Newt Gingrich’s Gasoline Price Fantasies
Anyone who falls for this needs to look into bridges in Brooklyn and oceanfront property in Arizona.
Today on FNS Newt Gingrich said the following:
the biggest difference between me and Santorum, who in many ways were the conservative wing of the race, is the scale of the ideas, the boldness of the ideas. I’m much more prepared to talk about fundamental change, whether it’s a personal Social Security savings accounts for young Americans, or it is zero capitol gains tax, or it is the kind of energy policy that leads back to $2.50 a gallon gasoline.
$1.13 was the amount we paid for a gallon of gas when I was speaker, 4.2 unemployment rate when I left the speakership. Four was the number of years you balanced the federal budget the only time in your lifetime. Two out of three was the number of people who went to work or went to school under welfare reform.
Now, can we get to $2.50? Can we get to $2? It was $1.13 when I was speaker. It was $1.89 when Obama was sworn in.
I mean, $2.50 is not some inconceivable number, except in the Washington establishment, which also explains to you why whatever you want to do that’s good for the American people can’t be done.
There is a lot of amazing in here, but let’s start with the bolded portion. He is implying that somehow there is a way to control gas prices. Yes, one can tinker at the edges via thing like gas taxes and yes, various policies can have some, likely marginal, effects on production and thereby supply. However, the notion that presidents can actually help target a particular price per gallon is fantastical (to be kind). This should be obvious to anyone who been paying attention since, say, since the early 1970s.
Anyone who falls for this needs to look into bridges in Brooklyn and oceanfront property in Arizona.
We all have to remember: the price of crude is driven by an international marketplace. Price is going up not because the president is failing to deploy big ideas, but rather the fact that demand for oil is going up is indicative of global economic recovery, which actually is a positive. Of course, I do recognize that increased gas prices at the pump are problematic for both the domestic economy recovery and Obama’s re-election chances.
Back to Gingrich: I continually wonder if he either is truly such an egotist that he thinks that the “boldness” of his ideas can in, fact, control the price of gasoline, or if he just thinks so little of the electorate that he assumes that they will blithely accept his nonsense. Along those same lines, I love how he cites various numbers from his Speakership as if he was somehow personally responsible for them.
Also: it is amazing that his head does not explode from the cognitive dissonance associated with stating he is part of the “conservative wing of the race” at the same time claiming he is “much more prepared to talk about fundamental change” than any other candidate. Note to Newt: the foundation of conservative is “to conserve” and a conservative mindset is highly skeptical of the efficacy of big ideas. Indeed, Santorum’s views on tradition (and his lack of big ideas, in fact) make him far more conservative than Gingrich.
I will say this: if some one could come up with a Really Cool, Bold, Big Idea to make gas cheaper, that would be really keen! Of course, why stop at that. I say crank up the Boldness Machine and come up with free, pollution-free energy. Why think so small as just $2.50/gallon gas?
Maybe Gingrich’s Big Idea is gasoline price controls? $2.50 by fiat. That’d be pretty bold!
I’m not sure what Mr. Gingrich really thinks about his supporters, but the constituency he appeals to very clearly prioritizes culturally-determined litmus tests over any actual policy coherence.
That sounds like socialism to me.
Maybe Newt wants to emulate the Conservative Republicans of yesteryear!
Newt Gingrich still is running for president?? That has to be a joke.
Putting that aside, there actually is a foolproof way in which to lower domestic gasoline prices, although of course it’s not possible and never will be possible to target a specific price level. It’s a seven-point plan. Each point of which is a no brainer separately, except of course in the minds’ eyes of liberal Moonbats, but in combination therein would lie their maximum effects.
For lower gas prices here’s what we’d have to do: (1) build at least 10 new gasoline refineries throughout the country, including two in California and one each in Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; (2) open up offshore drilling off the California and Florida coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico; (3) drill for oil in Alaska, including in the North Slope and of course in ANWR too; (4) build the Keystone Pipeline; (5) expand oil drilling in the Mountain States; (6) radically expand shale exploration; (7) reduce or eliminate entirely the federal gasoline tax.
This plan wouldn’t be too popular at cocktail parties in Tribeca, Pacific Heights, or in Dedham, but it would be quite popular on Main Street and quite effective too. Guaranteed.
The demand in the US has decreased so much that US refineries are exporting gasoline and diesel. So how is drill baby drill going to impact the price? It’s not, and so much for the no new refineries arguments.
Let me try this:
(If I’m too much of a fogey to make the link, it’s a live performance of Merl Haggard ‘Rainbow
We need to stop talking about peak oil and start talking about peak cheap oil. There may be oil left but it’s going to cost more than you can afford. The Canadian tar sand we here so much about require oil to be over $90 bbl. On top of that it’s real crappy stuff that requires a lot more money to refine.
@Tsar Nicholas II: Oh, sage of the marketplace, if we do decide to despoil every inch of our country to dig up every last drop of oil — which apparently costs nothing to do, according to your theory — how does that keep the multinational oil companies from shipping it all to China and India? And who precisely is going to build all those refineries, when the big oil companies have made it quite clear they’d rather have fewer, since it allows them to keep the price of gas high?
Oh, and do you really think there’s a human being on the planet who thinks your “Oh, is so and so still alive/running for president/whatever” is clever? The first time was a cliche. Now it makes you look like a complete idiot. I mean, in case your policy plans don’t do that first…
I can’t find the link, but I’m sure I saw a story in the news about how demand has actually dropped, yet gas prices are rising to an abnormal high for this time of the year. I’ll keep looking.
There is, and Obama’s already making use of it. It’s called supply and demand.
He’s been limiting our ability to create the stuff thereby limiting the supply.
Consider Keystone, as an example.
@Tsar Nicholas II:
1. Two years ago, an Enbridge pipeline the the Talamedge river burst. Since then the US taxpayers have been forced to pay nearly $600 million in cleanup costs. Are you generally in favor of increasing federal spending to provide more bailouts to corporations incapable of staying in business without government assistance?
2. The land rights for the pathway of the Keystone XL pipeline have been obtained through the filing of dozens of eminent domain actions by TransCanada. Are you generally in favor of the federal government siezing private property from individuals and transferring it to other individuals on the basis of pursuing centrally directed industrial planning?
3. The proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline includes bother thinner pipewalls and higher pumping pressure than industry standard, despite transiting siesmically active portions of the country. Do you fill corporations have any sort of liability to comply with industry standard safety practices?
When I think of the number of ASE certified mechanics I have known (some of whom taught auto technician courses at the local community college) who believe that there is a plan for a carburator that yields 150 miles/gallon in the vaults at GM–held there because the Big Three are in cahoots with the oil industry, I’ll go with option B.
Just for a minute, take Mr Gingrich’s statement at face value, OK? And think of what would be required.
First, we would have to separate the supply of refined product in North America from the entirety of the world market. Because there is no way that the US (taking the Canadian and Mexican fields as ‘ours’ — which they are not of course) price of $2.50/gal can be extended to Europe, China, India and etc. For one thing, the Saudis wouldn’t allow it; there’d be another OPEC embargo because it would cut incredibly deeply into their national income. So the Federal Gov’t would require a bureacracy so large that it could control/forbid the export of a drop of oil from North America to anywhere.
Then we’d have to marshal virtually every bit of drilling equipment in the world. There is a limited supply of major drilling and exploration equipment, you know. And other people want to use some of it. So we would need a Federal bureacracy of such power and breadth that the US could in effect confiscate or purchase virtually drilling rig in the world.
Then we’d have to allow exploration and drilling in every acre in the 50 states. We here in Florida have several times voted against allowing rigs off our coasts in water under state jurisdiction. The Federal gov’t would in effect have to seize our coasts.
The Federal gov’t would have to reverse the trend in the refining industry that has closed refineries in the US because they aren’t economical for the ‘Majors’ to operate them. This could be by ‘fiat’ or subsidies but it would have to be done.
This is what “conservatism” has come too.
As the ad campaign says: Need I say more?
These people are poison. Or blindingly, staggeringly stupid. Or both.
@Eric Florack: Yes, I know: Keystone is the new ANWR, if we just had it all our problems would be solved. Look: I have now strong opinion on the pipeline and probably lean more in favor than not, but it is not a long-term solution that is going to lead to Gingrich’s goals. Further, I would note that lack of the pipeline does not mean that the oil shales will no be tapped.
@Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: I have heard people make such claims. I just don’t believe it because there is a lot of money to be made with such a device and I can’t believe that no one whatsoever was willing to make said money.
@Buffalo Rude: You are right: at least one other factor (and there may well be others) is the saber-rattling over Iran. This is affecting oil futures. This is something that Obama could influence, but it is an area where a President Gingrich would be even worse.
Here is the best energy policy: Many are choosing to invest in energy by investing in their own ingenuity. There are countless inventors, tinkerers, engineers, mechanics, and small business owners who are out there planning, developing, testing, and building energy saving, clean, non-polluting devices. This is where the future is, not with some government or corporate project. One energy breakthrough is the amazing Johnson motor/generator. This is now patented and was developed by an independent engineer. Many people are building their own. It is clean, safe, and generates more energy than it uses. It uses the energy of permanent magnets to do this. Many people are now using these to save 50-75% on residential electricity bills. There is a prototype being developed that will be tried in cars. http://freeenergynews.com/Directory/Howard_Johnson_Motor/
look… at every opportunity where increasing the oil supply was a possibility this id ministration is work directly against that. this id ministration therefore is the majority of the problem. let’s remember that obama was touting increased energy prices as a good thing when he was a candidate.
as for those boats in florida, you too, are part of the problem.
along with I suspect a majority in this country I am tired of the luddites driving oure energy costs through the ceiling
Because, of course, gasoline prices have only been an issue since January of 2009.
This is ridiculously partisan even by your standards.
“build at least 10 new gasoline refineries throughout the country, including two in California and one each in Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey”
Since market forces have caused Sunoco to decide to close 3 refineries in the last 2 years, and cannot find a buyer for the two it is closing in the Philadelphia area, I don’t think you should follow Rasputin’s advise on the merits of this proposal.
Did Gov. Christie veto the laws of thermodynamics, too?
It is hardly surprising that Gingrich would make ridiculous predictions like this…after all, we have bright sparks around here like Tsar Nicholas II and Eric Florack offering equally ridiculous analysis and solutions…
@de stijl: There’s probably a video of him shouting at a Newton’s cradle somewhere on youtube.
That probably explains the huge surge in oil production since Obama took office and why we now are a energy exporter.
@Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Good grief. That old tale! Maybe the ASE they belong to is Astrologers, Scientologists and Ear Candlers.
The carburator was abandoned 25 years ago for fuel injection which is more fuel efficient.
I also wonder if there is enough energy in a gallon of gas to actually propel my Ford Truck 150 miles.
@Guthrum: as we were saying about idiotic ideas…?
Before you spout anything at all about “free energy”, please, please, please learn some thermodynamics!
(There’s a reason why the USPTO demands a WORKING model of anything that is presented to them as a perpetual motion machine.)
I did notice an “anti-gravity” spaceship that supposedly uses the Casimir effect–somehow that slipped past them. Speaking as a physicist—no. Just–no, you can’t do that.
Oh, and I thought the major sticking point with oil shale or tar sands is the immense amount of water needed in processing.
@Steven L. Taylor: “and I can’t believe that no one whatsoever was willing to make said money.”
Nor, can I–which brings me back to why I lean toward alternative B in the what Newt is thinking discussion.
Gas prices were running about 1.79 when Obama took office.
The complaint at the time was that prices where the bush was a. Remember?
now so the president working to raise oil prices, and leftist silent. So are the supposed moderates. Gee, I wonder why?
And, Anjin, No… What that exposes is there’s a huge market for it. A hunger for it.
Only problem with your statement is, that increase has been despite Obama efforts. Not because of them.
Government has been the roadblock to expandingb the energy supply and thereby our economy every step of the way with Obama leading the charge against increased energy supplies at every step.
And you approve, apparently.
Do you have even the sightest understanding of why gas and oil prices were so low in January 2009?
It was because the entire world was in the midst of the biggest economic downturn in a generation, meaning that worldwide demand for oil was lower than it had been in a long time.
You know what happens when demand is low? Prices go down
You want to return to the days of January 2009? Really?
I’m pretty sure any gas-price argument is an appeal to teh stupid vote, as I’ve suggested before.
As many points out, but Eric forgets, most of us understood the price run-up as driven by new Asian demand. As Ron mentions, we are exporting.
You have to be stupid to think the President can lower the world price for oil.
This crap about gas being $1.89 when Obama took office ranks right up there with the smallest Navy since the Civil War meme…just total BS from a very desperate, very intellectually dishonest group of people.
Gas was that low as the result of the Bush Contraction…when the economy shrank 9% in a single quarter. Go to this link and set it for 6 years.
Gas was $1.44 when Bush took officein ’01 and that was not because of the worst contraction since the Great Depression. So if you genuinely feel the President has any control over gas prices…you need to look inward Republicans.
In addition US import of oil is down under Obama from the Bush years…49% in 2010, down from 60% in 2005. How is that possible if “…Obama leading the charge against increased energy supplies at every step…”?
It shows how desperate the Clown Car Posse is that they try to make these arguments.
The PPACA, a Republican Program, is pure Socialism when passed by Democrats.
Contraception rules that have existed for years, and existed in Romney’s Massachusetts, suddenly are an attack on religious freedom.
High gas prices are Obama’s fault, but they weren’t Bush’s fault.
If you can’t make an argument based on facts and the truth…and if you can’t accept any accountibility for your own record and your own actions…then you don’t have much of an argument.
And yet, domestic oil production is up and imports of oil are down.
Actually they want to return to the 50’s. When there was far less threat from the “others”. Everyone was prosperous. Diversity was unheard of. You can hear it in the speeches eminating from the Clown Car Posse. Take America Back.
The 91% top tax bracket of 1958? Not so much.
You know, Eric, I typically categorize most of your comments as simply ideological rooting for your team, but this is just intellectually dishonest or profoundly ignorant.
BTW, here’s a post from 2006 wherein I was defending the Bush administration over claims they were manipulating gas prices and here’s a post from 2008 in which I criticizes Hillary Clinton for engaging in silly gas price politics in the campaign (again, defending Bush the same way I am defending Obama in this post insofar as I am pointing out how little the President can do about these things).
What part of “global market” is so confusing here?
@grumpy realist: To understand the magnet motor, think about how you can push one magnet with another. Now, make two arrangements of permanent magnets so that they keep pushing continously – as in a rotor. I have recently seen a simple motor like this at a school science fair: small, but it ran continously.
Go to you tube, look under magnet motors for examples. They show simple, toy motors and motors that are actually harnessed to generators. The principle is the same: energy contained in magnets.
@Guthrum: From the link you posted:
Is there any more recent information?
Umm. Yea. Gas prices were at a record high the previous summer. The collapse of that price spike, combined with the near collapse of the economy had prices in a trough in late 2008/early 2009.
bit would gladly go back to the economic conditions of Jan. 2009. Because it would hurt Obama. And that is the only thing he cares about.
There’s a huge market for oil/gas? Really? Wow, we are lucky that you are here to call out the nuances. Sadly, you don’t understand how that market has grown in this century, and what the implications of that growth are.
I don’t think magnets contain energy.
F*cking magnets, how do they work!
There are lots of people who don’t appear to understand that oil is a global commodity.
Newt knows this. He’s flailing now. This is just an appeal to the (even more than the median GOP primary voter) stupid vote.
@guthrum: What do you mean, “magnets contain energy”? Unless you mean in a “E = mc^2” meaning, no, they do not. It’s not like they are some form of Nature’s batteries that come all wound up and ready to go. Or maybe you mean the energy as in (mass) *(gravitational constant)*(height)? Right.
(And I bet the next installment of this foolish “free energy” explanation will involve somehow “tapping into the Earth’s magnetic field!” “quantum mechanics”, and “Tesla!” ) I won’t be surprised if contrails get mentioned.
Free. Energy. Does. Not. Exist. Get that through your pipe and smoke it. Better yet, stop reading the newsletters put out by cranks and go get Landau’s book on Thermodynamics. Go read it. Work through it. Make sure you understand all the math. Go read some books on chemistry and solid-state physics. Ashcroft & Mermin is good for the latter. Then you might, just might start to understand how mind-boggingly ignorant your statements are.
(There’s a reason why real scientists don’t like to deal with cranks–it’s the natural world equivalent of the birfers.)
I surprised anyone bothered to respond to the
perpetual motionfree energy crank.
You don’t even need to know about Thermodynamics. The crankery jumps right off the webpage…
@Tsar Nicholas II:
I can lower the the price in fewer points than you. . . . i can in just three points.
(1) obtain gas somewheres about.
(2) something yet to be determined or the femer bone of a one eye’d vagabond drifter.
Common Sense Conservitive Free Maket Princpals(tm) at work.
I totally missed the Gunthrum comment…but the first thing I saw when I went to the link was this:
Clearly the solution to our energy problems.
What does JP call it? The stupid vote? Spot-on.
Of course you fail to mention that price was an extremely low statistical outlier. For example, the summer of the 2008 election saw the highest prices in US history:
In fact, four years ago, the average price of gas was only about 30 cents lower than it is today — which, given the world wide increase in demand, isn’t all that bad.
@Steven L. Taylor:
And sadly either of the two options shows the impossibility of having a conversation — let alone a debate — with Eric on ideological issues. For either he is willing to distort the truth, or he is so attached to his world view that he is constitutionally incapable of entertaining the possibility of facts that would disrupt it.
Drilling for oil or natural gas or whatever isn’t going to do anything about the price of gas in the immediate future. However, the USA, for the first time in 50 years, started exporting gasoline. What needs to be done, if we’re gonna stick with oil, is to increase the number of refineries to increase the amount of gasoline. And maybe have the government check into price gouging because current refineries are making way more money now than they have in the past.
Optimally, we need to get off the need for oil and move to other sources. I just watched a video yesterday about a guy who converted a car to run on water without using a bunch of money to do so. On the same page was another person who converted his house to be completely off the electrical and natural gas grid using water and solar.
The technology is out there, but until we start embracing it, enjoy the 4 or 5 dollar a gallon gas.
I bet it looked like this! http://www.amphicar.com/
Even if you posted a link to “a guy who converted a car to run on water” I would have a hard time believing it.
Of course if you drove your water powered car to my house I would have to take a look.
I have known several people to abandon the electric grid. Many of them have gasoline powered generators for when their batteries run dry and the sun doesn’t shine. But they remain proud to be “off the grid.”
“look… at every opportunity where increasing the oil supply was a possibility this id ministration is work directly against that.”
Oil and gas production is at a 30 year high in the US. Let us hope the administration keeps working against it with the same results.
@grumpy realist: Take a look at these videos that show how the magnet motors work.
There are several other videos also.
I am also impressed with one electric car: the Tesla. Now that is an electric car that is attractive, powerful, and long range (250 miles on one charge). It also plugs into a regular wall outlet! Now that is progress. This is the green car that we have been waiting on. Now if GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, etc. could follow that model, we would be well on the way to oil independence in 2-4 years!
Seriously? Magnet Motors?
First BOTH SIDES DO IT.
Now Magnet Motors.
Under absolutely perfect conditions you could theoretically achieve unity…but that neglects friction, and the load that you are using the motor to drive. Plus the magnetic charge weakens slightly over time…nothing is permanent. Nothing is free.
Just stop it.
Headlines you won’t see on CNN or NYT: “Car Runs On Water!”. This is the invention the government/car mfg/gas complex are scared to death of and try to block from production. One of these cars was designed by a NASA engineer! Go to this website and see for yourself. You will simply be amazed by what you see!
Coming in three years or sooner to car showrooms: hydrogen powered cars! The big three and other car companies are already testing prototypes. But you don’t have to wait. Thousands of people have built their own hydrogen producing cells and are cutting their gas consumption by 50% or more. These devices can be built for less than $200 with parts that are available at local auto parts stores and home supply stores. They are safe and will have no effect on warranties or emissions (cars will actually run cleaner.) You don’t have to worry about overbearing government regulators or rules. A factory in SC is already using forklifts powered by hydrogen. See for your self by searching “hydrogen powered cars” and:
As an alternative to @guthrum‘s link let me suggest the two relevant Wikipedia pages:
I’d also suggest reading the talk pages for each entry — which give you an idea about the amount of conspiracy theory stuff, and the general lack of evidence that surround this topic.
On thing that immediate pops out is how many of the “inventors” of this sort of tech have been convicted of fraud.
@MattB: Oh god, here we go again. I don’t have the heart to ruin my brain wading through the free energy sewage. Can some kind individual rummage through the stuff and tell me whether maybe these idiots are talking about hydrogen fuel cells?
Been there, done that. Worked for a Japanese corporation for quite a few years on fuel cell projects. Straight hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell stuff is best used on upper-atmosphere probes or standard rockets. Down here on Earth, most of the research has been on non-high-pressure, air/hydrogen units. Your major problem is your air quality and keeping stuff like carbon monoxide from poisoning the cell. Which is why if you really, really want to make a play on fuel cells, a) buy stock in 3M and DuPont, and b) load up on palladium and platinum. Platinum needed for the standard catalytic effect, palladium because it scarfs up any carbon monoxide.
Actually, rather than cars, fuel cells are best used in co-gen systems, where you produce both electricity and hot water. One of the Kirin breweries in Chiba uses wastewater from the beer production process, ferments it more, and uses the methane off it to power a co-gen system. Supposedly saves them 6% in energy costs per bottle of beer produced.
Speaking of methane, haven’t groups been working on using the sewage from pig farms as a source?
And on that cheerful thought, will go to bed….
@MattB: Oh, and MattB, sorry if I seemed to imply I was talking about your links–my sighs were in reference to guthrum’s stuff.
There used to be a short newsletter called something like “Hydrogen Production Research”, whose author had obviously gotten bored in the years before Ballard came up with their fuel cell and decided to track the water-as-fuel/free energy cranks as well. It was a hilarious collection of reports of conviction for fraud.
@Eric Florack: Uh dude the refineries in my city are actually exporting a lot of their oil products including gas..
EDIT : OH yeah and those same refineries keep “accidentally” polluting the snot out of the environment here. A whole neighborhood is being evacuated because of massive pollution from refinery row.
Meanwhile the companies responsible pay a small fine and apologize..
Yet another rant n’ run by Florack…
wwwmpgleader.com fuel system reduces vehicles had or CNG consumption 30.1%. EPA/CARB certified lab approved. Inquries welcomed.