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Scrutinize your 'facts'


How perfectly fitting that Gary Benites' letter ("Something I've wanted to do," Nov. 4) regarding Al Fonzi's tendency to spew misinformation (with a straight face, mind you) and Fonzi's latest ("Musings of a pack rat," Nov. 4) appeared on the same day! We got a long diatribe on the evils of Third World dictators and "petropolitics," couched in Fonzi's unmistakable style: "Look how well-read and educated I am!" (while he spews forth total balderdash). To wit:

After bemoaning the current high gas prices, we get this: "I ... don't understand why my fellow Americans really like paying $5, $6, or soon even $8 to $10/gallon for gas. After all, they voted the politicians into office responsible for this mess." Seriously, Al?

In an effort to enlighten you, Al, the price of gas is directly influenced by the price of oil, and there are two factors that have driven up the price: One is that demand collapsed last year as the pandemic caused many people to stop traveling, and the price of oil plummeted. That, in turn, ended up idling 3 million barrels per day of U.S. oil production relative to a year ago. That wasn't the fault of any politician.

Now, as the end of the pandemic nears, demand is bouncing back, but supply doesn't respond as quickly, which puts more pressure on prices. According to Forbes, on the first trading day of January 2021, the price of West Texas Intermediate closed at $47.47 per barrel (bbl). Two months later, on the first trading day of March, the price closed at $60.54/bbl. During that time, gasoline prices rose by $0.46/gallon. In addition, OPEC and Russia decided to extend most of the current output cuts—Saudi Arabia kept in place a million barrel per day cut! That sent oil prices even higher, and will likely keep them there. Meanwhile, our current gasoline supply in the U.S. is at a two-year low.

Supply vs. demand. Get it, Al? Sitting presidents have zero to do with gas prices, and never have. Fact is, your claim that it's Biden's fault because "President Biden and his Democrat allies shut down substantial segments of our national oil industry" is as ludicrous as "restrictions on fossil fuels are creating artificially high prices." Neither claim can withstand the slightest amount of scrutiny.

David Pyle


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