Oil

How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices, by US Rep. Ron Paul

We've heard how the value of the dollar affects gas prices – and indeed the price of everything. I was pleased that my request for a hearing on such was granted by the Financial Services committee and we were able to hear some very informative testimony. Certainly domestic policies, regarding off-shore oil drilling bans, ethanol mandates, refining capacity, and CAFE standards are interventionist and harmful enough in the energy market.

But how does foreign policy affect gas prices? One important factor is that oil on the world market has been priced in dollars exclusively since 1973. Only two leaders have gone against this arrangement - Saddam Hussein in 2000 and more recently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the recently opened Iranian Oil Bourse which trades in non-dollar currencies. But since oil is otherwise exclusively traded in dollars, this means that oil producers have vast amounts of assets held in dollars. Especially since the War on Terror and the PATRIOT Act, many oil-producing nations and banks are concerned the US government may freeze assets based on flimsy pretexts. This fear contributes to dollar weakness, and therefore also high oil prices.

Hearing on Oil Prices and the Dollar Scheduled for Thursday, July 24, by US Rep. Ron Paul

Washington , DC - Last month Congressman Ron Paul, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy called for a hearing on the relationship between the falling value of the dollar and the recent rise of oil prices, noting:

“The price of oil is currently among the most pressing issues to American workers. Congress should be examining all factors contributing to the high cost of oil, and monetary policy is one of the key factors in the run-up in price.”

Something Big is Happening, by US Rep. Ron Paul

Madam Speaker, I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of America . The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I have days--growing more frequent all the time--when I'm convinced the time is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur. These fast-approaching events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.

Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the innocent people of the world--unless we quickly change our ways.

Introducing the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Automobile Tax Credit Act, by US Rep. Ron Paul

Madame Speaker, I rise today to introduce the Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Automobile Tax Credit Act, legislation that will help Americans reduce pollution and the amount they pay for gas. My legislation accomplishes these important goals by providing Americans a tax credit of up to $2,000 when they sell or trade in a car and obtain a vehicle that has at least a 20% higher average fuel economy than the sold or traded-in car. The bill also creates a federal tax deduction for any state or local taxes paid on the purchase of the more fuel-efficient automobile and makes interest on loans to purchase the more fuel-efficient automobile tax deductible.

Congressman Paul Calls for Hearings on Oil Prices and the Dollar

Congressman Ron Paul, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, has written a letter to Chairman Barney Frank of the House Financial Services Committee calling for a hearing on the relationship between the falling value of the dollar and the recent rise of oil prices, noting:

“The price of oil is currently among the most pressing issues to American workers. Congress should be examining all factors contributing to the high cost of oil, and monetary policy is one of the key factors in the run-up in price.”

Speculators, Regulators, Militarists, and Money Masters

Jim Davidson reviews some of the factors contributing to high prices. They are not largely due to speculators.

Rising Energy Prices and the Falling Dollar, by US Rep. Ron Paul

Oil prices are on the minds of many Americans as gas hits $4 a gallon, and continues to surge. How high can prices go? How can we solve these problems? What, or who, is to blame?

Part of the answer lies in understanding bubbles and monetary inflation, but especially the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve is charged with controlling inflation through interest rate manipulation, however, many fail to realize that creating money, and therefore inflation, is really its only tool. When the Federal Reserve inflates the dollar as drastically as it has in the past few decades, the first users of the newly created money go in search of investments for their dollars. They must invest this money quickly and aggressively before it loses value. This causes certain sectors to expand beyond what would naturally occur in the free market. Eventually the sector overheats and the bubble bursts. Overinvestment in dotcoms eventually led to a collapse of the NASDAQ. Next we had the housing bubble, and now we are seeing the price of oil being bid up in the creation of another new bubble. Investors are now looking to commodities like oil, for stability and growth as they pull capital out of real estate. This increased demand for investment vehicles related to oil contributes to driving up the price of the actual product.

Big Government Responsible for High Gas Prices, by US Rep. Ron Paul

In the past few months, American workers, consumers, and businesses have experienced a sudden and dramatic rise in gasoline prices. In some parts of the country, gasoline costs as much as $4 per gallon. Some politicians claim that the way to reduce gas prices is by expanding the government’s power to regulate prices and control the supply of gasoline. For example, the House of Representatives has even passed legislation subjecting gas stations owners to criminal penalties if they charge more than a federal bureaucrat deems appropriate. Proponents of these measures must have forgotten the 1970s, when government controls on the oil industry resulted in gas lines and shortages. It was only after President Reagan lifted federal price controls that the gas lines disappeared.

Pain at the Pump, by US Rep. Ron Paul

This past week Americans traveled approximately 2 billion miles to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and loved ones. While you cannot put a price on time with family, Americans sure felt the pain of higher fuel prices at the gas pump. It is time to take an honest look at the government's direct and indirect role in inflating those prices.

Taxation is the most direct way government increases Americans' cost at the pump. The national average price of gas now is well over $3.00 per gallon now, $4 in some areas. Federal taxes take 18.4 cents, while state and local taxes average another 28.5 cents per gallon. That's an average of 47 cents per gallon Americans are paying just for government, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Less directly, our loose monetary policy gives taxpayers double jeopardy at the pump, simultaneously increasing prices and undermining purchasing power. Wages always lag behind price increases, making average Americans feel as though they can never quite keep up, never quite get out of debt. Not to mention the ripple effect of higher diesel costs on the trucking industry. When trucking and shipping is more expensive, everything is more expensive.