Bartlesville Gas and the Downside of Dropping Prices at the Pump


bartlesville gas price steve clemons.jpg
I snapped this picture on Monday morning this week in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where I paid $2.09 a gallon for gas.
Bartlesville is the original home base of Frank Phillips and Phillips 66 (now ConocoPhillips).
This ought to worry everyone. We’ll be under $2.00 in some parts of the country soon — and the price gougers elswhere in the country will slowly float down to these levels as well.
This is unfortunate on a number of fronts as a combination of the massive economic shocks that have hit the country and the precipitous price drop at the gas pump will be negative incentives in moving more expeditiously to alternative energy regimes.
— Steve Clemons


18 comments on “Bartlesville Gas and the Downside of Dropping Prices at the Pump

  1. Steve Clemons says:

    Wow Mark — I had no idea that I had any readers anywhere near Bartlesville, except my mother. best,


  2. Mark says:

    Steve, I just used same station on about the same day (Aunt lives in B-ville)


  3. annjell says:

    T. Boone Pickens huh. I can’t remember what investment channel I was looking at. Apparently, Mr. Pickens started some type of mutual fund, or investment fund involving energy independence. Quite a few people said they lost money. They complained it was a scam, and the fund went bust.
    Yes, Mr. Pickens brag and boast about the money he has, and says he doesn’t need any money, because he has more than he know what to do with.
    Maybe we should instead look to Brazil. I am hearing that Europe already has a jump start on this.


  4. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    I am sure John Kerry is thrilled. Remember, T. Boone Pickens was one of the Swift Boat funders. If I were a Democrat, T. Boone would have to make a lot of amends first, if his plan could even work.


  5. JohnH says:

    Maybe T. Boone should have Detroit talk to Iran. They are well on the way to converting to natural gas for automobiles. This is an unintended consequence of US sanctions that prevent them from refining all the gasoline they need.
    Oh, the irony…


  6. Mr.Murder says:

    We’ve had 60mpg caruberated technology available for decades, you think someone would finally excercise eminent domain upon the patents since Saud interest bought them out back in the 1950’s.


  7. Mr.Murder says:

    T Boone Pickens slapped backs and passed cigars when JFK was shot. All you need to know about the scum.


  8. pauline says:

    Did anyone catch T. Boones Pickens on C-Span this past weekend?
    This billionaire has a plan to get U.S. automakers to start producing natural gas hydrids that can run on either dirty foreign oil or on the plentiful U.S. natural gas. His estimated cost per gallon for the average car — $1.50 per gallon!!
    He claims that anyone in DC who thinks we can somehow survive on OPEC oil, doesn’t know enough or doesn’t want to know any alternative plans that include what the U.S. has plenty of (especially in Alaska) — natural gas.
    I wonder if Barry O would listen to Pickens and start creating jobs building or converting autos or all the new jobs that could be generated by $1.50 “gallon” natural gas.
    I know McPalin would rather go to war than do something approaching the Pickens Plan.
    “October 29, 2008, DALLAS – North Carolina Senate Candidate Kay Hagan today signed the pledge to join T. Boone Pickens’ campaign to break America’s addiction to foreign oil.
    “We cannot continue to be dependent on foreign countries for our oil,” said Hagan. “Boone Pickens provides a comprehensive approach to addressing our energy problems with a plan that
    will get gas prices under control, move us away from our dependence on foreign oil, and develop alternative energy sources that create new, good-paying jobs here at home. I fully back his plan.”
    “Kay Hagan has joined over 150,000 North Carolinians as a member of the Pickens Plan army,” said Pickens, who is traveling in North Carolina today. “Hagan recognizes that importing 70% of our oil is a threat to our economy and
    national security, and she is committed to using alternative energy sources that can be found on our own soil.”


  9. p says:

    I was wrong!!! Two month’s ago, I said that gas prices would drop from $4 per galllon to $3 per gallon by election day to persuade people to return Republican’s back into power. I had no idea that $2 per gallon was even a possibility. The petroleum profiteers had their way for a long time, but now fear has set in. Interesting…


  10. Dan Kervick says:

    Matt wrote,
    “A bunch of poor countries with propensities for vengeance, lots of religious zealots with significant rhetorical advantages, a weak political class with an abundance of cash and natural resources, and a severely under-educated, poverty-stricken population.”
    Hopefully, the Middle East oil lords are paying attention to our election, and to the profound transformational trends that can be expected in the American economy over the next decade, and are making plans for that very, very rainy day to come when we are no longer buying what they’re selling.
    Of course, to deal with the economic transformation, they are going to have to spur and liberate the entrepreneurial spirit of their peoples, and diversify their economies and educational systems. This is likely to prove a threat to their power in the long run.
    On the other hand, they always have the Chinese. Maybe the Chinese won’t change their energy consumption patterns as fast as we do, and will pick up the slack.
    As far as angry religious zealots lashing out, who will they lash out at if there are no American bases, no American soldiers, no American oil companies, and fewer wealthy American businessmen driving around. Let them find a different “far enemy”.


  11. Stephen Daugherty says:

    I don’t believe it’s a problem. I think people have felt enough of a sting that they won’t soon forget it. What’s more, it makes it easier to transition over. When ten dollars gets you two and a half gallons, a car that gets you fifty MPG has a range of 125 miles. when it gets you four gallons or more, you can go two hundred miles. For many people that’s a serious savings. It won’t go unremarked.


  12. Matt says:

    There’s one thing I’ve never understood in all this talk about how we need to be energy independent.
    Let’s say the United States achieves this goal within 10 years. Great. Now we don’t need to go messing around with countries in the Middle East. We can stop buying all this oil from Saudi Arabia and perhaps Iraq, etc.
    Then what do we have left?
    A bunch of poor countries with propensities for vengeance, lots of religious zealots with significant rhetorical advantages, a weak political class with an abundance of cash and natural resources, and a severely under-educated, poverty-stricken population.
    That seems to add up to all-out transnational guerrilla/terrorist warfare, and leaves little space for the withdrawal of western power.
    Put simply, energy independence is a decent goal, but if it’s really going to happen, there needs to be serious diplomatic work with the entire Middle East happening in lock-step with the process. You can’t rape an entire region of the world for a hundred years and then just brush off your pants and walk away as if nothing ever happened.


  13. JohnH says:

    Cheney and the neo con-men must be drooling with desire and frustrated by the lack of immediate action. A period of low oil prices is precisely the time to attack Iran–when there is enough spare capacity so that Iranian output won’t be missed a whole lot.
    But the last thing the world economy needs is for Iranian oil and gas to be taken off the market for an extended period. The Financial Times reports today that the IAEA “forecasts that China, India and other developing countries’ demand will require investments of $360bn each year until 2030.”
    Low prices and the financial crisis discourage all investment in energy, not just alternative energy. Any US aggression towards oil producers will only heighten unrest and uncertainty, further hampering future investment and energy supply (not that neo con-men care!)
    On the bright side, this could be just what is needed to reduce carbon emissions.


  14. Don Bacon says:

    Negotiate with Iran? No American hegemon (including Obama) wants to negotiate with Iran. There are only demands that must be met. The “nuclear issue” is merely a red herring to divert attention from the real objective. The goal is regime change in Iran, to place that country under US control, just like the good old days under the US-installed shah.
    After all, even if Iran were to quit its existing legal nuclear program it could still (as an evil empire) obtain the makings for a nuclear weapon just as terrorists supposedly can do.
    Meanwhile Iran serves as a convenient bogeyman. Every great empire needs enemies, particularly for fund-raising and military expenditures.


  15. Dan Kervick says:

    I’m not concerned. People have really put 2 and 2 together on this issue. They now totally get it. They know that our dependence on oil is bad for our economy, bad for our foreign policy and bad for the environment. There is an extraordinary, broad popular understanding that the reason we are in Iraq, at bottom, has something to do with oil, and Americans don’t want more American kids dying to prolong our self-destructive addiction. They want to get to work on a plan to overhaul our energy system, and they want to get started now.
    I think the public is now sophisticated enough to recognize that a temporary drop in oil prices is not going to solve anything, and that the overall trend is upward, and will continue to move upward. It is a measure of increasing public sophistication that the right-wing Palin Republican “drill now” approach to the energy problem did not get much traction for the Republicans. I talk to a lot of conservative regular folks, and while they do support more domestic drilling, they all seem to understand that new domestic drilling is only a modest stopgap at best, and that it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. The debates were filled with talk about energy plans and energy independence, and the focus group results tended to show that plans for energy independence are now a big winner.
    In the meantime, I don’t think there is anything to regret in the fact that gas prices have taken a dip, and that struggling American families might now have as much as $100 extra in their pockets per month. This is a short-term stimulus made-to-order. It will help to stimulate demand in other parts of the economy, and also help people to be able to continue to pay their monthly bills.


  16. WigWag says:

    Gasoline prices are falling for a variety of reasons including the fact that oil prices are plunging. While there are many long term negative consequences of this, there are also several short term benefits. Falling gasoline and oil prices are simulative at a time that the economy surely needs stimulation. More importantly, they give the next President (presumably Obama) greater flexibility in foreign policy.
    As Tom Friedman says is his column today, falling oil prices and the related negative economic consequences for Iran, will provide Obama with greater leverage as he seeks to negotiate with Iran about its nuclear policy and other issues. Iran’s economy already suffered from significant inflation and unemployment with oil at $140 per barrel. With oil at $60 they will surely have a greater incentive to compromise, especially if Obama (and his Secretary of State) prove to be cagey negotiators.
    Falling oil prices also give an Obama Administration greater leverage in its relationship with Russia. Surely an Obama Administration less exuberant about NATO expansion, more understanding about the Russian position on Kosovo and less excited by the deployment of a missile defense system in former Soviet satellites, can arrive at a grand bargain with a Russia that has its aspirations diminished by falling oil prices.


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