Infographic: Memorial Day Driving By The Numbers

Following CAP’s piece detailing exactly what it means to use gasoline to travel this Memorial Day weekend, here is an infographic that shows the cost of Big Oil. Gas prices are rising in the Midwest and spot crude oil prices for the West Texas Intermediate benchmark is nearly $5 per barrel higher than last year at this time.

The oil industry uses high prices to make big profits, spends them to keep their tax breaks, and then pushes for more dirty, unconventional oil like Canadian tar sands — which will not have any impact on gasoline prices.

Memorial day driving by the numbers

21 Responses to Infographic: Memorial Day Driving By The Numbers

  1. Spec says:

    I predict that the Keystone XL pipeline will actually RAISE gas prices for people in the mid-west and Mountain states. Why? Because they are currently enjoying a glut of stranded oil from North Dakota and Alberta. When that oil can easily flow down to Texas & LA, it can easily be put on the world market and thus fetch higher prices. So a lot of red state people are asking for higher gas prices. Won’t the be disappointed!

  2. Henry says:

    Just curious, why would Big Oil use $50 billion in lobbying expenditures to gain only $2.4 billion in tax breaks? Is that a typo??

  3. Joan Savage says:

    I’d like to see sources, as there are several estimates. pegs Big Oil as spending a bit under $144 million on lobbying in 2012.

  4. EDpeak says:

    I was going to post similar to Henry’s: that 50 billion looks very suspect…the whole *point* of lobbying is to spend pennies (millions) for a gain of dollars (billions) roughly speaking, or at least, lobbying spending is less than tax breaks and definitely less than their total profits…

    Please fix and I second Joan – please put footnote references on all of these – not just for this post but always in the future too…thanks (btw on a positive note the 10% who do not use gas or diesel, what do they use?)

  5. rollin says:

    Between the poor captions, logical flaws and outright error on this poster, it should be ignored. The point of it is somewhat in obscurity, also.

  6. Joan Savage says:

    Think Progress wants a more active role in news reporting. Let’s see how it goes.

  7. Steve says:

    The point is that if oil companies were a bit less greedy, gasoline would cost less and everyone could afford to drive more fossil-fueled miles, and we can save the planet that way.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    That’s just the ‘upfront’ money. The ‘black’ money is huge, in all avenues of life, not just fossil fuels. Capitalism is built on graft, secret commissions, rewards and punishments, ‘brown-paper bags’ of cash, off-shore tax havens, transfer pricing, bribery and every type of fraud and confidence-trick known to the grifter.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Mordant wit.

  10. BBHY says:

    It is sunny today. I’ll generate at least 35 kWh of power from the rooftop array. That is way more than enough to power my car for all the driving I’ll be doing.

    Big oil is not making a lot of money from me, or my 100,000 friends. We are adding more everyday.

  11. climatehawk1 says:

    Same here, pretty much, except it isn’t sunny. :( But in the month since we bought an EV, we’ve been getting about 80% of our total mileage on it. Roughly 20 gallons of gas saved vs. the hybrid we had previously.

  12. climatehawk1 says:

    “Lobbying” expenses typically also include advertising. Even so, $50 billion seems high, I agree.

  13. Andrew says:

    I could be mistaken, but I don’t think the Keystone XL pipeline has been built yet. If so, how can a pipeline that is, at best, under construction, and not pumping any oil, lower gas prices?

  14. Jackie says:

    Memorial Day where some honor our troops, some just enjoy a day off, oil companies get a little more profit depending on each State. While Senator McCain is in Syria trying to make enough conflict to push the US into a War. As Obama honors our brave soldiers who are American, immigrant and illegal immigrants as all volunteer to served after 9/11 because they loved American and were willing to serve our Nation.

  15. Mugsy says:

    Slight correction:

    The KXL will cause gas prices to RISE 8%-25% (due to redirecting refinery capacity from domestic gasoline production to diesel for export.)

  16. zoom314 says:

    Not to mention campaign financing in exchange for legislative favors that result in corporate tax cuts for big oil…

  17. Paul Sorrells says:

    I like your graph. But one item is missing. Where’s the info about the impact of oil futures trading on oil barrel and gasoline gallon prices? Just curious. We know from what happened in 2008 that oil futures trading is a major culprit in high oil barrel and gasoline prices. How? When the stock market crashed and all trading was disrupted for a short time (before the ballots), not only did the stock index plummet but also oil barrel and gasoline gallon prices plummeted from record highs (oil barrel: from $150 to about $30 a barrel. gallon gasoline: from over $4 to under $2 a gallon in the U.S.). Coincidence? Hardly. IOW, right now everyone who pumps gas is paying somewhere between $1 and $2 a gallon more than they would if 1990s restrictions on oil futures trading were currently in place. They aren’t. No restrictions. And Dodd-Frank provisions have been stalled or negated deliberately by all the politicians in the back pockets of the oil futures speculators (like Koch Industries, Goldman Sachs, etc, plus a whole lot of overseas billionaires). And not a peep about consumers being shafted by these oil futures speculators, almost as if there is a conspiracy of silence. Great.

  18. Dave says:

    They’re getting more then just tax brakes with that 50 million. There is faverable land easments, EPA overrules, Changes in environmental Laws, Inmate(sp) Domain issues….etc

  19. Dave says:

    Your statement is true, but the price of fuel has a major impact on the poorer citizens of this country. Just a couple of cents higher then it is now means some people have to decide if they pay rent or drive to work or purchase food.

  20. James Thurber says:

    Good point. So why doesn’t Think Progress talk about retracting the corn ethanol mandate, which increases the price of gasoline by about 4 cents per gallon, in addition to increasing food costs?