Sean Hannity Explains the Rise in Gasoline Prices – Liberals!

NewHounds watch Fox so we don’t have to:

Hannity’s face was in the bullyboy squint and he jabbed his finger as he spoke to “Democratic strategist” Bob Beckel. “I want YOU to know, Bob Beckel, I give blame for high gas prices. 30 years of the Democrats beholden to the extreme environmental movement, we haven’t built a refinery. We’re not allowed to drill in the 48 states or off the coast of Florida or California. We can’t drill in ANWR. We can’t do anything… Government taxes are 62 cents a gallon in New York for gasoline. The gas companies only get 9 cents a gallon. I blame you liberals for this.”

The gas companies get only $0.09 a gallon but the there are too few refineries? Somehow – there is a contradiction in Hannity’s logic unless he thinks the “gas companies” only perform the distributor function. The Gasoline and Fuel Update is out for March – but we’ll have to wait for the April data. In March, we paid about $2.43 per gallon on average. Since distribution and marketing made up about $0.11 of this, Hannity is close if we rephrase his rant. But taxes were only $0.46 and have not even kept pace with the rise in the general price index. Refinery margins have fluctuated over time but as we noted here do not show any evidence of the claim that the lack of refineries is the cause of high gasoline prices.

Update: Many thanks to AB reader Jim A. for this list of state taxes on a gallon of gasoline. If the Federal tax is $.0184 per gallon and the overall average tax is $0.46 per gallon – it would follow that on average, state taxes are around $0.27 per gallon. In my state – California – this chart says we pay $0.18 per gallon but then the chart also says “other taxes include a 6% state sales tax and 1.25% county, plus additional local sales taxes and 1.2 cents per gallon state UST fee”. OK, state taxes vary across the nation, which is one reason but the only reason why gasoline taxes vary across the nation. As far as changes in gasoline prices over time, I would not attribute much (if any) of the recent increases in the price at the pump to increases in taxes. Also, AB reader (and resident rightwinger) Jerry says it’s not fair for conservatives to blame liberals or for liberals to blame conservatives. When Nancy Pelosi claimed there was a cause and effect with respect to the President and Vice President being oil men and the rise in gasoline prices, I would agree with Jerry that such statements are nonsense. But consider what Dean Baker said about the “producing another million barrels of oil a day” via ANWR nonsense from President Bush including:

Iraq’s average oil output is approximately 1 million barrels a day less than it was before the war. In other words, the Iraq war has reduced world oil supplies by approximately the same amount that drilling in the refuge might have increased it.

Let’s turn this statement around as it might suggest that Dick Cheney has incredible foresight. After all – in the early 1990’s, he wanted us to march on Baghdad. So maybe Cheney realized that overturning Saddam Hussein would not increase world oil suppliers as some rightwingers were predicting 3 years ago – but would reduce oil supplies by a million barrels a day. Maybe this was the reason why conservatives starting pushing this ANWR idea back in 1993 – to make up for the lost oil supplies that would be lost from the march on Baghdad that would be the inevitable consequence of letting Dick Cheney into the White House. OK, this is all speculation and like gives Mr. Cheney way too much credit.