Thursday, April 10, 2008


BY Terry Bankert 4/10/08
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Full Article at
And summary at Flint Talk __________________________

REFLECTION: I am just starting to read Zubrin” Energy Victory” and with my friend Karen and Lynn will hear him speak in Flint this week. I plan on learning energy policy and contributing in a small manner from my little pumpkin patch in Flint MI USA. What about you?[trb]

For a Time, Crude Oil Tops $112 a Barrel [n]

RVs beckon baby boomers despite fuel costs[a]
At Nation's Largest RV Rally, Well-to-Do Baby Boomers Barely Register Fuel Costs[a] To the people of the United States of America- still the last best hope of mankind- whose lives, fortunes, and freedoms are being gravely endangered by their leaders continued failure to act responsibly for energy security.[z]

I CAN REMEMBER WHEN THIS STUFF WAS $25 A BARREL Oil rose more than $2 a barrel, after touching a record $112.21, and gasoline jumped to the highest ever after the Energy Department reported an unexpected decline in crude supplies on Wednesday.[n]

HOW DID WE GET IN THIS MESS? CAN THESE GUYS CAN TELL US? Executives from the largest oil companies in the U.S. went before Congress today to discuss rising gas prices at the pump. [B] Na... they lied.[trb] Five U.S. oil company executives appeared on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to explain why they were not to blame for record-high gasoline pump prices even as they reported $123 billion in profits in 2007.[b]

GOVERNMENTAL POLICY MATTERS..THERE IS NO FREE MARKET, SUPPLY AND DEMAND THEORY DOES NOT WORK FOR THE CONSUMER IN A MONOPOLY. Crude prices soared after the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday reported that energy stockpiles in the United States had dropped across the board during the week ending April4 [F]. Crude oil stockpiles slumped by 3.2 million barrels and gasoline inventories shed 3.4 million barrels, the DoE said. Both falls were higher than analysts' forecasts.[F] 'The substantial inventory and crude oil draws and the weak dollar has pushed prices to a new high,' said Tony Nunan of Mitsubishi Corp (other-otc: MSBHY.PK - news - people )'s international petroleum business in Tokyo.[F] As a result of our failure to enact a competent energy policy, out country is being looted, and the enemies power has been fabulously multiplied. We are financing a war against ourselves. And with the rapid industrialization of China and India increasing global Demand for oil, prices are set to soar even further. Unless action is taken things are about to get much worse.[z at pg 11]

WHAT ALTERNATIVES DO WE HAVE? Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a long-time oil industry critic and chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, called the hearing entitled "Drilling for Answers: Oil Company Profits, Runaway Prices and the Pursuit of Alternatives."[B]

FIRST WE TAKE AWAY THEIR TAX BREAKS, TAX BREAKS IN A FREE MARKET ECONOMY? Markey supports legislation that would strip about $18 billion in tax breaks from the five biggest U.S. oil companies and put them toward planet-friendly energy alternatives like wind and solar. Such legislation has passed the House of Representatives twice, but has stalled in the Senate.[B]

EXEC. SAY ITS NOT OUR FAULT DON’T SPANK US? CAN JUST A TIME OUT! Stephen Simon, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil, said punitive measures against U.S. oil companies would only strain supplies further.[B] "Imposing punitive taxes on American energy companies ... will discourage the sustained investments needed to continue safeguarding U.S. energy security," Simon said in testimony.[B]

SUPPLY AND DEMAND THEORY DOES NOT WORK IN A MONOPOLY The department reported a drop of 3.1 million barrels in oil stockpiles, sending the price up as much as 3.4 percent in New York. Gasoline futures jumped as much as 2.6 percent. At the pump, consumers are paying a record $3.343 a gallon on average, said AAA, the nation’s largest motorist organization.[n] The national average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas rose 1.2 cents to a record $3.343 a gallon, according to a survey of gas stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. With the peak summer driving season still to come and gas following crude higher, the fuel may well reach the retail price of $4 a gallon that the Energy Department has been forecasting. [s]

ITS NOT ECONOMICS ITS ECONOMIC WAR “This reaction to the D.O.E. numbers suggests that the supply and demand fundamentals are still important,” said Adam E. Sieminski, Deutsche Bank’s chief energy economist in Washington. “It’s not just the speculators that are driving prices higher.”[n]

HEY BUSH, IS A WEAK DOLLAR A GOOD THING Oil’s 80 percent gain in the last year is the second biggest among 19 commodities on the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, trailing only wheat, which has doubled. Rising global demand for raw materials and a weakening dollar have led to records this year for raw materials including corn, soybeans, rice and gold.[n]

JUST A BUNCH OF RICH PEOPLE MAKING MORE $ Crude oil for May delivery rose $2.37, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $110.87 a barrel at 2:51 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a record close. The intraday record of $112.21 a barrel was the highest since Nymex futures trading began in 1983.[n] “ In 1972, Saudi foreign exchange earnings were 2.7 billion. In 2006 they topped 200 Billion. Ober the same period, the United States dependency upon foreign oil grew from 30 percent to 60 per cent and our annual oil import bill grew from less than $4 billion to more than 260 billion.” [z at pg 11]

HAS OUR LACK OF COHERENT ENERGY POLICIES ALLOWED A U.S.. GOUGING AND RECESSION? It's "overwhelmingly likely" that the U.S. economy is in recession, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said Wednesday, adding an important voice to a growing list of economists who think Americans are suffering through an economic contraction. [S] Speaking to a Harvard Club forum on the economy, President Clinton's last Treasury secretary left little doubt he believes a recession has arrived and warrants stronger action by Congress and the Bush administration. [s] "My judgment is that it is overwhelmingly likely that we are currently in recession, and if we are not currently in recession, we are in something that feels a great deal like recession," said Summers, who months ago was among the first to call for an economic stimulus package to help stimulate the economy. [s]

ETHANOL BLEND....RBOB? Gasoline for May delivery climbed 2.38 cents, or 0.9 percent, to close at $2.7742 a gallon. Futures reached $2.8228, an intraday record for gasoline to be blended with ethanol, known as RBOB, which began trading in October 2005.[n]

WHO HIGH DOES A GALLON OF GAS HAVE TO GET BEFORE YOU GET ANGRY? American pump prices are following futures higher. Regular gasoline, averaged nationwide, rose 2 cents to the record, AAA said Wednesday on its Web site. Diesel prices advanced 1.2 cents, to $4.032 a gallon, AAA said. Diesel pump prices reached a record $4.037 on March 22.[n]

BOOMERS DO NOT CARE, WELL AT LEAST NOT THE ONES WITH MONEY. One topic that isn't getting much focus — on the official program, anyway — is the meteoric rise in gas prices. Hard-core RVers, which include many of the 8,000 attendees at the four-day Rally 2008 that ended Monday at the Georgia National Fairgrounds here, will tell you an RV isn't just a vehicle. It's a lifestyle. And a little thing like $4-a-gallon gas isn't going to put the brakes on a way of life.[a]

WILL GAS PRICES AFFECT YOUR SUMMER RECREATION? Gasoline demand in the United States may drop by 85,000 barrels a day this summer, Guy Caruso, administrator of the Energy Information Administration, said on Monday, noting that gasoline use fell 1.4 percent in the summer of 1991, after a nine-month recession during George H. W. Bush’s presidency.[n] Many people will be faced with the dilemma that it no longer pays them to drive to work. In areas like Somerset County without mass transit, people have little alternatives to driving.[d] High prices have a ripple effect throughout the economy. People have to cut costs somewhere, so they reduce their purchases at stores and eat out less frequently.[d]

GLOBAL DEMAND UP, DOMESTIC PRICE UP, THEY NEED WE PAY! But Antoine Half?, head of energy research at Newedge USA in New York, said: “Domestic demand isn’t great but that’s not important. Global demand is still growing and that’s what matters.”[n] The weekly inventory reports cause considerable volatility but it is just smoke that clouds the overall picture. Overall crude levels are just fine at 53 days of supply and gasoline is well above the 5-year average and at 15-year highs. Demand is down and prices up. Prices are not being supported by fundamentals but by speculation over potential shortages later this summer[r]

WILL THIS ALTER OUR ECONOMIC DECISIONS, GAS PER GALLON AT $4 $5 OR $6? Sales of RVs, which run the gamut from humble folding camping trailers to luxury motor homes, peaked at 400,000 in 2006. The industry attributes the subsequent drop in sales to 354,000 last year to the overall economic slump rather than rising fuel costs. But with the first wave of 79 million baby boomers poised for retirement, industry experts are betting that boom times are on the horizon. [a] Analysts believe higher oil and gas prices mean consumers will have less disposable income to spend elsewhere.[na]

OIL COMPANIES GET RICHER Meanwhile, oil companies are making record profits. Executives say the money is needed for infrastructure costs, but no new refineries have been built since 1976.[d]

STATE COFFERS ENRICHED BY OUR MISERY State taxes on gasoline add to people’s total costs. While Pennsylvania needs revenue to repair roads and bridges, the tax should be lowered while the gasoline costs are so high.[d]

CONGRESS DOES NOTHING? Congress has been talking for years about taking action to reduce gasoline costs, but so far, it is only talk. Something has to be done and soon before the economy worsens. [d]


“ This the men of democratic times require to be free in order to procure those physical enjoyments for which they are always longing. It sometimes happens , however, that the excessive taste they conceive for these same enjoyments makes them surrender to the first master that appears... These people think they are following the principals of self interest, but the idea they entertain of that principal is a very crude one; and the better to look after what they call their own business, they neglect their chief business, which is to remain their own masters.”-Alexis de Tocqueville “ Democracy in America “1840 [z]

Only the wise can be free.-Chrysippus, Greek philosopher, third century BCE [z]

Posted here by
Terry Bankert 4/10/08...
Join my political party of preference,

—where did this stuff come from---
[n] The New York Times
[a] ABC News
[r] Rightside Advisors
[s] The Santa Fe New
[trb] Comments of Terry Bankert to include cap headlines
[d] Daily American
[b] Baseline [NA] News Room America
[f] Forbes
[Z] Robert Zurbrin “Energy Victory” Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil, 2007 prometheus books


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