Monday, August 15, 2005

The post that Big Oil and Wall Street don't want you to read

NOTE: I want to leave this post high through the weekend. Return for Re-Grooving will appear below. Also, the answers to the Odds and Sods game are also up on that post. -- e.o.

Think you're paying a ridiculously inflated price for gasoline these days?
Well, you are. We all are.
And it's all driven by speculation on dubious grounds, according to New York Post business columnist John Crudele (the link hasn't shown up on the Post's site yet; when it does, I'll provide it. Still, the entire column is below in blue, with my asides in the usual black...):
UPDATE: When I first saw Crudele's column, the pumps were at $2.37 for regular here. Two days later... $2.52 for regular. WTF is going on here?

BLAME the media for gasoline hitting a record $2.37 (and it’s gone even higher) this week.
Why? Because instead of being a watchdog, the press has become a lapdog and dupe of the speculators and oil companies that want gasoline prices to stay high.
Here are some facts and some fiction about the current state of the oil market.
Hype: There’s a shortage of oil and that’s why we are paying so much at the pump.
Fact: A government report released (Wednesday) said the U.S. now has 320.8 million barrels of oil in stockpile. That’s 0.9 percent higher than just the week before and 9.7 percent above the same level last year.
The doom-and-gloomers want you to buy the hype. Don't buy the hype.
Hype: Oil could be shut off in the Middle East at any time.
Fact: That’s true. But that has been true for the past four decades. Middle Eastern oil producers need to sell us oil as we need to buy it. So while a disruption is a possibility, we now have 9.7 percent more oil on hand than we did last year. And supplies have risen despite the U.S. government’s purchase of millions of barrels of oil over the past year for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- our emergency supply -- which is now 4.9 percent more full than it was last year. The SPR is almost at capacity, so Washington soon won’t be competing with others on the open market.

Tell me something new, huh?
Hype: The Iraqi war, or demand by the Chinese, could cause shortages.
Fact: They could, but they haven’t. The U.S. is still awash in oil.
Hype: There haven’t been any new oil refineries built in this country in decades.
Fact: True… and false. There hasn’t been a new refinery built in the U.S. since 1976. But many of the existing refineries have been expanding and our capacity is now 10 percent greater than it was in 1976. Plus, refineries are being built and expanded all over the world -- especially in friendly countries like the former Soviet republics.
And you know that the NIMBY types and the envirofascists are responsible for that, don't you?
Hype: There will be a lot of hurricanes this year that could disrupt refining.
Fact: Maybe, but this is the kind of scare tactic that oil speculators use to enrich themselves. Hurricanes may not disrupt refining.
Hype: There will be refinery fires this year.
Fact: So what! Fires and breakdowns get fixed and the refineries go back into full operation.
Hype: There’s going to be a shortage of heating oil this winter.
Fact: Our stockpiles of distillate fuel oil -- diesel and home heating oil -- are 5.6 percent higher this year than in 2004.
Hype: But that won’t be enough if it’s a cold winter.
Fact: This is another scare tactic used by speculators. The press shouldn’t simply take the word of so-called experts on Wall Street and in the oil industry who make money when the price of oil rises. The only real fact that matters: Distillate fuel stocks are up a very large 5.6 percent.

Don't they all know there's no way we're going to have a cold winter? Maurice Strong and the Global Warming Industry have decreed that to be so.
Hype: There’s less gasoline today than last year.
Fact: That one does happen to be true -- 3.7 percent less, in fact. But our gasoline stocks are still as high as they were in November 2004. So why is the price of gasoline now at a record?
Yeah, what was it before Christmas? About a buck-ninety, as I recall.
Is the press so desperate for a good summer story that it’s willing to sell out the public and go along with all this Wall Street hype?
Apparently, yes.

They're too interested in Karl Rove, John Roberts' adopted kids, and defending the indefensible to actually tackle a story that would benefit everyday people, aren't they?