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Oil Shock May Alter Consumers' Vote This Fall

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  • Robert J. Matter
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040114/us_nm/energy_consumers_dc_2 Oil Shock May Alter Consumers Vote This Fall Wed Jan 14, 5:17 PM ET By
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 15, 2004
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      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20040114/us_nm/energy_consumers_dc_2

      Oil Shock May Alter Consumers' Vote This Fall

      Wed Jan 14, 5:17 PM ET

      By Tom Doggett

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The jump in crude oil and gasoline prices
      may drive U.S. consumers to vote their pocketbooks in this year's
      presidential election, experts said on Wednesday.

      Oil futures jumped on Tuesday to $35.20, the highest price since March
      17, 2003, just before the start of the Iraq (news - web sites) war.

      The price of gasoline at the pump soared to a national retail average of
      $1.56 a gallon this week, the highest recorded for this time of year -- and
      the highest since last October.

      Strong demand has drained U.S. oil inventories to the lowest level since
      autumn 1975, according to government data released on Wednesday.

      "As the prices at the pump rise, so will the political heat on the
      president," said Stephen Hess, presidential scholar at The Brookings
      Institution, a Washington think tank.

      If U.S. consumers can't find relief at the gasoline pump, they may take
      their revenge inside the voting booth this November.

      The car-dependent lifestyle in most of the United States means that
      gasoline is a key economic barometer for American consumers, Hess
      said.

      "It's so prominently displayed. You go into the gas station and it's
      staring you in the face," Hess said. "It's a very obvious piece of
      economic news."

      The price of crude oil accounts for about 44 percent of the cost for a
      gallon of gasoline, according to the Energy Information Administration, or
      EIA, the Energy Department's analytical arm.

      SEASONS OF DISCONTENT

      The 2004 forecast for consumers does not look good.

      "We expect gasoline prices to ... keep on rising to some extent right on
      through the spring and into the summer," EIA energy analyst Dave
      Costello said.

      Retail gasoline costs rise about 2.4 cents per gallon for every $1-a-barrel
      increase in the price of crude oil.

      If crude oil prices stay near $35 a barrel, EIA says gasoline will jump 10
      to 12 cents a gallon by April or May.

      "High oil prices are pretty much like a tax on the economy, on
      consumers and businesses," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John
      Hancock Financial Services in Boston.

      "We're a net buyer of" oil, Cheney added, referring to U.S. dependence
      on imported crude. "If it gets more expensive, it make us all poorer. So,
      it's a bit less money to spend on everything else."

      The United States imports almost 60 percent of the oil and refined
      petroleum products it needs to meet daily demand of about 20 million
      barrels of day.

      While overall inflation is low and the stock market is up, Americans still
      aren't happy when the pump price is high.

      "It almost feels like we don't have control over our destiny," said Anthony
      Chan, chief economist at Banc One Investment Advisors in Columbus,
      Ohio.

      OIL AND THE WHITE HOUSE RACE

      This year, the road to the White House may run partly on oil.

      Democrats running for president have slammed President Bush (news -
      web sites)'s energy policy. Several candidates have outlined plans to
      make the United States less dependent on OPEC (news - web sites) oil,
      raise vehicle mileage requirements to reduce gasoline use, and develop
      more alternative energy sources.

      Bush has urged Congress to pass legislation to overhaul U.S. energy
      policy and increase domestic fuel supplies. But he has acknowledged
      the bill offers more long-term solutions than short-term relief.

      Many Democrats and consumer groups say OPEC is to blame for the
      current crisis and have urged the Bush administration to take a tougher
      stand with the oil cartel.

      The administration said it does not comment publicly on OPEC policy
      nor on its talks with the cartel's oil ministers. However, during a visit to
      Washington last month, OPEC's outgoing president told reporters that
      Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham (news - web sites) indirectly asked
      that the cartel not cut oil production levels when ministers meet on Feb.
      10.

      The Bush administration also has come under attack for adding millions
      of barrels of crude to the U.S. emergency stockpile at a time of tight
      supplies. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, created by Congress after
      the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo, holds 639 million barrels of crude in
      underground caverns in Louisiana and Texas.

      The airline industry, some lawmakers and consumer groups believe the
      White House should put the emergency reserve's oil in the market to
      boost supplies and cut prices.

      For its part, the administration said the amount of oil going into the
      reserve, which this month will average 179,000 barrels a day, has little
      impact on total U.S. supplies.

      But with supplies tight, that much oil kept out of the market is "quite a
      significant chunk," said Banc One's Chan.

      ###
    • RIIN GILL
      Ok, so here s what I don t get. I sold my car about two years ago and haven t bought gas since then. But it seems like the last time I bought gas it was
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 15, 2004
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        Ok, so here's what I don't get. I sold my car about two years ago and
        haven't bought gas since then. But it seems like the last time I bought
        gas it was around a buck and a half a gallon or so. Now, since then, I
        keep seeing news stories talking about the price of gas going higher and
        higher. So, shouldn't it be 2 or 3 or 5 bucks a gallon by now? How come
        it's still the same as what I paid two years ago, and how come everyone's
        saying it's higher than it was? Huh?

        Paging Mr. Orwell, white courtesy telephone please.

        ***********************************************************
        Riin Gill
        Interlibrary Loan 734-615-6168
        Taubman Medical Library fax 734-763-1473
        University of Michigan
        ***********************************************************
        http://www-personal.umich.edu/~riin/
        If you were riding your bike, you'd be having fun by now.
      • De Clarke
        http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0114-12.htm WASHINGTON - January 14 - Subaru, the automaker that built its name marketing to skiers, bikers, kayakers and
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 15, 2004
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          http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/0114-12.htm

          WASHINGTON - January 14 - Subaru, the automaker that built its
          name marketing to skiers, bikers, kayakers and other outdoor
          enthusiasts is telling customers to take a hike. The company is
          about to skirt federal fuel economy rules by officially
          reclassifying the sedans and wagons in its popular Outback line
          as trucks, making small design adjustments to exploit a
          loophole that subjects the car to much weaker efficiency
          standards. Decreased fuel economy means more pollution from the
          tailpipe.

          ...

          Subaru's average fuel economy has been falling
          steadily for several years, with their 2003 models barely
          meeting the 27.5 mpg requirement for cars. Light trucks must
          average only 20.7 mpg today, and 21.2 mpg in 2005. The Outback
          is based on the Subaru Legacy, which has been treated as a car
          under federal guidelines since its introduction as a 1989
          model. Subaru is able to skirt car standards by raising the
          suspension and ground clearance of the current vehicle.

          --------------------------------------

          de

          .............................................................................
          :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
          :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
          :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
          :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
        • JamesJFitz@Juno.com
          By November PEAK OIL will be something even the S people will have heard about. But if it costs too much to gas up their SUV s and pickup trucks it must be
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 15, 2004
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            By November PEAK OIL will be something even the "S" people
            will have heard about. But if it costs too much to gas up their
            SUV's and pickup trucks it must be OPEC's fault.

            Jim

            Shell Cuts 20% Off Estimates of Oil and Gas in Its Reserves
            By JONATHAN FUERBRINGER

            Published: January 10, 2004

            Royal Dutch/Shell said yesterday that it was reducing its proven oil and
            gas reserves by 20 percent, a surprising announcement that raised
            questions about the company and about the tabulation of oil and gas
            reserves throughout the industry. The morning disclosure sent the
            stocks of the two companies that control Shell, Europe's second-largest
            oil company, down more than 7 percent and left some analysts with doubts
            about the outlook for the company.

            Shell officials, in a statement and a telephone conference call, said
            that a review begun in the fourth quarter of last year led to movement
            within the categories of the company's oil and gas reserves, cutting the
            amount classified as proven reserves by 3.9 billion barrels, to the
            equivalent of 15.4 billion barrels of crude oil, gas liquids and natural
            gas. Almost 50 percent of the reduction came from projects in Nigeria
            and Australia.


            http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/10/business/10oil.html

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          • Fitzsimmons, Diane
            I agree with you, Riin. I think gas is still pretty cheap, ranging from $1.35 to $1.55 a gallon in my neck of the woods. When I hear people complaining about
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 16, 2004
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              I agree with you, Riin. I think gas is still pretty cheap, ranging from
              $1.35 to $1.55 a gallon in my neck of the woods.

              When I hear people complaining about the price of gas, I remind them we
              do not pay nearly as much as other people in other countries and that we
              aren't paying the true cost of gasoline. You can imagine that
              observation makes me popular. :^)

              Diane Fitzsimmons
              Norman, Okla.

              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: RIIN GILL [mailto:riin@...]
              > Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 8:12 PM
              > To: Carfree List
              > Subject: Re: [CF] Oil Shock May Alter Consumers' Vote This Fall
              >
              > Ok, so here's what I don't get. I sold my car about two years ago and
              > haven't bought gas since then. But it seems like the last time I
              bought
              > gas it was around a buck and a half a gallon or so. Now, since then,
              I
              > keep seeing news stories talking about the price of gas going higher
              and
              > higher. So, shouldn't it be 2 or 3 or 5 bucks a gallon by now? How
              come
              > it's still the same as what I paid two years ago, and how come
              everyone's
              > saying it's higher than it was? Huh?
              >
              > Paging Mr. Orwell, white courtesy telephone please.
              >
              > ***********************************************************
              > Riin Gill
              > Interlibrary Loan 734-615-6168
              > Taubman Medical Library fax 734-763-1473
              > University of Michigan
              > ***********************************************************
              > http://www-personal.umich.edu/~riin/
              > If you were riding your bike, you'd be having fun by now.
              >
              >
              > To change your settings (such as receiving CarFree in digest form or
              read
              > the archive: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CarFree
              > To Unsubscribe by email; CarFree-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
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              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              > To visit your group on the web, go to:
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              >
            • JamesJFitz@Juno.com
              ... Even The Red Green Show is catching on. Last night on the first show an oil company put a pipeline though the Possum Lodge and on the second show Red
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 17, 2004
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                On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 I wrote:

                > By November PEAK OIL will be something even the "S" people
                > will have heard about. But if it costs too much to gas up their
                > SUV's and pickup trucks it must be OPEC's fault.

                Even "The Red Green Show" is catching on.
                Last night on the first show an oil company
                put a pipeline though the Possum Lodge and on
                the second show Red built a Hybrid vehicle.

                Jim

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              • Ed Beighe
                From: ... o, by the way -- last October I wondered about why anyone would say that Canada had the number 2 in world proven reserves of
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 29, 2004
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                  From: <JamesJFitz@...>
                  > By November PEAK OIL ...


                  o, by the way -- last October I wondered about why anyone would say that
                  Canada had the number 2 in world proven reserves of oil, actually imagining
                  that
                  it was a typo or something. As some of you suggested, it did have to do
                  with oil tar sands/ shale oil. So here is the official explanation of how
                  Canada's oil proved reserves catapulted it from around 5bbl (billion
                  barrels)
                  to 180bbl (!). Apparently this didn't make big news -- maybe the world
                  (rightly?) yawned when the "Oil and Gas Journal" proclaimed this muck
                  recoverable?

                  http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/publications/reports/ser/oil/oil.asp


                  <quoting message 8284>
                  By the way, speaking of oil, sydicated columnist Cal Thomas (with whom I'm
                  not really familiar) had a glaring error in a column i read yesterday in my
                  paper
                  (you can read it at:
                  http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/opinion/6905026.htm )

                  "According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Iraq has 112 billion barrels of
                  proven oil reserves, the third largest in the world (behind Saudi Arabia and
                  Canada)."

                  Canada is nowhere near 2nd, it's more like twentieth. see e.g.
                  http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/iea/table81.html
                  Iraq at 112 is, by the way, second.

                  Am I reading him wrong? Is this just a typo, or some wierd spin / wishful
                  thinking (i.e. US can get all the oil it wants from Canada -- look they have
                  the second largest reserves!)?
                  <end quote>
                • Ed Beighe
                  oops, i put the wrong link in my message, sorry for the confusiont, it should be: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/oiltext_box.html (not the worldenergy.org
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 29, 2004
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                    oops, i put the wrong link in my message, sorry for the confusiont, it
                    should be:
                    http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/oiltext_box.html

                    (not the worldenergy.org one)

                    > From: <JamesJFitz@...>
                    > > By November PEAK OIL ...
                    >
                    >
                    > o, by the way -- last October I wondered about why anyone would say that
                    > Canada had the number 2 in world proven reserves of oil, actually
                    imagining
                    > that
                    > it was a typo or something. As some of you suggested, it did have to do
                    > with oil tar sands/ shale oil. So here is the official explanation of how
                    > Canada's oil proved reserves catapulted it from around 5bbl (billion
                    > barrels)
                    > to 180bbl (!). Apparently this didn't make big news -- maybe the world
                    > (rightly?) yawned when the "Oil and Gas Journal" proclaimed this muck
                    > recoverable?
                    >
                    > http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/publications/reports/ser/oil/oil.asp
                    >
                    >
                    > <quoting message 8284>
                    > By the way, speaking of oil, sydicated columnist Cal Thomas (with whom I'm
                    > not really familiar) had a glaring error in a column i read yesterday in
                    my
                    > paper
                    > (you can read it at:
                    > http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/opinion/6905026.htm )
                    >
                    > "According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Iraq has 112 billion barrels of
                    > proven oil reserves, the third largest in the world (behind Saudi Arabia
                    and
                    > Canada)."
                    >
                    > Canada is nowhere near 2nd, it's more like twentieth. see e.g.
                    > http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/iea/table81.html
                    > Iraq at 112 is, by the way, second.
                    >
                    > Am I reading him wrong? Is this just a typo, or some wierd spin / wishful
                    > thinking (i.e. US can get all the oil it wants from Canada -- look they
                    have
                    > the second largest reserves!)?
                    > <end quote>
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > For problems email; CarFree-owners@yahoogroups.com
                    >
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • JamesJFitz@Juno.com
                    CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. - A tanker carrying industrial ethanol exploded and sank about 50 miles off the Virginia coast Saturday night, the Coast Guard said. At least
                    Message 9 of 9 , Feb 29, 2004
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                      CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. - A tanker carrying industrial ethanol exploded and
                      sank about 50 miles off the Virginia coast Saturday night, the Coast
                      Guard said. At least two of the 27 crew members aboard were killed, and
                      rescue crews were still searching for 19 others.

                      ============================================

                      I didn't read that article but I've been following the subject for a
                      couple of years now. What will that tanker sinking do to gasoline prices
                      and how soon? Only eight months to go until the election. Can Dubya and
                      his gang spin high gas prices to their benefit come election day like
                      they are spinning CIA backed coup in Haiti? Four more years is scarry!

                      Jim

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