Embargoed until 10:00 AM, EST, February 7, 2013.
The Decline of the Empire (DOTE) Bullshit Forecasting Center® (BFC) warns Americans that a large, virulent wave of bullshit is coming their way, although it does not threaten their very existence. It does however threaten their pocketbooks for no good reason.
"We've seen this kind of bullshit before," said Dave Cohen, head of the BFC, "and there's a heavy seasonal component to it, but gasoline prices have never been this high this early in the year, and there's no good reason for it. You're going to be told any bullshit which seems to justify those price rises."
Gasoline prices are mostly determined by crude oil prices. Cohen cited this AP report, which showed that crude oil inventories are rising—crude oil is plentiful—but since the rise did not meet expectations for an even greater rise in inventories, traders felt justified in raising the price of WTI crude, which is bought and sold on the NYMEX in New York City, gambling capital of the world.
A government report showing a smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. crude supplies led to a turnaround in the price of oil Wednesday.
Meanwhile, U.S. drivers continue to pay more at the pump. The average price for a gallon of gas in California is now within a nickel of $4.
Benchmark crude for March delivery fell 2 cents to end at $96.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It dropped as low as $95.04 in the morning.
Crude supplies grew by 2.6 million barrels, or 0.7 percent, in the week ended Feb. 1. Analysts expected an increase of 3 million barrels. Still, total supplies stand at 371.7 million barrels, which is 9.6 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
"That's some 100%-pure Grade A bullshit right there," said Cohen. "I don't know what to say to Diana Griffitts, other than to warn her about all this bullshit."
"I'm shocked. I don't know what happened," Diana Griffitts, a motorist filling up at a downtown LA station, told CNN. "Just a week ago I paid under $4 a gallon. I'd like an explanation."
Cohen warned that no type of bullshit which might justify these high oil and gasoline prices is off the table. "Tensions with Iran, refinery shutdowns, which always happen this time of year—you name it," Cohen said. "People are driving less, but paying more at the pump, and of course as the CNN story pointed out, there's no national or regional shortage of gasoline at this time. Apparently, there is no reward of any kind for fuel efficiency or cutting back your consumption."
Cohen also pointed out that Fed money printing which drives money into equities (the stock market) and commodities is likely the root cause of recent price hikes. "All that speculative money is probably the driving force behind these price rises, but nobody is going to tell you that. That money might have gone into T-bills or—God Forbid—real private investment in the American economy, but now its pushing up gasoline and stock prices."
"Say 'thank you' to Ben Bernanke every time you fill up at the pump," Cohen concluded.
End Press Release