Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gas Prices Surge, Media Yawns

Recall back a couple of years ago when gas prices rose precipitously. It was 24/7 news. You couldn't escape it. Live remotes from the gas pumps. Stories of how people were reduced to choosing between gas and food, gas and medicine, they had to eat dog food because gas was so high, it was Bush's fault, the greedy oil barons were conspiring to get us all, blah blah blah. An endless cacophony of gloom and doom.

I've recently noticed gas prices climbing quite a bit since I drive so much. Curiously, however, I never see any stories on the news about the rise in prices. Funny how that is when the Democrats are in charge.
Gasoline prices haven't gotten much attention amid all the other bad economic news for Democrats heading into a final week of campaigning, but the price per gallon has climbed nearly 15 cents since Labor Day - a surprising jump, given that prices usually plummet before an election.

The cost of a gallon of gas has eclipsed the $3 mark in several parts of the country and clocks in nationally at $2.82, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That's up from $2.68 on Sept. 6, and overall about $1 higher than the week of Jan. 26, 2009, when President Obama took office and the per-gallon price was $1.81.

Analysts say the surge in pump prices defies historical trends that call for a drop-off after the Labor Day holiday, which signals the end of the summer driving season and the traditional dip ahead of the November election season.

"We're puzzled by it," said John B. Townsend II, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "It's becoming increasingly expensive, and the great anomaly is that never happens before an election - prices always fall."
Ah, but that was in the dark days before change arrived. Now everything is more expensive, yet our media superiors are conditioned to not report anything will will dare affect Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler Obama.
Nearly 70 percent of the cost of gas is determined by the global price for a barrel of crude oil, which currently is priced at $81, according to the EIA, and experts say there aren't many levers the president can pull to change prices dramatically in the short term.
Why, we were told the world was going to love us again during the heady days of Hopenchange? What happened?
Even though the issue has been out of the news, 56 percent of Americans say gas prices are "extremely important," according to a mid-October Associated Press-GfK poll that also found 29 percent rated prices at the pump as "moderately important" while 15 percent said they're of little or no importance. Americans are split in their assessment of how Mr. Obama is handling gas prices, with 49 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving of his performance, that same survey found. Among likely voters, just 46 percent approve of his track record on gas prices and 51 percent disapprove.
You could bet those numbers would be much different if the media harpies were out at the pumps on a regular basis whining about the price.

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