What does the average American think of OPEC?

So Hillary today has said that OPEC can no longer be a cartel and that she’d go and do something about it.

Now, this really got me to wonder. Hillary is obviously making these stupid promises because she feels that this kind of rhetoric will connect with the people who she is most likely to get. Uneducated voters.

I doubt that Hillary thinks that getting rid of the gas tax will help all that much. At the typical 1000 mile a month usage at 20 MPG, you’ll save a whopping $27.60 if the gas tax were suspended for three months, assuming that they pass the savings on to the customer.

But now Hillary is coming out and saying that OPEC can’t continue on as it has been. This is all part of her plan as a sort of “Warrior for the Little Guy” image she’s been working on ever since the primary went heavily blue-collar after Barack’s huge February wins.

But do you guys think this sort of anti-OPEC attitude is prevalent among the working class? Because if this is true, I think we’re really fucked as a country. If OPEC has us bent over the table it is only due to our own personal lack of foresight in my opinion. If we are going to start demanding cheap oil from OPEC then we are only delaying the inevitable. I know that the oil business is all based around the cost of extracting oil from various places. And at some point shale becomes feasible. That’s fine and good, but what it does mean is that oil will probably never be cheaper than it used to be.

We’ve all known this for quite some time now. We’re running out of oil. I know there is a debate and it’s more complicated than all of that, but the point is that oil will never be as cheap as it has been. But I wonder what the average American thinks of this.

The reason why I pose this question is because it is my personal belief that we need to get off of oil as soon as possible. I am more of a technologist than anything else, but I do believe that we need to rid ourselves of our dependence on oil for several reasons. The main one being that a huge factor in out livelyhood depends on oil that is underneath someone else’s ground. The minute we are able to wean ourselves off of it, we’ll have much more power as a nation. Not to mention the benefits of ancillary technology that will propagate therefrom.

But how likely is this to happen? I think it depends a lot on the public’s view about what the score is with us and oil. Are we more likely to blame others for the price of gas? Do Americans view cheap oil as a right? Are we so near-sighted as to be unable, still, to see that in the future we won’t have the luxury of cheap oil? The question is, will Hillary’s pandering actually strike a note with Americans? Or are we finally grown-up enough to realize that we can’t continue on the same path?

I’ve seen various reports where they would interview people at the pumps. The question was, “Why is gas so expensive?” A lot of people said because of the oil companies, but a surprising number of people actually knew the right answer that it was simply a question of increased demand. Again, I’m not going to argue that we are experiencing peak oil right now because I know that at various price-points the supply becomes much greater. But the point is that it will have to be more expensive.

There’s no point in debating the short-sighted stupidity of Hillary’s latest because she probably doesn’t even believe it herself. But what she does believe, apparently, is that Americans feel put upon by high gas prices. The question is do we blame ourselves or do we blame OPEC and the oil companies? This, in my opinion is the single-biggest obstacle that any American President can overcome. If we do make it a priority and prepare for the lack of resources that is inevitable, then we’ll be far better off.

As a free market sort of person I despise OPEC, but I do have to admire how they manage to stick together when they make their decisions. And the truth is that they are perfectly within their rights to do so. I think it shows good awareness of the situation: the oil won’t be there forever and people depend upon it, so they get the highest returns they can get. If they’re smart they’ll bank for the future.

One other thing: if we start getting close to a viable alternative gas will drop down to next to nothing. Nothing like good ol’ oligopoly pricing in action to drive out a lot of the competition. Hopefully we won’t fall for it again.

I think the people with the oil should be able to sell it for whatever price they can get… and maximize their profits. Maybe that means selling a lot of quantity for a low price, or a smaller quantity for a high price.

American companies try to get the best price possible for weapons, grain, etc. same same.

What does the average American think of OPEC?

“I want cheaper gas for my SUV, so I can drive as much as I want, and no damned foreigner name OPEC should be able to stop me.”

If any presidential candidate so much as HINTS that Americans should drive a little less, or a little slower, or turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees, they will be CRUCIFIED, sooner than you can say “Jimmy Carter”

I think that a typical American vastly overstates the power, influence, and cohesiveness of OPEC. I think most assume that OPEC controls 90% of the oil output on the planet when the real number is less than half. Also, I think that they presume that OPEC member nations closely adhere to production quotas when in fact member nations routinely flouted production quotas back when those numbers were more restrictive. As it stands now, my understanding is that at $120 a barrell, if OPEC could signficantly increase production, they would, so market collusion on the part of OPEC member nations isn’t a significant part of the current price run-up. I don’t know if even OPEC likes oil at $120 a barrel as it will certainly push formerly oil dependent economies to get off their asses and seek other means of powering their economies.

I’m not sure on how Hilary or any of other candidates could possibly effect opec directly into upping their production ,short of either direct military intervention or essentially blackmail.

Dropping special forces into saudi to blow something up and then have Hilary call up and tell em the way its gonna be , would at least get their attention. Causing havoc in China would also put X amount of gallons of oil back on the market if insurance companies refuse to insure tankers sailing into Chinese waters.

I’m pretty sure that in the next couple of weeks that McCain and Obama are going to be saying something along the same lines ,and the magic date of july the fourth the price of street gas will come crashing down.

Americans will not tolerate high prices of gas, irregardless of what you might read on this board. It may be a different set of circumstances , but the price of gasoline went ballistic after Katrina and we may as well get used to it, so they said, and what happened , it came crashing down as soon as the politicians got involved, the same will happen here.


To the OP: By OPEC, you mean OPEC the organization and Big Oil ™ working collaboratively, right?

Sadly, especially from watching these interviews at the pump, I think 80-90% of Americans think that the Oil Companies ™ are just one large conglomeration of oil companies (probably Shell, BP, Texaco, and Exxon, – maybe AM/PM or Circle K for the truly uninformed) that at their whimsy sets prices for reasons totally alien to the average American at the pump.

Just because people have this perception doesn’t mean things will be significantly worse for them. Even without the proper historical and corporate formation and basic economic education (though I much prefer people had this) of oil companies and the prices, if people simply learn to be more responsible with their vehicles, vehicle buying choices, and learned some sort of conservatism (for the environment if not for their wallet), then we can reduce demand for oil and actually see some relief from prices at the pump. Hopefully, others, whether well-informed or not, will see these high prices and take initiative to provide alternative/renewable fuels, more efficient vehicles, plan more efficient public transportation, or at the very least spread the word that high prices are totally within the consumers control.