Although it has been "stylish" to blame oil companies for high gasoline prices-that just isn't the dynamic. The BO administration's EPA forcing ethanol down our throats and over regulating refineries in other ways has lead to much higher gas prices than would exist otherwise. Answers to the problem:
1)Drop ethanol, blending into gas, requirement immediately
2)Equalize the subsidy for NG and electric vehicles
Electric vehicles, of course, are powered by NG and/or coal, through the power grid. NG directly, per gallon equiv, is 21% of the cost of oil based (gasoline, diesel) energy. $106/6=$17.66 NG=$.3.70/$17.66=21%.
It is so sad that the leadership of this country is extremely stupid. There was a time, when I lived in Mass. that I was contemplating running for office. But, I'm wasn't going to put my family through that "character assassination" process. I'm sure there are thousands of others that could do a much better job, but don't want to "play" in that arena that is currently filled with ignoramuses and the psychologically damaged.
Another reason gas prices are so high is because it is much more profitable to export gas, diesel, etc rather than sell into the US market. The ethanol credit refiners have to buy are costing up to $.15/gallon if product is sold in the US. However, exports are exempt from ethanol blending requirements.
Bottom line, all the social and economic interference into, what should be free markets, are causing economic and social disasters. So many of the "parties" involved are into denial. What is going to happen? Eventually it will all "blow up" in economic and social terms-just like Detroit.
High gasoline prices aren't good for the consumer as it constrains spending in other areas. In my 40+ years of inventing experience, good indicators of consumer spending exhaustion are bed and dental sales. This evening, 7/17, SCSS reported terrible numbers. This is a warning shot that the consumer is getting tapped out. Unless gasoline prices fall by a $1.00/gallon by the end of the summer, I would expect back-to-school and holiday sales to very lackluster. Couple that with comments by IBM that 2ndH tech spending will not rebound as previously expected and you get a set-up of very modest to negative sales and earnings growth across many sectors.
Yet, PEs are much too high as investors are paying way too much for the little growth they are getting.
Some of our 'leaders' are not very bright, others are ideologically blinded and others are simply self-serving. Are we getting the government we deserve? Sadly, if 'we' is broadly defined, we probably are. The story is told of Adlai Stevenson on the stump. When someone shouted 'All thinking Americans are behind you Senator!' He instantly replied: "I need more than that. I need a majority.'
Term limits would solve much of the problem. I live in PA, home to the country's largest full time state legislature and one of our most expensive. Despite Republican majorities in both houses, nothing important like transportation funding gets done due to egos and back room deal making. Forget term limits. The legislature has to approve them first. LOL.