Thursday, April 5, 2012

I'm Not Crafty Enough to Make This Graph Look Good: Put If You Click it, Looks Nice

The recent criticism du jour against Obama is how he's responsible for high gas prices. Such rants must be somewhat tempered with the fact that we've actually expanded domestic drilling operations over the past four years. Potential geopolitical instability is also insanely high right now (yes, moron, the futures market does impact current prices. Also, moron, the futures market is driven by what people think will happen in the future. Stop saying talk of war with Iran in the future doesn't impact oil prices, moron). So that has something to do with it. Let's look at a couple of other things. The first is that our oil reserves are pretty high right now, and much higher than we ever saw under Bush (to see a nifty, interactive version of the graph, click here!):
Oil refineries are sitting on a lot of petro right now, it's just not being turned into gas. That's one reason you're seeing record high gas prices even though the price per barrel isn't historically that bad: oil
is available. Gasoline is not.

Semi-related note: gasoline prices increase every Spring as refineries convert operations to blend a different fuel mix. Summer and Winter demand different fuel compositions. The price will usually stay high until after July 4. This happens every year. It's historical fact - look it up.

Another item to consider is that the economy has been doing well recently. This brings us to a supply and demand argument: when the economy went in the shitter, there was no demand and gas prices fell. We weren't building things, transporting things, visiting things, or otherwise engaging in activities that caused energy demand. Now we are. Simple economics tells us that this heightened demand will increase the price. Ergo, you can blame higher gas prices on the economy. You can even say that high gas prices are an economic indicator; a symbol of success.

This isn't a roundabout way of saying high gas prices are Obama's fault because he's helped the economy springboard and the trajectory of gas prices are a function of this springboarding. Obama doesn't really deserve that much credit for our economic improvement. But blaming him for current gas prices is stupid too. Moron.