Letters to the Editor

Gas prices

March 23, 2012


To the editor:

The average national price for a gallon of regular gas in January 2009 was $1.84. AAA just reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.83, more than a 100 percent increase.

Many are saying this has absolutely nothing to do with Obama, yet he and his energy secretary seem intent on chasing after alternative energy resources at the expense of traditional fossil fuels. When point blank asked if the goal was to reduce gas prices, Energy Secretary Chu summarily answered, “No.”

So, how’s this working out for your wallet? Having a little pain at the pump? Keep on believing Obama wants to help out the middle class until your car is parked in the garage because you can’t afford to fill it up — and we’ve not seen the highest high of a gallon of gas---not even close.


Benjamin Roberts 6 years, 3 months ago

June 2008 crude oil was upwards of $135 per barrel; gas at the pump was $4.10/gal average.

March 2012 crude oil is $107 and gas is $3.88. Crude is down 20%; gas 5%.

parrothead8 6 years, 3 months ago

Your logic and facts don't fit within the parameters of Tom's ideology and cherry-picked dates.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

In May 2007 the average price of unleaded gas was over $3.00 per gallon. The price of $1.35 in 1981 is equivalent to $3,15 in 2007 dollars. In May of 2006 gas was $3.00+, except for New Jersey and a couple of other states. Based on today's dollar and the price of gas, it's not that much out of line when we look at the whole picture.

Use less, spend less.

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

No, we need taxes to pay for your roads and bridges which your gas guzzling cars tear up.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

Not going to "flame" you commonsense, because it's your right to disagree with me and your response is sincere. My response was to Tom's issues about the price of gas. It's not like we haven't known this was coming for at least three decades.

I just think it's a shame that so many people don't understand we can't waste biofuels as we have in the past. I'm not sure if it's a difficulty in grasping the ramifications or just plain old denial; probably a little bit of both.

Alan Tabula 6 years, 3 months ago

"they tell you to adapt and ride your bicycle. That doesn't help anyone"

On the contrary; that helps everyone. It's not a complete solution by any means, but more people on bikes is an unalloyed good thing.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

"The average national price for a gallon of regular gas in January 2009 was $1.84. AAA just reported the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.83"

0n January 23, 2009 the price of gold closed at $895.30. Today it is $1643.49. (It fluctuates a bit.) Source: http://silver-and-gold-prices.goldprice.org/2009_01_01_archive.html and http://goldprice.org/

That is an 83.356% increase. 100% - 83.356% = 16.644%

Your complaint means that the price of gasoline has risen only 16.644% relative to the value of gold. Gold is considered to be a constant measure of value by many in other parts of the world. So most of your complaint just might be that the US Dollar is worth a whole lot less now than in January 2009.

You noted that the price of gasoline is probably going to rise a great deal, measured in US Dollars. You are absolutely correct in that statement, because there is no floor under the value of the US Dollar. Between June 1921 and July 1924 the currency of Germany experienced a 1,000,000,000,000% (one Trillion%) inflation. And it was not because the Jews did it, as Adolf Hitler claimed.

So it is not at all impossible that the price of gasoline will hit $3,830,000,000,000 per gallon within your lifetime. You are complaining about the wrong thing. I would not complain for one second that the price of gasoline is $3.83, because that sounds like a bargain to me.

As long as the deficit of the US government stays out of control the price of everything, measured in US Dollars, is going to rise.

That is the real problem.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Some people's opinion:

A real problem is that most of the cost of gasoline is hidden from us. We are at war in the Middle East mostly to secure our supply of crude oil, and if you include the price of the wars to the price you pay at the pump, gasoline is selling for $7 to $8 today.

And that doesn't include the real cost of deaths and injuries.

The wars are being entirely financed by borrowing money, thus adding fuel to the fire of inflation.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Look very carefully at the first three words of my comment. Really, really close. I said "Some people's opinion."

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Number_1_Grandma, your turn. Exactly why are we fighting wars on the other side of the world in countries that are no threat to us?

Abdu Omar 6 years, 3 months ago

We are protecting Israel, not the US. We are going to war in Iran soon, I think, because Iran threatens Israel in their opinion. They are afraid someone will make them give back the land they stole.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 3 months ago

When I first started driving (1969), gas was $.39 a gallon. In the mid-seventies there was an oil embargo which drove gas up to $.79 a gallon pretty much overnight.In the next 30 years(up until 9/11/2001) it only got up to $.99 per gallon.How on earth has it gone up 400% in the last 10 years? And why are we allowing this?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

I remember those days too. When I paid $.39, I made a buck and change an hour; most of us make more now and gas is actually cheaper. Nancy boy and others need to quit whining. We are not guaranteed cheap fuel, even if we think we are the chosen ones.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 3 months ago

Your numbers are misleading. The average price of gas in 2000 was already $1.51 I started driving in 1997 and do not recall ever seeing gas under a dollar.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh yeah grammaddy. Well, when I first started driving, everyone said "Giddy up!"

usnsnp 6 years, 3 months ago

Gas Prices over the lasyt 10 years: 2002--1.50 2004--2.25 2006--3.50 2008--4.28 2009--1.80 2012--3.77 Now if you want to go back the economic conditions of 2009 you are welcome to, but most people in the United States do not wish to. You can build all the pipelines and drill in all the places in the United States and it will not make any difference to the price of gasoline. Oil is a world commodity and is traded on a world market and with China and India using more oil each year the price will remain high. I know that people want to blame who ever is President, but the President cannot control the world market and anyone that tells you diffrent is either not well informed or is telling you a lie.

camper 6 years, 3 months ago

I don't remember George W. Bush being directly tied to that and mercilessly beat up by the left and leftist dominated media, Math. When did that happen? I must have been living under a rock.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

Between 2000 and 2008, our President was held responsible by the press for every cent added to gas prices. Odd how that changed once a President backed by the MSM moved into 1600 Penn. Ave.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Nothing wrong with that; it's politics. IF the Sheeple want to pretend the President is in charge of the world-wide energy market, that's ok. Silly, but ok. Elections and politics are driven by fantasy anyway, might as well add gasoline prices to the mix.

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

It didn't help that the president and vice president profited directly from rising energy costs. If you put an oil man in the White House, people can't help but think high oil prices pad his bank account.

Orwell 6 years, 3 months ago

And you objected to any suggestion the president was at fault. Were you wrong then, or now?

Mike Ford 6 years, 3 months ago

republicans want free market....china and india emulate the west....republicans want no regulation.....no regulation leads to the fuel costs we have now... of course the people behind the curtain want to play the drill more card which doesn't really play to reality...neither do the comments of the three amigos politically....

Joe Hyde 6 years, 3 months ago

In January, 2001 the day George W. Bush took office the price per gallon of gasoline in Lawrence was $1.67. Then came the fumbling of the war in Afghanistan and the Iraq War (which we were deliberately lied into). Much of the nation's fuel supply began getting diverted to military use, as did much of our nation's other forms of wealth.

During the Bush II presidency gas per gallon prices topped $4.00. Then very strangely, just before Barack Obama took office the prices here in Lawrence dropped back to $1.67 -- to the penny what it had cost when Bush II first took office.

And now with a Democrat in the White House, and with a presidential election imminent, gas prices in the last couple of months have begun soaring. My take on it is that the oil companies felt very comfortable and confident while screwing us consumers while Bush and Cheney were in office. And with an election only months away they are back to screwing us again, this time not just because of greed but with two fresh objectives, both politically motivated:

A) Make President Obama appear impotent to hold down fuel prices, in hopes that come November voters will take out their resentment over high fuel prices on the president and vote for the Republican candidate, and;

B) Try to bait President Obama into taking harsh regulatory action meant to force a lowering of gas prices...at which point the Republican candidate can react with furious anger at this "naked attempt by the president to use dictatorial tactics on private enterprise" (or some such drivel).

In other words, we ordinary consumers are having pain inflicted on us at the gas pumps deliberately by oil company executives wanting to put a Republican back in the White House. They'd probably love to see the United States involved in some more wars, too, as well as see other forms of international unrest so they can continue justifying higher pump prices on "supply uncertainties". That's how I look at it.

nativeson 6 years, 3 months ago

Energy issues are bipartisan. All of the dialog proves one point. No administration since the OPEC oil crisis of 1973 has had a cogent energy policy. It is not likely to happen soon.

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

Conservatives confuse me. Let the market work on it's own? OR Give the president enough power to force oil companies to lower their prices? Which is it? And you didn't complain a lot when this happened in Bush's era.

And dear old Tom used to brag about being a day trader. Why is he upset when he could be making big bucks from his oil investments. What a crock.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 3 months ago

Use less gas and magically, it will cost you less regardless of the per gallon rate.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

That is so true! Not by choice, it was a gift, I drive a vehicle that is wonderful in every way except one: It gets 13 mpg in town.

I knew someone who was constantly needing rides all over the place, and I was driving him around. I though I was helping him to solve his problems by doing so. He paid very little towards the gas. Then, I realized something. He was putting forth no effort at all towards solving his problems, he was relying on me to solve his problems for him. Gas cost about $75 per month, sometimes more, back then.

So, since he was putting no effort at all towards solving his problems, and for other very valid reasons also, I cut him off from any more rides at all.

I heard people complain that gas had suddenly gone up about that time. But not for me! It had dropped to less than $20 per month.

melott 6 years, 3 months ago

If you see the changes in retail prices worldwide, they go up and down together. Gasoline (and the crude used to make it) is a world market. No one country controls the price.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

I wonder why Marion doesn't write letters to the editor.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

This one deserves repeating:

"So the next time you hear a politician say that he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it is complete b.s." -- Bill O'Reilly

woodscolt 6 years, 3 months ago

The kingpins of the oil cartel are republicans. Of course they are going to lower gas prices for a republican and raise gas prices for a democratic president running for reelection.

And of course, Fox will tell you all the reasons why a president doesn't have any control over prices of gasoline when Bush was president, as they did. And of course, Fox will tell you all the reasons why a president is solely responsible for the price of gas when Obama is president. You know, kind of an etch a sketch moment for fox.

Considering that math gets all of its misinformation from fox, what else could you expect from it. No surprises here.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

When I read letters and comments about Obama on this site, this song frequently comes to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-51523...

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Why is it that those who cry the loudest for government to get out of the way of business are the first to cry that the President needs to do something to lower gas prices?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

thuja, not long ago I was discussing having car problems far from home with some friends, and the towing costs that quickly get involved.

A friend suddenly piped up with something I never knew - her father used to own a towing business in Wichita. And she popped up real quick with one of the problems in that business, and that is the towing of vehicles that have been used for that.

I said, "Well, if they haven't been there very long, can't you just drive the car away?"

She said "No! No one ever does that! They always tow it, and it's terrible!"

Armstrong 6 years, 3 months ago

The good news........ November '12, the end of an error

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

You'll be OK, N.B. When did you move to Lawrence? Welcome.

tbaker 6 years, 3 months ago

The Department of Energy is an abject failure by any measure. It should be closed, along with several other cabinet-level agencies.

Petroleum-based transportation fuel is dumb for a lot of reasons. We should switch to compressed natural gas until a viable "green" fuel source matures. It costs half per unit of energy to use compared to gasoline, it is in great abundance here in the US, and is much, much cleaner for the environment. There is a lot the government could to that would set favorable conditions for the free market to make this happen. The President could get out in front of this and lead the idea. He is making a huge mistake not getting behind this in a campaign year given his record of opposition to most traditional energy sources.

Instead Mr. Obama is going to get in trouble flip-flopping about these energy issues. He's not just on record, his is on camera with his position about fossil fuels. He is making some great fodder for campaign ads. He is behaving like a rookie politically.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

"We should switch to compressed natural gas until a viable "green" fuel source matures."

There's absolutely nothing "green" about natural gas. For starters, the projections that there is a 100-year supply of natural gas are just that-- projections, and they are based on the most optimistic assumptions about how much is out there, and how much is economically recoverable. The fact is, actual proven reserves will last ten, maybe twenty years-- the rest is wishful thinking at this point.

And the technologies that might allow for tapping the unproven 100-year reserves carry tremendous risks to the environment. Beyond that, the fact remains that natural gas is still a greenhouse gas, and if we burn it the way you suggest, in a hundred years, global warming will have created an uninhabitable planet for a high percentage of the planet's population.

tbaker 6 years, 3 months ago

You either have some very poor sources or you don't know what "proven reserve" means (the industry definition, not the political one) We will be burning natural gas on this continent long after our children are gone.

Compare emissions from petroleum-based fuels to CNG. Yes, it is a fossil fuel. So what? It is a fuel that could greatly reduce air pollution RIGHT NOW. Its not a theory. Its not some immature technology still on the drawing board, it would have an immediate positive effect on the environment while we transition to a green fuel.

Name the tremendous risk to the environment posed by natural gas wells. Cite examples. We have been exploring and drilling gas wells for over a century Bozo. Sure there are hazards. Compare the net negative impact of those hazards to the net positive impact switching to CNG for transportation fuel and being able to greatly reduce air pollution immediately.

People who oppose CNG for “environmental” reasons are either hypocrites or willfully ignorant. If the aim is to do things that are good for our planet, why then would they oppose something that would have an immediate positive impact and make day to day transportation a lot cheaper for everyone.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 3 months ago

"There is a lot the government could to that would set favorable conditions for the free market to make this happen"

I'll bite. What part of "free market" am I missing here???

tbaker 6 years, 3 months ago

Take the money we waste subsidising ethanol and wind energy, and spend it on CNG tax subsidies instead.

Richard Payton 6 years, 3 months ago

IHS report done on what would gas prices be if USA goes to war with Iran show's the possibility of gas over $7.00 a gallon. They reported Iran controls about 20% of the oil and suggested Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz blocking the US from this oil. They thought the Strait would be blocked with mines and small military boats by Iran.

tbaker 6 years, 3 months ago

The strait will be blocked by crazy exspensive insurance premiums for super oil tankers operating in hostile waters. All it will take is an incident where one of them is shot at. They don't even need to sink it, just get the attack on the news. The big companies that insure these ships will raise the rates above the profit margin and shipping companies won't be able to pass along the cost.

voevoda 6 years, 3 months ago

I seem to recall from the days that Tom Shewmon used to post on forums that he bragged about how rich he is. So why is he complaining about gas prices? Why does he feel entitled to speak for the "middle class" when he's part of the 1%?

JackMcKee 6 years, 3 months ago

I find it hard to believe that Shewmon has a job, much less any wealth. The guy just doesn't seem very bright.

JackMcKee 6 years, 3 months ago

Well Tom, In June of 2008 the average national gas price was over $4.10 per gallon. Guess that pretty much sinks your already shaky hypothesis.

JackMcKee 6 years, 3 months ago

Poor little Tom Shewmon. The election is just few months away and he's standing on the street corner screaming at the top of lungs like a madman "Obama sucks. Obama sucks. Obama sucks." Yet nobody will listen to little Tom Shewmon because Tom Shewmon sounds and looks like a crazy person. Then Tom's buddy Rick Santorum, is across the street, yelling "trollip, slut, whore" at the women walking past. Old Tom Shewmon just can't catch a a break. Maybe he can move to the MOON to live with Newt Gingrich.

pace 6 years, 3 months ago

How ironic, Obama is the reason gas is so high and all the money is going to GOP backing Oil billionaires. Wow, I guess follow the money doesn't mean anything. Just think the all time high profits of oil companies have nothing to do with the all time high prices. Obama is the most powerful and generous man in the world,magically controlling the price of oil and the profit goes to those that hate him. Well maybe Obama is the reason gas is so high, I am so silly, I would follow the money. Hype doesn't convince me. but I don't watch FOX.

Alan Tabula 6 years, 3 months ago

If you don't like paying the price for gas, then stop. Burning up your money is an entirely voluntary expenditure...

tbaker 6 years, 3 months ago

It is naïve to think spending money on gasoline is an entirely voluntary expenditure. It may be for some people, but it is most certainly not voluntary for many other people. Examples abound. People need transportation to live their lives. Wise up.

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