By Robert Romano
Once again, oil and gasoline prices are on the march upwards, and conveniently, Barack Obama is waving the “speculators” card, promising to investigate nefarious investors he alleges are behind it all.
With average gasoline per gallon prices nationally at over $3.80 and rising rapidly, American motorists are taking note of the increases — and are asking why they’re paying more.
“[A] lot of what's driving oil prices up right now is not the lack of supply. There's enough supply. There's enough oil out there for world demand,” Obama said.
Pretty much, that part is true. Since 2009, global oil consumption has increased from 84.133 million barrels a day to 86.7 million in 2010, a 3 percent increase, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA). Furthermore, the EIA projects a further consumption increase of 1.5 million barrels a day in 2011, bringing the total consumption rise from 2009 to 2011 to a total 4.8 percent increase.
Yet, prices have increased far more dramatically. Brent oil in January 2009 was trading at a low of about $40 a barrel, and Light Sweet Crude was at low of about $35 a barrel, to now over $120 a barrel and $110 a barrel, respectively. That’s 200 percent and 214 percent increases each in price.
Oil supply is not the problem, because production has been relatively stable, increasing as consumption has increased without significant disruption each year.
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