Is the EIA fudging gasoline demand numbers to lower prices?

Guest “Not adding up” by David Middleton

Personally, I do not think the EIA is fudging the numbers, at least not intentionally… But some numbers just don’t seem to add up

Gasoline prices have fallen by about $1/gal since mid-June.

This drop has been in conjunction with a decline in crude oil prices over the same period.

The Biden Maladministration claims the drop in prices is the result of their reckless decision to drain the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)… Perhaps the most ridiculous claim they have ever made. Most analysts attribute the drop in prices to recession fears and demand-destruction due to record high gasoline prices. The EIA data would seem to support the latter theory…

This is where things get odd…

Dodgy Demand Data? The Oil Price Collapse Conspiracy
By Alex Kimani – Aug 07, 2022

WTI crude oil prices fell to their lowest point since early February on Thursday, giving up virtually all gains since Russia invaded Ukraine. WTI crude for September delivery tumbled -1.5% to close at $89.26/bbl while Brent crude for October delivery fell -2.1% to $94.71/bbl. WTI crude has lost ~9.5% over the course of the week, marking the largest one-week percentage decline since April amid growing fears that oil demand will collapse when western nations descend into a full-blown recession.

[…]

The Big Conspiracy

The collapse in oil prices has been so epic and unexpected that some oil pundits are now accusing the Biden administration of fabricating low gas demand data in a bid to hammer oil prices.

To wit, in late June the EIA shut down reporting for several weeks, ostensibly due to a server malfunction. But as ForexLive has pointed out,  gasoline demand data has been consistently bad ever since the EIA returned: “Maybe there’s an issue with reporting or maybe it’s a conspiracy“, ForexLive has declared.

Even Wall Street has begun questioning the EIA data.Bank of America energy strategist Doug Legate has published a note titled the fall of gasoline demand appears grossly exaggerated.’’

For the week ending July 22nd, implied gasoline demand rebounded to 9.2 million b/d – a 1 million b/d increase vs the last two week average, and the second highest level of 2022,” BofA wrote in the note to clients. Curiously, the EIA reported a steep drop in gasoline demand shortly thereafter, prompting Piper Sandler global energy strategist to label the data “crooked”, saying the methodology left “significant room for error”. 

[…]

Piper Sandler’s allegations are buttressed by U.S. refining giant Valero. Asked about falling gasoline demand at the company’s earnings call last week, CEO Gary Simmons had this to say:

“I can tell you, through our wholesale channel there is really no indication of any demand destruction… In June, we actually set sales records. We read a lot about demand destruction and mobility data showing in that range of 3% to 5% demand destruction. Again, we’re not seeing it in our system.”

Further, alternate demand data from GasBuddy deviates considerably from EIA’s. GasBuddy tracks retail gasoline demand at the pumps in the U.S. According to GasBuddy, there was a 2% rise in gasoline demand last week, making it the strongest demand of the year. In sharp contrast, the EIA reported a 7.6% drop in demand for the same time period.

[…]

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

GasBuddy’s numbers for the last week of July diverged from the EIA’s.

GasBuddy tracks retail gasoline demand at the pumps in the US and they showed a 2% rise in gasoline demand last week while the EIA showed a 7.6% drop. Morevoer, last week was the strongest demand of the year from GasBuddy.

ForExLive

There are some differences in how they measure gasoline demand.

My personal observations are inline with GasBuddy’s. I drive back and forth from Dallas to Houston quite often. The two gas stations I generally stop off at in Leon County (~half-way from Dallas to Houston) are always crowded, particularly on Sunday afternoons.

In May, the most recent month available, U.S. refineries were operating at 93% of capacity.

EIA anticipated that the utilization rate would reach 96% in June…

JUNE 10, 2022
EIA expects high refinery margins to contribute to increasing fuel production this summer

In our June 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), we forecast that U.S. refinery utilization will be relatively high this summer in response to strong wholesale prices for petroleum products, such as diesel and gasoline, which have increased more than the price of the crude oil used to make them.

The price difference between the price of crude oil and the wholesale price of a refined petroleum product reflects the value of refining crude oil. This difference, known as the crack spread, can indicate refining margins and profitability. Crack spreads for both diesel and gasoline increased in the first several months of 2022.

Gasoline and diesel prices and crack spreads are well above historical averages in response to several factors including:

Low inventories for both petroleum products in the United States and globally

Fuel demand increases to near pre-pandemic levels

Relatively low refinery production of both fuels compared with pre-pandemic levels

Reduced petroleum product exports from Russia

In response to these high prices, we expect that refinery utilization will reach a monthly average level of 96% twice this summer, near the upper limits of what refiners can consistently maintain. We expect refinery utilization to average 96% in June, 94% in July, and 96% in August.

We estimate U.S. refinery inputs will average 16.7 million b/d during the second and third quarters of 2022. This average is lower than the 2019 refinery inputs average of 17.3 million b/d despite high utilization rates because of reductions in refinery capacity since early 2020. U.S. refinery capacity has fallen by almost 1.0 million b/d since early 2020 because several refineries were closed or converted.

We expect wholesale prices for gasoline and diesel will begin decreasing in the third quarter of 2022, as refinery production increases. Despite our forecast price decline, we expect that wholesale fuel prices will remain well above previous years through the summer, based on higher crude oil prices as well as the ongoing impact of low global inventories. Low international inventories are likely to face additional tightness in response to the recently announced European ban on Russia’s energy imports.

Principal contributors: Kevin Hack

EIA

If demand has actually fallen, while the refineries are still operating near theoretical full capacity, the stocks of gasoline and other refined products should be increasing. However, gasoline stocks are still well-below the 5-year average range.

These numbers just don’t add up:

  • GasBuddy’s retail sales data don’t agree with EIA’s gasoline demand data.
  • EIA’s gasoline stocks don’t support an over-supplied market.
  • Refiners aren’t seeing a drop in demand, although their crack spreads have plummeted.
  • Vehicle-miles driven hasn’t declined (yet).

Is it a conspiracy?

I don’t think it is. It’s not uncommon for EIA to have to revise their weekly estimates.

“The EIA does its best to get out petroleum data weekly but it’s a tough job and subject to all kinds of assumptions. HFI Reserach notes that the data is subject to big revisions when the month numbers are finally released. So traders may be simply looking at bad data that will be adjusted.” ForExLive

I guess this leaves us with three likely answers:

  1. The economy is entering a recession and the demand-destruction is real.
  2. The EIA demand numbers are flawed and will soon be corrected upwards.
  3. The Biden Maladministration is fudging the numbers to create downward pressure on oil prices in a futile effort to improve his abysmal poll numbers.

Personally, I think it’s answer #2. The folks at the EIA strike me as too professional for these sorts of shenanigans. In case you haven’t noticed it: I relied on EIA’s data and analyses when I wrote this post. If I thought they were fudging any numbers, I wouldn’t trust their data and analyses. Are they wrong sometimes? Absolutely and they admit it.

While the economy has met the technical definition of a recession (two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth), it’s a really weird recession. I don’t see any indications of demand destruction, aside from the price slide and EIA’s gasoline demand numbers.

If the drop in oil prices is due to bad numbers, when those numbers are corrected, oil prices should sharply rebound.

That said, the Biden Maladministration’s modus operandi is to fudge numbers and redefine common words and phrases. And I do think there is a real conspiracy here… A conspiracy to destroy America’s energy infrastructure… because climate change.

This is the real conspiracy:

DOE Issues Fifth Emergency Notice of Sale of Crude Oil From the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
JULY 26, 2022

Notice is Part of Biden-Harris Administration’s Continued Actions to Help Protect Americans from Putin’s Price Hike at The Pump

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) today announced an additional Notice of Sale of up to 20 million additional barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). This Notice of Sale is part of President Biden’s announcement on March 31, 2022 authorizing the sale of crude oil from the SPR to address the significant market supply disruption caused by Putin’s war on Ukraine and help lower energy costs for American families.

The President’s announcement called to release one million barrels of SPR crude oil per day over six months. This historic release of SPR crude has provided a record amount of crude oil supply to the U.S. economy and will continue until the end of October 2022.   

DOE plans to release, from the SPR, up to 2.8 million barrels of sour crude oil and 17.2 million barrels of sweet crude oil, totaling 20 million barrels with deliveries from September 16 until October 21, 2022. DOE must receive bids for this notice no later than 10:00 a.m. Central Time on August 2, 2022. Contracts will be awarded to successful offerors no later than August 11, 2022. 

[…]

DOE

It’s worth noting that protecting “Americans from Putin’s Price Hike at The Pump” is not the purpose of the SPR.

About the SPR

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil was established primarily to reduce the impact of disruptions in supplies of petroleum products and to carry out obligations of the United States under the international energy program. The federally-owned oil stocks are stored in huge underground salt caverns at four sites along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The sheer size of the SPR (authorized storage capacity of 714 million barrels) makes it a significant deterrent to oil import cutoffs and a key tool in foreign policy.

SPR oil is sold competitively when the President finds, pursuant to the conditions set forth in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), that a sale is required. Such conditions have only existed three times, most recently in June 2011 when the President directed a sale of 30 million barrels of crude oil to offset disruptions in supply due to unrest in Libya. During this severe energy supply interruption, the United States acted in coordination with its partners in the International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA countries released altogether a total of 60 million barrels of petroleum.  

Additionally, the Secretary of Energy may authorize limited releases in the form of exchanges with entities that are not part of the Federal Government. This authority allows the SPR to negotiate exchanges where the SPR ultimately receives more oil than it released; thereby acquiring additional oil. With the exception of the 2000 Heating Oil Exchange, the SPR has entered into negotiated contracts at the request of private companies in order to address short-term, emergency supply disruptions to a refiner’s normal operations on several occasions.

DOE

When Biden began his occupation of the White House, the SPR stood at 638,085,000 bbl of crude oil. As of the end of May 2022, it was down to 523,109,000 bbl.

If the buffoon really does drain it at a rate of 1 million bbl/d through the end of October, it will be down to just over 370 million bbl. Sales previously authorized by Congress already had the SPR on track to be cut in half by 2032.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly and Congressional legislation (EIA)

Biden’s 1 million bbl/d proposed release through the end of October could drain an additional 177 million bbl. Barring refilling it, the SPR is now on track to be down to 136 million bbl by 2032. That would cover only 30-45 days of our current net crude oil imports, less than half of the legally mandated 90-day supply.

Another observation: The vast majority of the planned SPR releases are of light-sweet crude. Most of our refineries are geared to process heavier sour crude oil. As such, most of the released SPR oil is being exported. US crude oil exports have skyrocketed since the 1 million bbl/d announcement.

EIA This Week in Petroleum

The release of mostly light-sweet crude will directly compete with most domestic crude oil production and simply lead to more crude oil exports, rather than increase the supply to domestic refineries.

The average purchase price of the crude oil in the SPR was $29.70/bbl. Assuming there is any intent to refill it, the cost will likely be far higher than $29.70/bbl.

Maybe it’s not a conspiracy… Just the product of the dumbest President in U.S. history and his incompetent, functionally useless, socialist Maladministration.

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markl
August 9, 2022 10:09 am

The problem is you don’t know who/what to believe anymore as everyone has an agenda. “Statistics lie and liars use statistics.” It’s not what is said, it’s what is not said.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  markl
August 9, 2022 10:48 am

Mark Twain had two versions:

  1. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.
  2. Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

Both apply to the EIA. I give examples in my just posted comment.

Doonman
August 9, 2022 10:20 am

Gasoline prices have fallen by about $1/gal since mid-June.

Where is this? Certainly not in California. I can see the pump prices and they are down about a dime or two.

Reply to  Doonman
August 9, 2022 10:29 am

PA about 40 cents

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Doonman
August 9, 2022 10:50 am

In south Florida (Fort Lauderdale) regular peaked at just over $5/gal. This morning, it was about $3.90/gal. Both at our local Speedway.

eyesonu
Reply to  Rud Istvan
August 9, 2022 11:54 am

From what I can remember the closer you get to 441 and Griffin the cheaper it was.

JimH in CA
Reply to  Doonman
August 9, 2022 11:13 am

Here , north of Sacramento, regular gas is $4.79, about $ 1.21 lower than the peak of $6.00.
Aviation 100LL is down to $6.44, from $7.00 a few weeks ago.
[ as a result, I’m flying much slower to burn 1 gallon per hour less, but still costly. ]

Bryan A
Reply to  JimH in CA
August 10, 2022 5:39 am

I too have noticed a drop of about a buck twenty in Sonoma County. The high point was $6.99 per gallon of premium at Chevron while yesterday was $5.79…
I fill up at Costco for $5.15 a few days ago

RicDre
Reply to  Doonman
August 10, 2022 4:12 pm

Here in Northeastern Ohio, gasoline peaked around $5.00 / gallon; it is currently around $3.67 / gallon.

George
Reply to  Doonman
August 10, 2022 7:09 pm

In Dallas regular has dropped by $1.40, from $4.80 to $3.40.

Devils Tower
August 9, 2022 10:21 am

Biden is a puppet meant to be a punching bag and distraction.

Those pulling the levers of power will do everything in their power to keep the economy from crashing until the mid terms!!!!

The US economy is being canibalized. The only thing important to those holding power is they get their cut before things fall apart and they remain in control as long as they can…

Reply to  Devils Tower
August 9, 2022 11:07 am

I wonder who authorized the FBI raid on a former President. Biden should probably fire whoever it was. Despite his deteriorating brain, he must know that what comes around goes around. Maybe he’ll get to share a cell at Leavenworth with the smartest person he knows…

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 9, 2022 12:15 pm

A Federal Magistrate signed off on the warrant. A person that jumped from a job as a prosecutor to found a new defense lawyer firm. Where the very first cases involved keeping Epstein out of jail the first time around.

Nothing AT ALL suspicious there, right?

FYI, Magistrates are simply hired. They are not chosen by POTUS, and do not get a colonoscopy in the Senate. Being a non-appointive position, they are covered by the Civil Service regulations – which means twenty years before anyone can show them the door for their malfeasance.

Reply to  writing observer
August 9, 2022 12:30 pm

Yes, but someone in the administration had to give the go ahead for something this unprecedented and so obviously politically motivated. If Garland did this on his own he went rogue, otherwise he had to have been ordered to do it. I simply can’t believe the administrations claims that they knew nothing. I can believe that Biden knows nothing, but whoever is running his administration clearly knew.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 9, 2022 2:01 pm

Clearly. Biden has been using the “Justice” Department and the FBI against his political opponents since he was in the Obama-Biden administration. This is just more of the same.

Washington DC needs a very big housecleaning. Trump is just the guy to do it.

Derg
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 9, 2022 4:00 pm

Dude there is a faction within the Reps that don’t want him back. Cocaine Mitch comes to mind.

Lots of money to be made sitting on the fence of morality.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Derg
August 10, 2022 5:43 am

Yes, there are some Republicans who don’t want Trump. That was the case before he was elected in 2016, too.

Trump has a 98 percent approval rating among Republicans right now, and that’s before the attack on the U.S. Constitution that took place yesterday.

I’m looking forward to Trump’s next public speech, maybe this weekend. I bet there’s going to be a big turnout to hear him speak.

Trump has been pulling in 30,000 or 40,000 people with every weekly speech this year. I think the crowd will be bigger next time.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Abbott
TonyG
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 10, 2022 8:57 am

“that’s before the attack on the U.S. Constitution that took place yesterday.”

I just read that after the raid, Trump has broken all fundraising records.

paul courtney
Reply to  TonyG
August 10, 2022 11:26 am

/sarc alert/ Mr. Abbot and Mr. G: Our press was able to see through all the smoke and mirrors of the “constitution” talk, and find the single most important, overriding point in this- the word “raid” is not appropriate. It is always hilarious when the press gets all puffed up over tender sensibilities.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  paul courtney
August 11, 2022 4:24 am

And notice how the Leftwing Media always get on the same propaganda page fast. Every one of them repeats the mantra.

The leftwing press poses the most danger to the freedoms of all of us because they constantly lie to the people for partisan political purposes and make it almost impossible for Americans to govern themselves properly because many of the voters are basing their votes on the lies told to them by the leftwing media.

The result of all these lies is a scoundrel like Joe Biden gets put in the White House. And now look at our situation. All thanks to the lies of the leftwing media. If they told the truth, the Democrats wouldn’t stand a chance in an election. Nobody would vote for them if the truth were known.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TonyG
August 11, 2022 4:16 am

I don’t doubt it.

I saw this morning that not only are the Republicans upset about how Trump has been treated, so are the Independents.

People, even Independents and Democrats, can see that if the government can do this to Trump, they can do it to them, too.

This Abuse of Power by the Biden Administration is scaring a lot of people. And it should scare them.

Dustoff82
August 9, 2022 10:24 am

Given that the Marxist Misfits in the democrat party lie about everything else, most especially climate, why would you not suppose they are lying about gasoline? Yes, Biden is incredibly stupid, but he is malevolently stupid, not just innocently ignorant.

AndyHce
Reply to  David Middleton
August 9, 2022 6:12 pm

Not when lying successfully (with the help of so many) that the evidence to the contrary just doesn’t exist.

TonyG
Reply to  David Middleton
August 10, 2022 9:09 am

When have they had any consequence for getting caught in any lie?

paul courtney
Reply to  TonyG
August 10, 2022 11:30 am

Mr. G: Indeed, the dems chose “classified materials mishandling” knowing that it would make R heads explode with greater effect. They don’t care that Fox News will report that Hillary admitted to it, but J. Comey declined to enforce the law. They know that all the rest will follow along with the “this is how law enforcement works” lead.

Reply to  paul courtney
August 13, 2022 8:25 am

My guess is that that classified material the Biden administration has its panties in a bunch about is the incriminating evidence against Hillary, Joe, Hunter and other Democrats collected by the FBI and that Trump declassified on his way out.

August 9, 2022 10:25 am

The Administration is “fudging” a “climate crisis” and throwing unconscionable amounts of funding at “solving” it. What’s one more relatively small fudge in support of the major fudge?

Rud Istvan
August 9, 2022 10:45 am

EIA is not to be trusted. They are incompetent, and sometimes deliberately so. Two examples:

  1. They had the TRR (total recoverable reserves) of California’s Monterey Shale at ~15 BBL. Fracking, you know. The Monterey is all tectonically folded; there is nothing horizontal to drill and frack. When the USGS pointed this out to them, EIA finally revised their TRR estimate to near zero. That is incompetence.
  2. They consistently estimate (since at least 2015) the LCOE of onshore wind to be very close to CCGT. But their calculations assume a capital life of 30 years for both. In reality, the big onshore wind turbines have at best a 20 year life (inherent in uneven axial bearing loading with higher windspeed at the top than at the bottom), while at worst CCGT is 40 (GE manufacturers warranty). That is deliberate incompetence, aka prevarication in favor of ruinables.
Martin
August 9, 2022 11:16 am

It’s obvious – gas demand is falling because so many people are now driving EVs 🙂

lol !!!

Ruleo
August 9, 2022 11:53 am

“Is it a conspiracy?
I don’t think it is.”

LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

And the FBI,DOE,DoJ,CIA,NSA,and all government alphabet soups are on the up and up, eh?

This is intentional, deliberate, corruption.

Derg
Reply to  Ruleo
August 9, 2022 4:03 pm

No kidding, imagine being the parent of the gymnasts pleading with the FBI to investigate the Dr..can’t remember his name.

Nelson
August 9, 2022 12:00 pm

David, I think you are missing a few things.

First, Total Product Supplied (TPS) numbers look right. They are about 3% below 2021 and 10% above 2020. It’s the Total Gasoline Supplied number that looks low. At the same time, Other Oils supplied have exploded. How does one explain this? Total Gasoline supplied isn’t a retail consumption number. There are between 80-100 (from memory) million barrels in retial outlet storage. Given the volatility in oil prices, I wouldn’t be surprised if retail timing isn’t an issue in the data.

To date, most of the oil released from the SPR was heavy crude. They are only now switching to light as they have depleted the heavy inventory stock. Now the SPR is about 50/50 light/heavy.

The release from the SPR jumps to 1.5 million in Oct. Remember, they announced another 20 million to be released in front of the election.

It is a shame that the Biden Administration is playing politics with oil set aside for an emergency. Of course, for them, their sinking political fortune constitutes an emergency. Very sad.

Duane
August 9, 2022 12:26 pm

So when oil and gas prices go up, it’s Biden’s fault. And when oil and gas prices go down, it’s double Biden’s fault.

Or, maybe in the real world, US Presidents have exactly nothing zero nada nothing to do with world wide oil and gas markets that function free of any government interference 99.9% of the time. Politicians may pretend to control the spigots and the prices at the pump, or they may pretend to have no control whatsoever (the former when prices are going down, and the latter when prices are going up.

It’s the markets stupid. They control, they have always controlled, and they will always control.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2022 12:56 pm

Selling oil from the SPR is something entirely within the control of the POTUS. Shutting down oil and gas operations on Federal lands is entirely within the control of the POTUS. Killing the Keystone pipeline is entirely within the control of the POTUS. Fighting a war against fossil fuels through Executive Orders is entirely within the control of the POTUS.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 9, 2022 4:35 pm

POTUS = POS. I just saw a video segment of Joey saying something about his gun legislation and in the background was a chant of FJB…Joey said sit down and listen to me…the chant continued and Joey just stared.

DonM
Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2022 3:15 pm

At some point you gotta ask yourself why it is soo damn dark.

paul courtney
Reply to  DonM
August 10, 2022 12:25 pm

Mr. M: It’s an “eyes wide shut” situation.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2022 3:54 pm

Duane, I am happy to learn that politicians and their bureaucrats don’t manipulate markets (both supply and demand), especially in the energy sectors. Also, I can’t imagine that the Securities and Exchange Commission would ever jump in on the anti-FF bandwagon by regulating financial markets so as to suppress investments in coal, oil and natural gas. And God forbid that the President would ever sign Congressional legislation to subsidize ruinables and penalize FF development.

Derg
Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2022 4:04 pm

Back on your meds dude.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Duane
August 9, 2022 8:33 pm

Maybe you live under a rock, Duane. Biden has been taking credit for lower gas prices, and his supporters have been thanking him for the slight reduction (a rise of like 100% then drop of like 17%…yay).

There was a ridiculous tweet from a Democrat group thanking Joe Biden when the price of gas literally dropped less than $0.01 one day after he announced a SPR release (back when the average price was around $3.71 and climbing).

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael Jankowski
paul courtney
Reply to  Duane
August 10, 2022 12:24 pm

Mr. Duane: I was able to resist the urge to insult, instead a question- did cancelling Keystone affect price of oil? Did cancelling leases? Can you identify any policy the Brandon admin put into effect that cut supply? Isn’t that a “market” thing? Probably wasting my time here, but if Biden affected the market, and the price went up, it’s NOT his fault??!! I’ll say this- if release from the reserve is pushing the price down, it’s affecting the market and Biden could take credit. But if the release has no effect, and Biden claims credit, then he’s lying. Again. I’ll be happy to give Joe brandon credit when he does something right.

Bob
August 9, 2022 12:33 pm

David, while I appreciate all the information you have provided I do have problems with your post. Number one US EIA is a government entity the same as the FBI. To suggest it can’t be corrupted or influenced by the corrupt Biden administration is naive. I used to have great respect for the FBI, they have proven to me that I should be more mindful how I view everything.
Number two all government agencies and or representatives, journalists, posters, specialists, experts and anyone else who honestly wants to inform the public needs to put all the jargon aside and speak in a plain, straightforward, clear and concise language. All the technical, scientific and academic jargon is a bunch of rubbish. If we are talking about wholesale demand, say wholesale. I we are talking about retail demand, say retail. People need to stop using useless phrases like “demand destruction”. What the hell is that, it can mean anything to anybody unless clearly defined and if it can be clearly defined then use the clear definition so everyone is on the same page.

Gunga Din
Reply to  David Middleton
August 9, 2022 1:44 pm

Corruption is often top down, inside and outside of Government.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  David Middleton
August 9, 2022 2:35 pm

There is much truth in the old adage:
A fish rots from the head. There are many sorts of ‘fish’.

MiloCrabtree
Reply to  David Middleton
August 9, 2022 2:27 pm

Same with the MMS, no matter that the Obama administration excoriated and eliminated it. The guys I dealt with were always professional.

Bob
Reply to  David Middleton
August 9, 2022 2:41 pm

David, I’m with you, I have more trust, for the most part, in the individuals in these departments doing the real work. I have little to no confidence in the management of those departments. The upper levels are far to politicized. I assume it is the top dogs who control what goes in the reports, therefore I will for ever more look at official reports with a jaundiced eye.

Derg
Reply to  Bob
August 9, 2022 4:06 pm

I am just not sure that is true for the FBI. We agree to disagree.

Bob
Reply to  Derg
August 9, 2022 5:04 pm

Derg, if you have encouraging stories concerning the FBI I would like to hear them. The FBI’s performance concerning the January 6th incident and almost everything to do with Bill and Hillary Clinton is disgraceful.

Derg
Reply to  Bob
August 9, 2022 5:51 pm

I don’t. I am not sure there are many good apples at all. Very few.

EppingBlogger
August 9, 2022 1:39 pm

Selling the strategic reserve at a time of energy supply problems and heightened international tension do not seem a good idea. About as good as the UK’s Gordon Brown who authorised the sale of UK gold reserves and announced in advance he was doing so. The price fell while he was selling and has since quintupled.

Leslie MacMillan
August 9, 2022 1:57 pm

Understating gasoline demand would exaggerate the apparent price elasticity of demand for motor fuel. The premise of carbon taxes is that taxing products based on their CO2 emissions will reduce emissions as consumers switch to less CO2-intensive goods and services in order to avoid the tax, e.g., they’ll ride their bicycles or take ubiquitous electric trains to work and between distant cities. But if demand did not fall in response to recent high market prices, that kicks the premise for carbon taxing out from underneath it. Carbon taxing would then just make people poorer as they tried to economize on other things whose demand is more elastic, like restaurant meals or piano lessons.

This is an important story.

paul courtney
Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
August 10, 2022 12:30 pm

Mr. MacMillan: An excellent insight.

John Garrett
August 9, 2022 4:57 pm

Dear Mr. Middleton,
I’m glad you, too, caught the EIA’s report of an extraordinarily large drop in gasoline consumption.

When I saw it, I thought it looked very strange.

Thanks for bringing it to the fore.

Go Home
August 9, 2022 7:16 pm

Here in East Valley of AZ, gas is down $1.50 off the high ($5.70 to $4.20). Of course it is a battleground state so any US gas price collusion is meant to help out the leftist coward and phony Mark Kelly in the senate race.

6CA7
Reply to  Go Home
August 10, 2022 7:25 am

Remind everyone you meet that the baseline price is the price when Trump left office. No marginal decrease is acceptable.

Where I live the price of regular unleaded is still 2.25 x the price of when Trump left office despite coming down about 50 cents since June. Diesel and premuim gasoline prices have not come down.

Mohatdebos
August 9, 2022 7:17 pm

David, I think you need to examine the global supply of oil. While it is true that Western Europe and the U.S. have cut back on oil purchases from Russia, China and India have ramped up their purchases. The net result is that global supply of oil is back to its pre-invasion level. Thus, it is not surprising that the price of oil is down to its pre-invasion level.

Mike McHenry
August 10, 2022 8:34 am

There is a surge demand at the start of the summer normally. This is driven by mostly discretionary travel for vacation etc. We had inflation in prices of almost everything not just gasoline. People cut back on discretionary spending like vacation in that situation. There are about 250 million gasoline powered vehicles on the road in the US. You only need a small reduction in miles driven per vehicle to see a fall in demand like this. On the other hand if the trend continues into the fall…….

Coach Springer
August 11, 2022 7:45 am

Not sure that data are the only price determinants out there. Expectations play a bigger part. But don’t believe me, I’m just another idiot that worked for a futures exchange for a while.

I have this theory that the anti-fossils found their political upper limit for the time being and price expectations have adjusted accordingly.

Last edited 1 month ago by Coach Springer
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