SF Chronicle: Gas prices — set by market or manipulation?


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Editorial

It’s a standard element of American politics: Gas prices are an evergreen subject of politicians’ campaign rhetoric, the standard measure of Americans’ economic worries and the weapon with which to wage war on unseen corporate evil-doers. Countless investigations on oil price manipulations have been ordered, but the smoking gun is never found.

Why Oil Prices Aren’t Coming Down Despite Big U.S. Oil Boom

The U.S. oil market is subject to a complex web of forces, some domestic and some global – and most of them are pushing oil prices higher.

Increasing U.S. oil production, as it turns out, has helped reduce U.S. oil imports, but it’s global demand that determines how much the black gold costs.

While fuel demand has dropped in the U.S., it’s risen 28% in China over the past five years.

America’s Most Obvious Tax Reform Idea: Kill the Oil and Gas Subsidies

In a world where $100-a-barrel oil is here to stay, there’s no need to pad the industry’s bottom line.

When Saudi Arabia’s longtime oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, opens his mouth, the world listens. Yesterday, during a speech in Hong Kong, he delivered a message that U.S. policy makers in particular would do well to take note of. The days of $100-a-barrel crude, he told the crowd, are here “for the foreseeable future.”

If he’s right, one thing that shouldn’t be around for the foreseeable future are the outdated tax credits that protect oil and gas companies, which will be plenty profitable in a world of $100-a-barrel oil. If Democrats and Republicans are looking for safe ground to set up camp for the budget negotiations, let’s start with these $7 billion-a-yearsubsidies.