsta
6046
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specsta 02/23/12 - 02:02 am
5
7
Most newspaper articles and

Most newspaper articles and editorial comments are written very simplistically, basically at a 6th-grade readability level. Most average-to-mediocre newspapers do this; however, the Chronicle embraces this particular formula of writing quite emphatically.

Jon Lester
2261
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Jon Lester 02/23/12 - 03:45 am
3
4
Well, if you really want to

Well, if you really want to put your money where your mouth is, how about speaking out against Israeli (and oil speculator) manipulation of the whole Iran thing? We have GOP candidates essentially promising to wreck the economy (and what precious little is left of American moral authority) by attacking Iran, and only a fool would think there could possibly be any other consequence.

avidreader
2933
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avidreader 02/23/12 - 07:24 am
5
0
Paying four bucks per gallon

Paying four bucks per gallon doesn't bother me; I drive a fuel-efficient Honda. What does bother me is the price that the eighteen-wheelers have to pay to deliver groceries to Publix, Kroger, and Bi-Lo. There's the old joke about what flows downhill. The general public ends up losing the price battle at the pump and at the checkout counter.

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 07:33 am
6
3
You got to love the

You got to love the simplicity of Democrats. If gas prices rise during a Republican administration it is the President's fault, after all they are the party of big oil and the President is hurting the little people in favor of big oil. If gas prices rise during a Democratic administration, why they just can't help it but we will still blame the Republicans! Truth is we are now part of a world market and regardless of who holds office world affairs affect gas prices. HOW EVER this current administration has done NOTHING to help stabilize the American oil industry. This administration LIED about the finding of scientists after the Gulf oil spill. This administration has done nothing to enhance oil exploration in America. The EPA has made every effort to block oil, coal and natural gas production in America under Obama. Obama admitted he would bankrupt coal fired plants in being built in America and The Secretary of Energy wanting higher gas prices has been documented in this editorial. Save me the apologies for Obama , high gas prices is part of his "green energy" dream on which he has wasted billions upon billions of tax payers’ dollars propping up companies that ultimately failed!

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 03:19 pm
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2
Then we have the great

Then we have the great Keystone Pipline project that would have brought a steady supply of oil to the US and given America thousands of jobs. Here is the Key Stone Pipeline explanation given by Obama's press secratery, Jay Carney, it is worthy of a comedy routine like "Who's on First". http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/02/21/carney_obama_didnt_tur... Funny that I haven't seen much play of this on TV news or in the press!

Swampman
46
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Swampman 02/23/12 - 08:49 am
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Another day, another

Another day, another anti-Obama screed from the editorial staff...gotta love their indignation at Republicans being called out for politically exploiting high gas prices. As if...

Carcraft, I work with a bunch of those scientists who've worked the Gulf oil spill. While some have expressed the usual frustrations about funding priorities and dubious decisions on the part of some state (not so much federal) officials, I have yet to hear anything about any Obama administration LIES. And I know for a fact that EPA has certainly NOT "made every effort to block oil, coal and natural gas production". Indeed, the Obama administration has actively pushed to streamline permitting and inspection procedures.

I own shares in Texas oil and gas wells, one of which just went online last week, so I'm not just pulling my information out of the Fox-polluted air. The American oil industry is rolling right along, thank you, and certainly does not require any stabilization by the federal government. Taken a look at the bottom line of any quarterly reports lately?

david jennings
547
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david jennings 02/23/12 - 08:49 am
2
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I to believe "green energy"

I to believe "green energy" is playing a big part.

Swampman
46
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Swampman 02/23/12 - 08:57 am
2
5
Ah, yes, the Keystone

Ah, yes, the Keystone project...the Republicans effort to shove that one into immediate production without the environmental review required by law and demanded by the state officials along its route was perhaps the most ham-handed, meat-headed political ploy we've witnessed in a long time.

But nevermind the dubious merits, questionable routing, and grossly distorted job claims on the part of its boosters - what President Obama rejected was the forced timeline. It is generally acknowledged that when some of the technical problems are ameliorated, the project will probably go forward.

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 09:02 am
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carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 09:15 am
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Swampman- Perhaps Obama could

Swampman- Perhaps Obama could have invested money in oil produciton in the US with an agreement to stabalize gas prices from oil companies instead of investing billions of dollars in hare brained schemes like Solyndra and Ener1. As you are probably aware there are billions of barrels of oil in the Bakkan Field ( http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/04/news/economy/oil_shale_bakken/index.htm) here in the US. Does Obama seem interested? Well according to Ham , one of the countries top oil producers NO! http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297020422620457660252402393243...

Swampman
46
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Swampman 02/23/12 - 09:25 am
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3
Seriously, Carcraft? You trot

Seriously, Carcraft? You trot out an editorial from an obviously partisan blog ("everyone has one" indeed!) - a piece written during the fiasco that elevates a disagreement among technical panelists to the level of dark conspiracy - and offer that as evidence of administration perfidy?

Allow me to offer a much more reasonable conclusion: while oil was still actively spewing into the Gulf from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the administration chose to err on the side of caution and went with the broader moratorium. Then, when they got the mess capped, President Obama directed that the moratorium be reduced and targeted in, well, exactly the way the complaining panelists had recommended.

I'd call that "prudence".

Swampman
46
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Swampman 02/23/12 - 09:40 am
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4
Look, I do understand that

Look, I do understand that the last two Republican administrations and pretty much the entire Republican congressional delegations from the Mountain West and Alaska are absolutely in thrall (that's putting it nicely) to resource extractive industry in general and oil and gas in particular. If your idea of sound energy policy is to shut out any representation other than industry and have oil executives write it...if you think energy conservation is a "personal choice, not a policy"...and if you are unwilling to acknowledge that the vagaries of global "free trade" policies puts American green energy startups at a distinct competitive disadvantage against, say, China...then it is going to be really hard to have a productive conversation about the relative merits of different energy strategies.

One thing is for certain - the energy industry is well aware that "green energy" is where the future profits are (notwithstanding contemporary setbacks) and that we are already in a transitional period in the history of energy technology. "Drill, baby, drill" may make good political fodder for pinheads like Sarah Palin, but it is not energy policy.

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 10:27 am
2
1
Ah the old ad hominem attack.

Ah the old ad hominem attack. The original article was from the Time Picayune in Louisiana. Maybe you should have read it. There are other links to the same information about Obama lying when the oil drilling moratorium was implemented. I think wasting billions of dollars and bankruptcies are more than a little setback for Obama's green energy. Besides Obama's green energy programs gave money to Obama million and billionaire campaign donors. Green energy does indeed have a lot of problems and is just not yet ready for prime time. Germany has back off some of its green energy programs because of the cost. I never said to shut out other sources. We just can't depend on "other sources" yet. But Cho and Obama seem to think that proven technology should be shoveled in the waste basket in favor of pie in the sky hopeful fingers crossed it is going to work BS. Let’s go ahead and bet on Obama’s “green energy" B.S. While India, China, etc. consume oil and gas and keep taking American jobs etc. with reliable energy sources. Meanwhile America will buy the solar panels and windmills from China like Solyndra did just before it went bust.

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 10:32 am
2
1
Yes lets bring Palin into

Yes lets bring Palin into this. She actually sat on the Natural Resource board for Alaska and understands more aboout energy production than Obama ever did! Producing our own energy resources is preferable to driving up gas prices (as Obama's energy Secretary has purposed and the Lame stream media supports). Increasing energy costs is going to drive up the cost of food production, construction, and just about every consummer product you buy. I cited Hamm in the Wall Street Journal article that Obama isn't interested in American energy production. It is clear from Solyndra, Fisker Motors, Ener1, and a multitude more that Obama's green energy programs haven't delivered. Gee maybe if we just wasted more money it would work...

twolane
191
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twolane 02/23/12 - 10:45 am
0
0
its like this if you go to
Unpublished

its like this if you go to starbucks and buy that crazy priced coffee you do not have any thing to complain about when it comes to gas PERIOD......you move a two ton object down the road for 4 dollars a gallon thats not too bad..also you never need a tahoe if you only have one kid you dont need an f250 if you never tow anything

twolane
191
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twolane 02/23/12 - 10:46 am
0
0
and i drive a sentra 40 miles
Unpublished

and i drive a sentra 40 miles to the gallon so i have no worries

twolane
191
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twolane 02/23/12 - 10:48 am
0
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and tell me this obama puts a
Unpublished

and tell me this obama puts a hold on us drilling for oil but yets strokes a check to other countries to drill oil in our waters seriously

dichotomy
29796
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dichotomy 02/23/12 - 11:40 am
4
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Usually these price spikes

Usually these price spikes are due to the way commodities are traded. The futures market is great for speculators and really bad for consumers. The only way to reduce wild speculation in the futures market is to ensure a stable, adequate supply of the commodity. The Keystone pipeline and opening ANWR would have gone a long way toward that objective. Yes, we would still be subject to the global market but, since we use the most oil, a stable supply for this country would help calm the speculation in the futures market due to perceived possible shortages due to possible geopolitical disruptions.

There are some other common sense things that could be done, some that would have an immediate impact on the price of gasoline. We could drop the price of gas by $1 a gallon almost immediately by standardizing on one blend of gasoline nationwide. The 30 blends of gasoline is one of the dumbest things we do. It's crazy, it's of very little benefit, and it's very expensive for the refiners. Building a few more modern refineries would have an impact. And putting a clause into drilling lease agreements that any oil pumped from US public lands has to be processed and the final product sold in US markets would, at least, be a positive psychological move too.

This is not all Obama's fault, but he and the Democrats have made intentional decisions that have made things much worse. Their agenda is to push you to alternative energy sources today but unfortunately the alternatives are not there in a working, cost effective form yet. There are things that could be done today that would reduce the price of gasoline but we, WE VOTERS, have to send a message to our politicians that slaps them up side the head and gets their attention. Changing the laws to allow one blend, opening ANWR, and approving Keystone are all common sense, NO COST things that could stabilize and yes, even reduce the price of gasoline at the pump. Why would this administration not do them unless their left wing agenda is to actually drive the price of gasoline up.....which it is. Mandating a single blend of gasoline nationwide would reduce the price of gasoline immediately. Call your politicians and make them do what YOU want.....for once. We will thump the Republicans on the head for ANWR and Keystone next year.

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 02:08 pm
1
1
Swampman- If you stablized

Swampman- If you stablized gas and oil prices for a period and business could have a fixed expendature for energy they could budget the cost better and it would provide stability. Instead Obama has wasted billions up on billions of dollars training people for "green energy" jobs that don't exist, on companies that hopled they could make it instead of having a sound business ( please see Fisker Motors and Solyndra for poster children). Obama is so idiologically driven that he can see nothing but his pie in the sky "green energy" programs. I really don't know why Fox News was mentioned (maybe fox derangement syndrome) I never once referanced them, sorta like Palin. Talk about things that get into a liberals head with no way out!!

scgator
1042
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scgator 02/23/12 - 02:08 pm
0
0
Mandating a single blend of

Mandating a single blend of gasoline nationwide would reduce the price of gasoline immediately.

There is only one blend now; additives are added at fuel delivery when the gas is to be delivered. It's kind of like adding fuel injector cleaner to your car at fill up, only on a larger scale. The distributors only get one blend then add to it once it is pumped to their storage in order to change the octane rating. FYI: did you know you can go to the "hot rod" shops and buy a bottle of octane booster and every time you fill up with the "cheap" gas add about an ounce to your tank and you will get a better octane boost than buying the "premium" stuff. a bottle costs around 10 bucks....your savings...about $.30 a gallon.

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 02:09 pm
2
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Dichotomy- Yoour point about

Dichotomy- Yoour point about selling in America at fixed price for a period of time in exchange for Government support of oil developement was the point I was trying to make, you did much better than I did!

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/23/12 - 02:15 pm
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Swampman -Here is an article

Swampman -Here is an article from Fox News about how the Obama administration altered the panel recomendation after the spill! http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/10/experts-say-obama-misrepresen... It was NOT a disagreement among experts. I could have cited the Wall Street Journal but I wanted to feed the Fox Derangement Syndrome!

class1
297
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class1 02/23/12 - 07:44 pm
2
0
If this happened during the

If this happened during the Bush administration, everyone was blaming Bush, I don't see the media or anyone blaming Obama!

carcraft
23676
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carcraft 02/24/12 - 07:03 am
0
0
Class1- Not if when it

Class1- Not if when it happened during the Bush administration everybody (even Obama) blamed Bush! Last night I watched George Step a something or other awfulus DEFEND Obama, LOL

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 02/24/12 - 07:33 am
0
0
Many Bush opponents blamed

Many Bush opponents blamed Bush for the spike in gas prices during his administration; that’s a fact. So now it’s Obama’s turn.

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