In my opinion high gas prices are badly hurting Obama and giving Romney a boost. While this isn't Obama's fault the American people don't care and are out of patience with Obama to deliver quality jobs and much lower unemployment. This is exactly the kind of thing that could cause Obama to lose the election.
1st point -- Why are you wasting time and energy posting to a newsgroup? If you feel a need to vent do it where it might do some good, i.e. to your congressional representatives.
2nd point -- The people of California are getting "Enroned" again by a contrived shortage.
Below find the webmail I sent my congressmen on this topic. Feel free to use all, any or none of it. If you don't know who your congressmen are, or are too cheap to buy a stamp (like I am), they can be identified, and almost all have webmail at house.gov and senate.gov. To make nagging easier I suggest bookmarking their webmail sites in your browser. Suggestion: compose your email off line, spell/grammer check, and paste to the web mail message window.
===== start of memo to congress ===== TO: Senator Pat Roberts Senator Jim Moran Representative Mike Pompeo
From: George McDuffee
07 Oct 2012
Subject: The ?free market? is a market, *NOT* a suicide pact.
Gasoline surged as refinery and pipeline shutdowns increased concern that supplies aren?t adequate to meet demand.
It is clear the citizens of California are again being ?Enroned? or price gouged through artificial shortages resulting from a supplier conspiracy. In 2000-2001 it was a contrived electricity shortage [
] and today it is a contrived gasoline shortage, created by faux refinery damage and pseudo pipeline impairment, apparently resulting from intentional ?accidents? or self-sabotage.
Such blatant displays of corporate greed and hubris cannot be tolerated, and you are strongly urged to direct the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and IRS to immediately investigate these ?shortages,? pending Congressional hearings. Of the utmost importance is the seizure and preservation of all letters, memos, notes, emails, tweets, phone recordings, phone logs, trip itineraries, etc. for Congressional and grand jury review.
While on the surface this may appear to be a state problem, which should be dealt with by the state of California, the reality is the likely conspirators are supranational corporations, for the most part beyond the reach of the state agencies, and/or entities/operations located outside the state, such as the pipelines. Thus it is essential the full investigative and legal resources of the Federal government be used. It is suggested this investigation should assume organized and ongoing criminal activity from the start, thus justifying the application of the RICO statutes and methodology, e.g. wire taps, bank record/asset review, use of confidential informants, involuntary grand jury testimony, sealed indictments, etc.
While it is too late to prevent severe economic disruption in California and the adjacent states from this contrived gasoline shortage, to prevent any repetition of this extortion and gross abuse of market position, it is suggested that legislation be enacted establishing the contingent authority of the state and federal government to immediately seize operational control, on a highly expedited basis with judicial approval, of suppliers, refiners, manufacturers, transporters, etc. where shortfalls are occurring not directly attributable to supply shortages or an excess of ?coincidences? have occurred. Another example of possible proactive/preventative legislation in this particular case would be a criminal statute with possible prison time and large [individual not corporate] fines for taking more than one major refinery in a market area off-line for ?turnaround? at a time. Other than restricting the supply of distillate fuels in that market, there is no rationale for doing so. Indeed, in many cases the availability of specialty technicians and equipment, needed for a refinery ?turnaround,? means only one area refinery can be serviced at a time, no matter how many refineries may be shut down.
I'm not sure if you realize it, but you're promoting socialism. Where government controls the means of production. The USA was originally a constitutional Republic, and worked very well. Until the socialists started to tinker with the free market. Now, you promote more regulation to "fix" the problems caused by more regulations.
As an American, I believe that the free market can meet peoples needs with minimal government interference.
So was the electrical power industry until Enron. If you don't believe me just ask President Gray Davis...
This caused 800% increase in wholesale prices from April
2000 to December 2000. In addition, rolling blackouts adversely affected many businesses dependent upon a reliable supply of electricity, and inconvenienced a large number of retail consumers.
NB==>California had an installed generating capacity of
45GW. At the time of the blackouts, demand was 28GW.
And we are STILL paying about 200% higher than the national average for power, here in parts of California. Pacific Gas and Electric....PG&E...more commonly known as Pacific Greed and Extortion went to bed with Davis...and raised the rates to incredible rates.
My power bill here at home...runs about $400 a month in summer..and about $150 in winter. With only a swamp cooler running and gas heat in winter
"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." --Voltaire
Indeed it can and has. Try not to confuse the "free market" with the "free to do anything you want market." These are not the same things at all.
IMNSHO at least two things are required for a "free market" to function:
(1) Choices must exist, and the total costs of these options must be known to a fair degree of accuracy by the consumer so they can make rational choices. Paying part of the cost at checkout or at-the-pump, and more, generally much more, of the cost [hidden or obscured] when taxes are filed/paid doesn't cut it.
(2) There must be enough participants on both sides of "free market" transactions, i.e. both buyers and sellers, so that no one individual/entity or small group of entities can control supply/demand and thus prices.
FWIW -- If socioeconomic "progress" is to occur, no single entity or small group of entities can be allowed to block it, particularly by using the regulatory powers of the state under several pretexts.
Several examples in this context are: (1) Development/exploitation of shale oil/gas resources, including "fracking;" (2) Deployment of known off-the-shelf technology for the production of synthetic petroleum from coal and natural [shale] gas; and (3) Development and deployment of molten salt cooled/moderated thorium and uranium/plutonium fueled nuclear reactors [LFTR/MSTR] to both produce electricity and process heat/steam [c. 700 degrees c] and to use (dispose of) the estimated 78 THOUSAND tons of "spent" uranium/plutonium fuel elements which still contain >99% of the original nuclear energy.
WHILE THE GERIATRIC AND DODDERING "LEADERSHIP" OF THE U.S. MAY WELL BE CONTENT WITH ==>THEIR