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Gasoline prices: Round up the usual suspects!

Gas Prices

News flash: Gasoline prices are high! And they're going higher!

In California, the usual suspects have been rounded:

Said The Times on Friday:

"California's high prices result mainly from its increasing reliance on foreign imports, refineries operating far below capacity and the seasonal change to a more expensive summer blend, analysts say.

"In addition, less oil is being produced in California than in the past, making the state more dependent on higher-priced imports."

Yea, sure.  

Here are my culprits:

1-3 / Greedy oil companies. (To be fair, that’s usually 1-10 on most people's lists.)

4/ That giant solar flare last week. If it can mess up cellphones, surely it can mess up the pumps.

5/ Jupiter is not aligned with Mars, making this the Age of Ethyl. (Only those over 50 understand this reasoning; the under-30 types will just have to trust us.)

6/ Gov. Scott Walker's attempt to bust the unions in Wisconsin.

My dad was a union pipeline welder, and he always told me: "Don't mess with the working man." Now I understand.

7/ The railroading of Lindsay Lohan  on trumped-up theft charges;


8/ Jennifer Aniston cut her hair.

Hollywood is to blame for most things.

9/ The fact that no one can figure out how to spell Moammar Kadafi's name. (Honestly, this is just a shameful  plug for my Tuesday blog post.) Oh, and that there's some sort of revolution going on there.

10/ Crude oil prices are skyrocketing. Maybe, but I'm skeptical. Just like the deniers of  global warming, I don't believe there's any connection between oil prices and gasoline prices. You put oil in the engine but gasoline in the tank -- how can they be the same?  I didn't learn much in public school, but I've done some research on the World Wide Web, and this sounds fishy to me.  

 But I'll leave the last word to local resident Lusine Mkrtchyan, quoted in The Times on Tuesday:

"She scoffed when told that analysts were blaming high pump prices on unrest in the Middle East. 'It's just ridiculous. Isn't there always unrest in the Middle East?'" she said, buying a few gallons for her Mercedes CLK350. 

Nice car:  Estimated MPG: 17 city, 25 highway. Want a good used one?  $41,492, Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas.

--Paul Whitefield

Photo: Oil prices rose to their highest in 2 1/2 years on Tuesday as investors worried that the revolt in Libya could spread to top Middle East producers, as companies suspended operations and ports were disrupted. Credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters


Comments () | Archives (12)

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Frank Wilson

The clown element has no clue that the U.S. dollar is collapsing because of too much debt, and prices of everything are starting to soar as a direct result. Keep the flags of "no inflation" flying and you'll be a-okay.

bill in Montana

Said The Times on Friday:

"California's high prices result mainly from its increasing reliance on foreign imports, refineries operating far below capacity and the seasonal change to a more expensive summer blend, analysts say.

"In addition, less oil is being produced in California than in the past, making the state more dependent on higher-priced imports."

OK, if the high prices in California result from an increasing reliance on foreign imports, reduce the need for importing oil. The easiest way is to increase DOMESTIC production, until such time as alternative energy sources are viable alternatives. But this would require the development of a backbone by politicians who would have to 1) stand up to environmental groups who do not want such things in their back yards and 2) put effective pressure on the Interior Department to allow issuance of drilling permits.
And it had better happen in the NEAR future, before all of our economy is destroyed by $200 per barrel prices.


Bill, why should energy companies drill here when they can make a bundle on imported stuff? They will drill here when they feel like it, maybe when it is $150 a barrel. And I bet Bill drives a gas guzzler, hey Bill?


What a bunch of lying cheats these oil companies are!

Dave Whitefield

You missed at least one... Justin Bieber cut his hair too.

AdoptiveFather, Los Angeles CA

Every illegal alien increases need for oil by 3 gallons per day.

Deport the 20 million illegals here and US oil demand would drop by 1.5 million barrels per day.

All that money saved would come right off the top of the trade deficit and would strengthen the US dollar.


We've followed the pied piper of gasoline profits for 30 years too many-
now the pipeline is dry.

If we'd been more sane about motor trends, there'd be more to go around now- but now it's hurting people who DetrOIL sold livin large to for too long.


OK, adoptivefather, can you please explain how much it is going to cost to deport 20 million people, not mention the logistics of moving 20 million people.

Since you are all about saving taxpayers money perhaps you would like to donate the many millions of dollars to do this.

All you racists should at least think when you are mindlessly parroting tea bagger propaganda.

Jon Healey

@Frank -- The strength of the dollar has much less to do with U.S. debt at this point than U.S. monetary policy, and particularly the ultra-low interest rates here relative to where they are in other countries. Commodity prices have nothing to do with U.S. debt, either, although you could make the case that the inflation we're seeing (overseas in particular) is a response to the Fed's sustained easy money policies. Before you suggest otherwise, those policies aren't a consequence of U.S. debt, either -- they're a response to the recession.

AdoptiveFather, Los Angeles CA

Posted by: Jim

What you fail to recognize is that unless you do something we are in for a massive population disaster.

At 1% population growth we reach 800 million people near the end of this century. Are you ready for that? How bout your kids?

Idiots are recognized by playing the race card at every corner.

Mitchell Young

I feel -- no, empathize as a frequent bike commuter-- with the guy filling up his tires. Air used to be free at 'service stations', then they started charging 50¢, then 75¢, and now a $1.00. C'mon, it's not like OPEC is controlling the Air Supply.

Steven Moshlak

About 40 cents of every gallon of gas goes out in state sales taxes.

About 20 cents of every gallon goes out in state gas taxes.

Another 50 cents goes out in refining and federal excise taxes.

Where is all the money going?



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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