Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Senator calls for gasoline price-fix probe

Old 04-21-06, 07:17 AM
  #1  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Senator calls for gasoline price-fix probe

Given all the stuff that Democrats are always saying about how we should "conserve" and "reduce" our use of gasoline in order to "protect the environment," I find this statement from Chuck Schumer to be quite odd.


http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/18/news...tion/index.htm

Senator calls for gasoline price-fix probe

Americans are spending hundreds of millions more at the pump; industry says it isn't withholding any supply.

By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer

April 18, 2006: 3:37 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - As American drivers shell out more and more money at the pump with each passing day, some are asking whether big oil companies are scheming to withhold supplies in order to boost prices.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, speaking in front of a Hess station in Manhattan, called Tuesday for a federal investigation to see if oil companies and refiners are deliberately withholding gasoline production, taking advantage of the normal switch from winter gas to summer gas in an attempt to bid up prices.

"The bottom line is they are producing at 85 percent capacity when they should be producing over 90 percent," said Schumer. "Are they scaling back production? Only by subpoenaing the companies and looking in their books will we get that answer."

Schumer's call comes as oil prices broke record highs and gasoline prices trailed close behind.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached $2.79 Tuesday, just 26 cents shy of its all time high of $3.05, which was reached last August in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, according to AAA (formerly known as the American Automobile Association).

And the summer driving season is just beginning, which could mean Americans will end up paying even higher prices by June or July.

Already, Americans on a whole are spending $212 million more per day on gasoline than they spent last year, and $522 million more per day than they spent in 2002, according to the Oil Price Information Service, publisher of an industry newsletter.

But whether Sen. Schumer's proposal will result in lower prices at the pump in a matter of debate.

A spokesman for The Federal Trade Commission, which is the agency that would look into Schumer's request, said it will take the senator's letter seriously and will respond appropriately, although the spokesman couldn't give a timeline or any other information because the agency had yet to review the letter.

However, the FTC spokesman did point out that two previous investigations into unfair business practices by the oil industry conducted in 2000 and 2001 turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.

Results of another investigation, centered around price fixing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, are expected next month.

For their part, representatives for the oil industry flatly denied Schumer's suggestions.

"Prices are high, there is no incentive to hold [gas] back," said Bill Bush, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute. "If you have a gallon of gas, you want to get it out in this market."

Bush said refineries are only operating at 85 percent capacity because some are still recovering from last fall's hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. He added that some refineries are undergoing more maintenance than usual this spring - maintenance that was put off following the hurricanes in order to avoid taking the refineries off-line at the time.

John Felmy, the Institute's chief economist, said Schumer's call was "nothing more than political rhetoric with no basis in fact."

Felmy suggested Schumer stop the political grandstanding and call for things that will actually bring down gas prices, which he said include more domestic oil production, greater conservation efforts and provisions to make it easier to build more refineries.
grundle is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 07:41 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 68,522
Put 'em under oath in the committee.

The refiners have achieved the first part of their goal - get Americans 'comfortable' with $2.00 per gallon gasoline; the next step - get Americans 'comfortable' with $2.50 per gallon gasoline; the next step - get Americans 'comfortable' with $3.00 per gallon -
classicman2 is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 08:07 AM
  #3  
Admin-Thanos
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,015
I've heard that oil companies were in favor of a freeze on new refineries because they wanted to drive the price up. Any truth to that?
VinVega is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 08:35 AM
  #4  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di SalÚ
Posts: 32,279
Elected Democrats are not the Borg. They don't all think and speak from one single hive-mind. Just because some Democrats rail on about global warming doesn't mean they all do. Senator Schumer is seizing on the story of the moment - high gas prices - to get his name in the papers in a positive way. It doesn't necessarily <i>mean</i> anything.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 08:41 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
wow, that is a huge jump from his quote to your subject line
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 08:57 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
Originally Posted by Venusian
wow, that is a huge jump from his quote to your subject line
My thought exactly. It did make me read the article twice though.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 09:05 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Nazgul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Jayhawk Central, Kansas
Posts: 7,125
Originally Posted by Bushdog
My thought exactly. It did make me read the article twice though.
I had the same thought.
Nazgul is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 10:58 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Ruler
 
General Zod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 21,150
Originally Posted by classicman2
Put 'em under oath in the committee.

The refiners have achieved the first part of their goal - get Americans 'comfortable' with $2.00 per gallon gasoline; the next step - get Americans 'comfortable' with $2.50 per gallon gasoline; the next step - get Americans 'comfortable' with $3.00 per gallon -
Yep

The thing that really irks me about this situation is that the gasoline at your local gas-station was refined months and months ago when the price of oil was much cheaper. They shouldn't raise the prices until they are actually using the more expensive oil and only then they should take the price they paid for it and average it out with the current cost. But as it stands now the consumer gets it up the wazoo immediately which means almost any negative story coming out of the ME can be used as an excuse to jack up prices.
General Zod is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:02 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
I'm with you Zod. Pisses me off. Oil prices soar, gas prices follow the next day. Oil prices drop, eh, they'll get around to lowering prices.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:04 AM
  #10  
Admin-Thanos
 
VinVega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Caught between the moon and NYC
Posts: 31,015
Originally Posted by Bushdog
I'm with you Zod. Pisses me off. Oil prices soar, gas prices follow the next day. Oil prices drop, eh, they'll get around to lowering prices.
I was listening to an interview with some economic expert, I can't remember who, but he said gasoline prices go up like a rocket, and come down like a feather. Ain't that the truth.
VinVega is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:12 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,147
Of course they are fixing the gas prices. How can gas companies make record profits otherwise. If the cost of the gas production raised so much, their profits would not be any larger then they were back when gas was $1.25/gal.
resinrats is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:21 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Shackled
Posts: 35,372
I've been wondering that, too. Well, profits would rise, but not their profit margin.
Bushdog is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:26 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Well, I know that Al Gore was in favor of a $.50 tax per gallon with the idea that it would help force conservation. I think the problem most people in government have with the high prices is that the money is going to oil companies instead of the government. They want a piece of the pie.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:30 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
wouldn't the ideal solution be for people to use less gas?


has the increased price changed anyone's behavior that much? it hasn't mine
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:32 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,487
Originally Posted by Venusian
wouldn't the ideal solution be for people to use less gas?


has the increased price changed anyone's behavior that much? it hasn't mine


You'd think. People bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch rabble rabble rabble rabbble rabble about it, and do nothing on their end.
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:40 AM
  #16  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Originally Posted by Venusian
wouldn't the ideal solution be for people to use less gas?


has the increased price changed anyone's behavior that much? it hasn't mine

A little. I make fewer trips to my parent's in WV, and do more shopping at the crappy mall 4 blocks from my apartment are rarely make it to the much nicer malls 20-30 miles away. Don't make it up to Baltimore as much either.

Definitely will be trying to conserve now that gas is back up to $3.00 here!
Josh H is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:44 AM
  #17  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 673
When you have things to do, places to be, work, dropping off people to school, grocerys, etc. What do you expect people to do? You gotta do things in life that require a vehicle, and the gas companys know that even if its 5 bux a gallon, the world still functions on this gas. So they will buy it regardless. I just filled up my lexus today at 49 bux. It sux.
Blitz6Speed is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:55 AM
  #18  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Originally Posted by Venusian
wouldn't the ideal solution be for people to use less gas?


has the increased price changed anyone's behavior that much? it hasn't mine

I was going to buy a new car that got worse mileage than what I have and decided not to.

Otherwise, I haven't changed much, but you gotta drive in this business.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:56 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,487
Originally Posted by Blitz6Speed
When you have things to do, places to be, work, dropping off people to school, grocerys, etc. What do you expect people to do? You gotta do things in life that require a vehicle, and the gas companys know that even if its 5 bux a gallon, the world still functions on this gas. So they will buy it regardless. I just filled up my lexus today at 49 bux. It sux.

Not everybody needs a gas-guzzling vehicle. If you drive a gas-guzzler and bitch about gas prices, I'm going to say "shut your piehole."
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:57 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
Originally Posted by Blitz6Speed
When you have things to do, places to be, work, dropping off people to school, grocerys, etc. What do you expect people to do? You gotta do things in life that require a vehicle, and the gas companys know that even if its 5 bux a gallon, the world still functions on this gas. So they will buy it regardless. I just filled up my lexus today at 49 bux. It sux.
there are a lot of things that are "required". but there are a lot that aren't.

do people combine trips? do they carpool?
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:57 AM
  #21  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Yep the best you can do is not have a gas guzzler, and limit your driving as much as possible.
Josh H is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:58 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 122,487
Originally Posted by Venusian
do people combine trips? do they carpool?
If they live in metro areas, do they use public transit?
Red Dog is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 11:58 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 36,980
my dad works for public transit and can use it free...he doesn't. never has. he does carpool though
Venusian is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 12:17 PM
  #24  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
However, the FTC spokesman did point out that two previous investigations into unfair business practices by the oil industry conducted in 2000 and 2001 turned up no evidence of wrongdoing.

Results of another investigation, centered around price fixing in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, are expected next month.

For their part, representatives for the oil industry flatly denied Schumer's suggestions.

"Prices are high, there is no incentive to hold [gas] back," said Bill Bush, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute. "If you have a gallon of gas, you want to get it out in this market."....
....
John Felmy, the Institute's chief economist, said Schumer's call was "nothing more than political rhetoric with no basis in fact."

Felmy suggested Schumer stop the political grandstanding and call for things that will actually bring down gas prices, which he said include more domestic oil production, greater conservation efforts and provisions to make it easier to build more refineries.
Schumer displays his ignorance of economics again.
bhk is offline  
Old 04-21-06, 12:24 PM
  #25  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 15,988
Originally Posted by General Zod
The thing that really irks me about this situation is that the gasoline at your local gas-station was refined months and months ago when the price of oil was much cheaper. They shouldn't raise the prices until they are actually using the more expensive oil and only then they should take the price they paid for it and average it out with the current cost.
No.

Prices should be based on supply and demand.

Gas stations don't charge based on what they paid for the gasoline. Instead, they charge based on what they have to pay to replace the gasoline.

Certain coins, stamps, baseball cards, and comic books sell for many times their original cost. What's wrong with that?
grundle is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.