High gas prices and getting higher. OPEC+ announced earlier this month that they are going to cut production. It’s hard to know exactly who to blame. Some say it is the result of inflation. Some say it is the result of government policy. Some say it is the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Some say it is just the oil companies jacking prices for profit. It obviously isn’t as simple as one of these things and trying to make it solely about one of them is foolish.
However, here in the the US, it has a lot to do with the fact that our government (the Biden administration) has chosen to take a route with energy policy that does’t keep access to oil easy or convenient. As such, the supply is always short in the US when we could actually be nearly oil independent. The administration refuses to allow more refineries, more drilling, and no new pipelines.
The Democrats believe higher energy prices will force Americans to finally get behind “clean” energy of wind and solar, the faster the better in their view. But they also see the peril in allowing prices to get too high, especially when it comes time to vote. Biden has been trying to keep prices low (very unsuccessfully) over the last couple months because of the looming mid-term elections. With an upcoming election and prices rising rapidly, the Biden administration is trying to put pressure on Saudi Arabia because the cost of fuel (well, the cost of everything really) will be weighing on the minds of Americans when they fill in their ballot. When Americans feel pain at the pump and in their wallet they tend to vote away from policies that made it them feel it.
As an example, I have three receipts less than a month apart. In that time span, the gas price as my local Costco (nearly always the cheapest price) has gone up $1.10/gal. That’s a lot of pain at the pump in less than a month. The worst part is that fuel prices are typically going down this time of year (after Labor Day) since the “driving season” is over and consumption/demand is lower.
Obviously, this is weighing on my mind. I make a pretty good income, but I am feeling the pinch. I can imagine how others who were already on tight budgets are feeling now. It’s a struggle and really hard choices are having to be made. I am sure the last thing they are thinking about is clean energy and long term policy. They (we) all want some relief.
Manipulating voters before an election is nothing new. Both parties do it. It’s irritating as hell that most people don’t see right through it. But, put a little money in the pockets of voters shortly before an election and they tend to forget the pain they felt for a short time while they vote. We’ve seen this fairly often too – and in a not so transparent move, California (the largest state, dominated by Democrats) is giving money back to voters just in time for elections. It apparently goes by many different names – “Middle Class Tax Refund”, “Inflation Relief Check”, “Gas Tax Refund” – but the goal is all the same, make sure voters try to forget their pain at the pump and other places for a short time. Also, just in time (not a coincident or a surprise), the president releases more oil from the strategic stock pile. Didn’t see that one coming…*sarcasm*
Anyone else tired of the garbage going on in DC, or their own state? Anyone else tired of the rich and elite manipulating the government for themselves?
The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production will make prices spike in the short term. How that ends up translating to prices at the pump remains to be seen, obviuosly. However, can we be confident that the OPEC+ members will actually abide by the agreement? Not really. Traditionally, they decide on a production cut and then one or more members decide that the price spike is too good to lower production so they keep producing at the current level to maximise profits during the price increase. Members always accuse other members of violating their agreement and everyone ends up producing just as much or more than previous levels to make up for lost ground in the market.
Ultimately, their announcement is market manipulation and likely won’t really happen. But, it also might be American election manipulation too. To say that oil producing countries are “pleased” with American Democrats and their progressive push towards climate alarmism would be more than a mis-statement. Another political party would be friendlier, in their opinion. This may be their actual goal, but time will tell.