timschochet

Obama: Anyone who says we can lower gas prices by more drilling

335 posts in this topic

Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

I dont think his approval rating has anything to do with him being re-elected due to the outstanding set of candidates the GOP have offered up.
Romney's good enough to win. If 5% switch, that's a 10% swing. That puts Romney in the lead. A more realistic scenario is Obama loses 10% support and falls into the 30% range. Romney is up big at that point.
As it stands now with unemployment improving, the stock market going nuts etc, I dont see Romney beating Obama.
5% switching their vote to Romney because of oil prices is a very low bar. Its very easy to do. Its probably going to be more than 5%.
You seem to be forgetting a few other factors here. Romney is not going to be able to run to the middle or he will lose even more GOP support. If he doesn't run to the middle he will lose even more independent support. And he will get no Democratic support either way. This isn't going to be decided by the price of gas IMO.
I think this election will be referendum on Obama not Romney.
I think you are sorely mistaken. But if it is the price of oil isn't going to be the decision maker. The American people don't really believe a president holds that much sway on the issue and by election day they will have had business interests like Goldman telling them evil rich speculators are driving the prices and since it was the GOP that made sure those markets weren't regulated it will play right into Obama's messaging.

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Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

So the electorate is going to judge that the guy who wants to be extremely aggressive with countries in the Middle East will bring down gas prices? OK.
I don't think its that complicated. I think a small percentage of the electorate will be unhappy at the price of gas and vote out incumbents. And that's all its gonna take to get Romney elected.
It isn't complicated, just kinda senseless. I don't see independents becoming single issue voters and deciding to vote for the guy who wants to wage war preemptively with Iran as a way to bring down gas prices.

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I'll answer your question- oil production hasn't nearly quadrupled under their watch, not even close.

I saw that figure reported on CNN. Do you have information which suggests otherwise?
Try googling US Oil production by year. Or, use common sense- does it sound right to you that we've quadrupled the amount of oil produced in just 3 years?
You're correct. My mistake- what I meant to write was that the number of drilling rigs has nearly quadrupled since Obama took over.

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Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

So the electorate is going to judge that the guy who wants to be extremely aggressive with countries in the Middle East will bring down gas prices? OK.
I don't think its that complicated. I think a small percentage of the electorate will be unhappy at the price of gas and vote out incumbents. And that's all its gonna take to get Romney elected.
It isn't complicated, just kinda senseless. I don't see independents becoming single issue voters and deciding to vote for the guy who wants to wage war preemptively with Iran as a way to bring down gas prices.
Not to mention that Romney's current favorability numbers sit at 27% with the general electorate.

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Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

So the electorate is going to judge that the guy who wants to be extremely aggressive with countries in the Middle East will bring down gas prices? OK.
I don't think its that complicated. I think a small percentage of the electorate will be unhappy at the price of gas and vote out incumbents. And that's all its gonna take to get Romney elected.
It isn't complicated, just kinda senseless. I don't see independents becoming single issue voters and deciding to vote for the guy who wants to wage war preemptively with Iran as a way to bring down gas prices.
I think he's on target. Obama v. Romney will likely be a very close election. If, between now and then, the price of oil increases and we're paying $5 a gallon at the pump, the economy will slow down even more, making this recovery we're in right now dry up, and putting the economy back on the table as a big issue against Obama. Yeah, the president doesn't have much(any) control over the price of oil, but that'll lead to more economic slowdown which is bad for the incumbent president, especially if unemployment follows it.

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Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

So the electorate is going to judge that the guy who wants to be extremely aggressive with countries in the Middle East will bring down gas prices? OK.
I don't think its that complicated. I think a small percentage of the electorate will be unhappy at the price of gas and vote out incumbents. And that's all its gonna take to get Romney elected.
It isn't complicated, just kinda senseless. I don't see independents becoming single issue voters and deciding to vote for the guy who wants to wage war preemptively with Iran as a way to bring down gas prices.
I think he's on target. Obama v. Romney will likely be a very close election. If, between now and then, the price of oil increases and we're paying $5 a gallon at the pump, the economy will slow down even more, making this recovery we're in right now dry up, and putting the economy back on the table as a big issue against Obama. Yeah, the president doesn't have much(any) control over the price of oil, but that'll lead to more economic slowdown which is bad for the incumbent president, especially if unemployment follows it.
I think threatening war with the world's fourth largest oil producers has a big impact on price. That is a great degree of control.

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If the price of gas goes above $5 a gallon and starts heading toward $6, I can see a lot of people become anti-incumbent single-issue voters.

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If the price of gas goes above $5 a gallon and starts heading toward $6, I can see a lot of people become anti-incumbent single-issue voters.

Gas almost always peaks in the summer then starts coming down in the fall. This issue will not determine the election.

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Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

So the electorate is going to judge that the guy who wants to be extremely aggressive with countries in the Middle East will bring down gas prices? OK.
I don't think its that complicated. I think a small percentage of the electorate will be unhappy at the price of gas and vote out incumbents. And that's all its gonna take to get Romney elected.
It isn't complicated, just kinda senseless. I don't see independents becoming single issue voters and deciding to vote for the guy who wants to wage war preemptively with Iran as a way to bring down gas prices.
Not to mention that Romney's current favorability numbers sit at 27% with the general electorate.
And Santorum?

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If the price of gas goes above $5 a gallon and starts heading toward $6, I can see a lot of people become anti-incumbent single-issue voters.

I vote 4 energy.

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Obama's problem is that his approval rating is only 48%. If just 5% of that support decide to switch to Romney because of oil prices, he loses in November. He has no margin of error. If he was at 60% approval, or even 55% approval, it wouldn't be such a problem for him. Obama has to sell his point of view perfectly and keep 100% of his support in the face of this.

So the electorate is going to judge that the guy who wants to be extremely aggressive with countries in the Middle East will bring down gas prices? OK.
I don't think its that complicated. I think a small percentage of the electorate will be unhappy at the price of gas and vote out incumbents. And that's all its gonna take to get Romney elected.
It isn't complicated, just kinda senseless. I don't see independents becoming single issue voters and deciding to vote for the guy who wants to wage war preemptively with Iran as a way to bring down gas prices.
Not to mention that Romney's current favorability numbers sit at 27% with the general electorate.
And Santorum?
32% last I saw. But those were polls from before the assault on birth control started. My guess would be it's down from there.

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It would be tough to lower gas prices with more drilling. All of the cheap oil has already been drilled and is being produced.I am working as a petroleum engineer up in north dakota, one of the hottest places for new oil production. These wells have millions of dollars worth of costs associated with them that oil wells in years past did not have. They drill down to the reservoir, then they drill horizontally through the reservoir for 2-3 miles. This horizontal drilling is not cheap as it effectively doubles the drilling time. Even after a wells exposing 2 miles of reservoir the well will not produce very much oil, it has to be fracked, and fracking greatly increases the cost of the well. To greatly ramp up oil production means we will be drilling in more remote areas, that require even more expensive technology.America can produce alot of oil at 100 dollars a barrrel, but we are running out of the cheap stuff.

Thanks for actual insight./thread
:goodposting:Funny how the one guy in the thread who knows what he is talking about gets ignored. We now return you to your regularly scheduled political #####ing.

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I'll answer your question- oil production hasn't nearly quadrupled under their watch, not even close.

I saw that figure reported on CNN. Do you have information which suggests otherwise?
Try googling US Oil production by year. Or, use common sense- does it sound right to you that we've quadrupled the amount of oil produced in just 3 years?
You're correct. My mistake- what I meant to write was that the number of drilling rigs has nearly quadrupled since Obama took over.
Most rigs can drill for both oil and gas. The ratio shifts as prices change- the price of oil has skyrocketed, while the price of gas has plummeted, so drillers shift from gas to oil. Really has nothing to do with Obama.

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

There is:http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-natural-gas/You can even get a natural gas filling station installed in your house:http://www.wisegasinc.com/wg-phill.htmI've been pushing NG in all of the alternative energy threads. It's where our focus should be short term. Don't understand why there isn't a bigger push in this direction.

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

There were natural gas vehicles back in the 70's. I know a guy around here who was involved in a natural gas fuel business back then. He converted his personal vehicle to LNG. My understanding is that the biggest issue with converting to LNG for a car is that the "gas tank" has to be made out of a much heavier/stronger material due to the high pressure that LNG needs to be kept at to keep it in liquid form, but the gas burns cleaner which makes the life of the engine much longer.That, and there's no distribution system for LNG for mass consumption. In order to put that in gas stations, they have to have an additional tank with the stronger/thicker material installed at a relatively high cost. They're also more dangerous. Around that time their central fueling hub exploded and took out a large chunk of a city block. I'd imagine there's been safety improvements since then, but a big disaster like that in an emerging technology was enough to essentially shut the industry down for 30+ years.The place we should really be working on getting LNG into vehicles is for fleet vehicles. For example, a local post office hub will be running hundreds of trucks out of one location. Install a LNG fueling station there and you've converted a large number of vehicles to LNG without having to upgrade thousands of gas stations. Converting fleet vehicles to LNG is becoming more of a discussion. We've recently done some work with an engineering firm that specializes in designing these LNG hub stations for fleet vehicles, and they are having difficulty keeping up with the demand.
sounds like something that should have been done in the past few decades. It looks like a no-brainer...Why are they sitting on this? Are vehicles running on natural gas a danger to the public in an accident..that is, are they more volatile and/or explosive? What's the addded risk to public safety? Can this be done for renal cars and/or school buses?

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“Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years,” Obama told the audience at the University of Miami. “That’s why we have a record number of oil rigs operating right now – more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined.”

The increase in domestic drilling was almost entirely in areas for which the Obama administration exercised no authority, as oil production on federal land declined by 11 percent in fiscal year 2011, according to a study by the Institute on Energy Research (IER), a free-market energy think tank. But oil production on state lands increased that year by 14 percent and increased by 12 percent on private lands.

“A lot of the wells that were supposed to be drilled weren’t because of the moratorium,” Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the IER, told CNSNews.com. “Drilling is up in the U.S. on lands he has no say over. On lands he has all the say over, drilling is down.”

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Skipped over the last two pages of the thread to ask:

How come speculators never lose? How is it possible that they have zero risk of a bubble bursting? Is there any actual risk in oil speculation in 2012? Can't see how prices only move in one direction.

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sounds like something that should have been done in the past few decades. It looks like a no-brainer...Why are they sitting on this? Are vehicles running on natural gas a danger to the public in an accident..that is, are they more volatile and/or explosive? What's the addded risk to public safety? Can this be done for renal cars and/or school buses?

There's no reason NG shouldn't be more common than it is, except maybe people's love affair with gasoline. There ARE NG fueling stations. They're not as common but they exist. I can't speak for every state but in CA they're relatively common if you're in the NG world. I had a girl working for me who bought a converted NG vehicle and she loved it. You just have to find out where the NG fueling station near you is. They're not on every corner for sure. Here's a link where you can find fueling stations:http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/natural_gas_locations.html

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

There is:http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-natural-gas/You can even get a natural gas filling station installed in your house:http://www.wisegasinc.com/wg-phill.htmI've been pushing NG in all of the alternative energy threads. It's where our focus should be short term. Don't understand why there isn't a bigger push in this direction.
I'd imagine because there would have to be an infrastructure build out that private companies don't want to pay for and Congress won't go along with any government subsidies for it. If oil companies can make big money on expensive oil, why would they want to pay for implementing delivery systems for a cheaper product?

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

There were natural gas vehicles back in the 70's. I know a guy around here who was involved in a natural gas fuel business back then. He converted his personal vehicle to LNG. My understanding is that the biggest issue with converting to LNG for a car is that the "gas tank" has to be made out of a much heavier/stronger material due to the high pressure that LNG needs to be kept at to keep it in liquid form, but the gas burns cleaner which makes the life of the engine much longer.That, and there's no distribution system for LNG for mass consumption. In order to put that in gas stations, they have to have an additional tank with the stronger/thicker material installed at a relatively high cost. They're also more dangerous. Around that time their central fueling hub exploded and took out a large chunk of a city block. I'd imagine there's been safety improvements since then, but a big disaster like that in an emerging technology was enough to essentially shut the industry down for 30+ years.The place we should really be working on getting LNG into vehicles is for fleet vehicles. For example, a local post office hub will be running hundreds of trucks out of one location. Install a LNG fueling station there and you've converted a large number of vehicles to LNG without having to upgrade thousands of gas stations. Converting fleet vehicles to LNG is becoming more of a discussion. We've recently done some work with an engineering firm that specializes in designing these LNG hub stations for fleet vehicles, and they are having difficulty keeping up with the demand.
sounds like something that should have been done in the past few decades. It looks like a no-brainer...Why are they sitting on this? Are vehicles running on natural gas a danger to the public in an accident..that is, are they more volatile and/or explosive? What's the addded risk to public safety? Can this be done for renal cars and/or school buses?
IIRC studies have shown that there's no increased safety risk based on the vehicle itself, but there's a public perception that its more dangerous.School Buses, city buses, shipping fleet trucks, anywhere there's a large number of vehicles that regularly fuel up in the same location are starting to move towards natural gas.

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

I don't think you understand the difference between a car running on oil and natural gas. Don't you think if natural gas could easily replace oil, it would have been done already?

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Actually, I was mistaken above, It was propane being sold for vehicle conversions, and which caused the explosion in Buffalo in 1983, not gas.

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sounds like something that should have been done in the past few decades. It looks like a no-brainer...Why are they sitting on this? Are vehicles running on natural gas a danger to the public in an accident..that is, are they more volatile and/or explosive? What's the addded risk to public safety? Can this be done for renal cars and/or school buses?

There's no reason NG shouldn't be more common than it is, except maybe people's love affair with gasoline. There ARE NG fueling stations. They're not as common but they exist. I can't speak for every state but in CA they're relatively common if you're in the NG world. I had a girl working for me who bought a converted NG vehicle and she loved it. You just have to find out where the NG fueling station near you is. They're not on every corner for sure. Here's a link where you can find fueling stations:

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/natural_gas_locations.html

I really don't believe that people have a love affair with gasoline. I think those that profit from oil have a love affair for it. Every time energy alternatives are brought to the table, throngs of lobbyists roam the halls of Congress making sure their bread still gets buttered.

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

I don't think you understand the difference between a car running on oil and natural gas. Don't you think if natural gas could easily replace oil, it would have been done already?
It can be done. The conversion cost for an individual vehicle is relatively minor. The main reason it hasn't been done is that we have a huge infrastructure in place in this country to supply gasoline for vehicles, and the cost of upgrading that infrastructure to be able to supply NG as a fuel is very high. That's why the focus has been on fleet vehicles. The cost of upgrading the infrastructure to support that is much less since they're typically all fueled at the same place.

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

I don't think you understand the difference between a car running on oil and natural gas. Don't you think if natural gas could easily replace oil, it would have been done already?
Seems like other countries are doing it, why not us? There are 12 million natural gas vehicles in the world, only 110,000 in the US. The US is increasing CNG vehicle use 3.9% a year while the rest of the world is growing at 30% a year.http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/alternativefuels101/a/Understanding-Compressed-Natural-Gas.htm Edited by ericttspikes

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.htmlI don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

I don't think you understand the difference between a car running on oil and natural gas. Don't you think if natural gas could easily replace oil, it would have been done already?
Seems like other countries are doing it, why not us? There are 12 million natural gas vehicles in the world, only 110,000 in the US. The US is increasing CNG vehicle use 3.9% a year while the rest of the world is growing at 30% a year.http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/alternativefuels101/a/Understanding-Compressed-Natural-Gas.htm
so other countries are footing the costs of curbing oil demand... Edited by Sam Quentin

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Skipped over the last two pages of the thread to ask:How come speculators never lose? How is it possible that they have zero risk of a bubble bursting? Is there any actual risk in oil speculation in 2012? Can't see how prices only move in one direction.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a response, it might make the boogeyman go away. Everyone knows that evil speculators only buy, pushing up the price of oil, and every single one of them makes money (even though it's a zero-sum game).

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Meanwhile natural gas, our most abundant energy, is so cheap that producers are closing down wells.

http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/top_stories/article_2350c934-65cc-586a-870e-9e850f82618b.html

I don't care what my car runs on. Why isn't there viable natural gas cars for consumers yet? Every year oil goes up and people freak out.

I don't think you understand the difference between a car running on oil and natural gas. Don't you think if natural gas could easily replace oil, it would have been done already?
Seems like other countries are doing it, why not us?

There are 12 million natural gas vehicles in the world, only 110,000 in the US. The US is increasing CNG vehicle use 3.9% a year while the rest of the world is growing at 30% a year.

http://alternativefuels.about.com/od/alternativefuels101/a/Understanding-Compressed-Natural-Gas.htm

so other countries are footing the costs of curbing oil demand...
aren't we also footing the cost of not curbing oil demand?

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Skipped over the last two pages of the thread to ask:How come speculators never lose? How is it possible that they have zero risk of a bubble bursting? Is there any actual risk in oil speculation in 2012? Can't see how prices only move in one direction.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a response, it might make the boogeyman go away. Everyone knows that evil speculators only buy, pushing up the price of oil, and every single one of them makes money (even though it's a zero-sum game).
No one is saying they never miss a bet, of course they do. That isn't the point. The point is they are 70% of the futures market and they have no intention of ever taking delivery of a single ounce of oil.

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Skipped over the last two pages of the thread to ask:

How come speculators never lose? How is it possible that they have zero risk of a bubble bursting? Is there any actual risk in oil speculation in 2012? Can't see how prices only move in one direction.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a response, it might make the boogeyman go away. Everyone knows that evil speculators only buy, pushing up the price of oil, and every single one of them makes money (even though it's a zero-sum game).
Well? Runaway at-the-pump gas prices cannot possibly be infinitely sustainable in the real world. If they were, why not just make gasoline $1,000/gal across the board tomorrow and call it a day? "People need gas!", right? People will keep buying, right? Of course not.

Where's the point where the speculators go over a cliff and eff up their own profits? And why don't speculators ever -- ever -- reach this point?

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Isn't one of the main issues our refineries? While we have a lot of capacity, they are inefficient or something?

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Isn't one of the main issues our refineries? While we have a lot of capacity, they are inefficient or something?

Right now is the changeover from winter blend to summer blend so that affects refinery output as they shutdown to make the switch.

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Skipped over the last two pages of the thread to ask:How come speculators never lose? How is it possible that they have zero risk of a bubble bursting? Is there any actual risk in oil speculation in 2012? Can't see how prices only move in one direction.

Speculation is really a dubious term. A lot of futures activity is hedging a natural position that a firm has in regard to gas prices so even losing on that contract won't actually be a big economic loss to them.

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Right now is the changeover from winter blend to summer blend so that affects refinery output as they shutdown to make the switch.

Is it an unassailable fact that this changeover is 100% necessary? I'm asking from a position of ignorance, but it truly beggars belief that the same gasoline can't be used year-round. But maybe I'll learn something here.

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Skipped over the last two pages of the thread to ask:

How come speculators never lose? How is it possible that they have zero risk of a bubble bursting? Is there any actual risk in oil speculation in 2012? Can't see how prices only move in one direction.

Don't hold your breath waiting for a response, it might make the boogeyman go away. Everyone knows that evil speculators only buy, pushing up the price of oil, and every single one of them makes money (even though it's a zero-sum game).
Well? Runaway at-the-pump gas prices cannot possibly be infinitely sustainable in the real world. If they were, why not just make gasoline $1,000/gal across the board tomorrow and call it a day? "People need gas!", right? People will keep buying, right? Of course not.

Where's the point where the speculators go over a cliff and eff up their own profits? And why don't speculators ever -- ever -- reach this point?

Actually, then can in a real world with inflation. With no changes to supply/demand, gas would be at $1,000 at some point in the very distant future.

I'm not sure if you're serious, but speculators absolutely do reach that point. Did you see the price of oil fall from almost $150 down to below $40 in 2008?

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Right now is the changeover from winter blend to summer blend so that affects refinery output as they shutdown to make the switch.

Is it an unassailable fact that this changeover is 100% necessary? I'm asking from a position of ignorance, but it truly beggars belief that the same gasoline can't be used year-round. But maybe I'll learn something here.
In the winter they can use butane which works at lower temps but in the summer they have to switch to other more expensive additives.

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Speculation is really a dubious term. A lot of futures activity is hedging a natural position that a firm has in regard to gas prices so even losing on that contract won't actually be a big economic loss to them.

Admitedly stupid scenario, but maybe a valuable thought experiment:Let's say that going forward, some inscrutable kind of magic fills ALL American's gas tanks each and every morning. No matter how far you drive without stopping, your tank never drops below 1/4 full, and then the next morning you get the magic top-off. In short -- America, everyone together and all at once, stops buying gasoline at the pump. And it's sustained: a year goes by, two years, a decade, 20 years, and so on. Generations of Americans grow up with free-fuel automobiles and have no concept of ever having filled up at a pump.This affects no other petroleum uses -- just gasoline. Cars, lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc. ... all gasoline-powered things are free to run in the United States.During all this, the rest of the world carries on as normal. Europe, China, India, etc. all keep having to run their cars the usual way. Everyone else has to buy gasoline....How big a dent does this make in the speculation market? Can they still make money without American drivers buying in?

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Isn't one of the main issues our refineries? While we have a lot of capacity, they are inefficient or something?

Right now is the changeover from winter blend to summer blend so that affects refinery output as they shutdown to make the switch.
And isn't there a difference between what blends are sold in the north east vs what is sold in the southwest etc.? And therefore our refineries are producing a bunch of different kinds of gas, rather than one national standard?

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