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Posts tagged “FTCR”

By Robert Rapier on Sep 27, 2007 with no responses

Debunking Business Week Misinformation

Besides hypocrisy, another thing I hate is the spreading of misinformation. Sometimes, the spreading of misinformation is done without malice, because you may just be repeating something you thought to be true. So, misinformation is in a different category than hypocrisy for me. But I do try to combat the spreading of misinformation when it occurs, particularly when the misinformation causes people to get mad at my industry. After all, we have enough ill will toward us already. We don’t need more heaped on as a result of misinformation. Which brings me to a very misinformed story in Business Week: Big Oil’s Big Stall On Ethanol This is a remarkable collection of half-truths that paint a thoroughly inaccurate picture. Here… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 12, 2007 with no responses

The Implosion at Oil Watchdog

Once upon a time, I ran across a website called the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). Some of their hysterical claims about the oil industry gave me a great deal of easy essay material. This group demonstrates what can happen when a group of people with absolutely no technical people on staff start issuing press releases explaining how the oil and gas industry works, and how the business should be run: They make fools of themselves. Their concept is fine – reporting on the misdeeds of oil companies – but the execution has resulted in mostly reporting of phanton menaces. The FTCR spun off a site devoted solely to oil and gas issues: Oil Watchdog Judy Dugan, whose… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 5, 2007 with no responses

Hot Gas Issue Heating Up

Several people have asked me about this recently, and it has been in the news quite a bit, so this is a good time for an update. I have previously written 2 essays on the “hot gas” issue: Hot Gas Lawsuit in Utah More on Hot Gas Lawsuit If you are unfamiliar with this, this issue is that most gas pumps are not temperature compensated, so consumers are being “ripped off” on hot summer days. The funny thing is that gas is stored underground, and the temperature is very near the 60 degree temperature a gallon is based upon. Here is a story from USA Today explaining the issue: Motorists sue oil titans, retailers over ‘hot fuel’ losses Think gas… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 25, 2007 with no responses

Record Prices = Record Profits?

So, I am running through some of my daily news searches – things like “gas prices”, “gas gouging”, “alternative energy”, etc. I ran across this gem: Gas price gouging becomes even more obvious It is basically just another ignorant screed from someone who apparently thinks oil companies can just raise and lower prices at a whim: As long as no significant gasoline retailer breaks ranks and the price at the pump remains fairly constant from one street corner to the next within a region, there is no reason for any oil company not to raise prices. So they do. An absolutely abysmal understanding of the issues. It is funny that people seem to understand that when the price of gold… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 10, 2007 with no responses

Artificial Gasoline Shortages?

I need to start doing a weekly column on the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) to address their weekly hysterical news releases about the oil industry. The last time it was criticizing the industry for charitable contributions, charging that they were trying to buy respectability (ignoring the fact that these contributions have been going on for decades). This time, it is their continued slander that the reason gasoline prices are rising in California is because refiners are artificially withholding capacity: With Gasoline a Dime From Record Price, Top Analyst Says West Coast is Toast SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 9 — A top oil industry analyst predicts today that even if gasoline supplies and prices ease off in the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 27, 2007 with no responses

More on Hot Gas Lawsuit

I really love my Site Meter at the bottom of the page. I check it most days, and it gives me a lot of good information about who is linking to the site and where they are coming from. Incidentally, you can access the same information I can see by clicking on it. Anyway, a few days ago I wrote Hot Gas Lawsuit in Utah. It is about a class action lawsuit that claims that oil companies are making a killing from overcharging customers because gas expands in the summer. According to my Site Meter, I was getting some hits on this article, which I ultimately tracked back to here. The discussion was fine, until one of my beloved fringe… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 22, 2007 with no responses

What Planet Are They From?

I have come across a couple of articles in the past few days that really left me shaking my head. One praises Hugo Chavez as a hero, and the other blasts oil companies for their multi-million dollar gifts to higher education. These people definitely see the world through a very different set of lenses than I do. Hugo Chavez: Hero of the People There are extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. For every Ann Coulter on the Right, there is a Wayne Madsen on the Left: Both are just as out of touch as they can possibly be. I have found that I can’t communicate with either sort of extremist, because they are generally entrenched in their views… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 1, 2007 with no responses

The FTCR Slander Continues

I have written previously about the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). You can see a list of these essays here. Their web site states: FTCR is a non-profit, non-partisan consumer watchdog group. We fight corrupt corporations and crooked politicians every day. Now that sounds like a noble goal. That is, until you start to dig a little deeper, and find out that “corrupt corporations” too often means “we are paying too much for gasoline, and it must be because of corrupt corporations.” In fact, they have stated that they think gasoline should be under $2.00/gallon for everyone. They seem to feel that this is some sort of a birthright for Americans. Given my often-repeated mantra that we need… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 13, 2006 with no responses

A Case Study in Cluelessness

I saw a familiar name today in a news article, which I will get to in a bit. I was reading an article from the Sacramento Bee that said that gas prices may have bottomed out. (I won’t link to the article, since it requires registration). I have been saying that gas prices couldn’t fall much further based on weekly EIA inventory numbers, and were poised to rise. Gas pricing is pretty simple, really. You basically have to watch gasoline inventories, which are reported every week at: This Week in Petroleum If you want a very reliable indicator of which direction gas prices are headed, watch the gasoline inventories graph. When inventories are plunging, as they were in the first… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 22, 2006 with no responses

Inventory Management

I have been engaged in an e-mail exchange with a journalist overseas who is writing an article on gasoline pricing in the U.S. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t be any more specific than that. However, I do want to share a couple of responses that I sent regarding some questions of price-gouging. In one response, I commented on the writings of Tim Hamilton and Jamie Court at the FTCR. I have documented their cluelessness in a previous essay: Another Uninformed Consumer Watchdog This time, I was asked about this particular document by Court and Hamilton: Low gasoline inventories set the stage for $4 at the pump in 2006 Their claim is that oil companies are… Continue»