The media has recently put on quite a show about high oil prices. On Good Morning America reporter Ron Claiborne is spending the week on the road and hunting down motorists who want to "talk back to the oil companies". Today he was live from a gas station in Cleveland, Ohio.
In his report, Claiborne stated that "the mood on the road that we found is one of outrage. People are very, very angry over those high gas prices like you see right here. And also over those corporate profits, those oil company profits. And it's also a mood of suspicion and in some cases fear."
One "boiling mad" motorist ranted, "They're making billions and I'm making nothing. I'm poor. You know, I've got to pay $3 a gallon. It's cutting into my food bill and travel bills and my shoes and everything."
Claiborne found a truck driver who was "outraged". About oil companies and higher gas prices she whined, "And every chance they had, they upped it and said, it's because of this, it's because of that."
While busy playing "Dr. Phil" to American motorists, the media has largely neglected to inform the public about the market forces, not big mean oil companies, pushing up prices.
Occasionally reporters will mention China as a factor, but little data is provided. China ranks second only to the United States in consumption of oil and OPEC (page 26) has predicted that Chinese consumption will grow roughly 6% this year. Year to date those forecasts are too low as in the first three months of 2006 imports have risen 69%, 8% and 10%. If GMA wants to obsess about an oil number, Chinese imports are just one of several numbers more informative than telling us the price of gas in Cleveland.