Thursday, April 03, 2008

Is the gas/oil shortage a myth?

So says Ed Wallace of Business Week. If he is right, then Congress should be grilling oil executives over a high heat until they are deeply cooked.

Gasoline reserves on hand are at the highest levels since the early 1990s, which is remarkable considering the nation's refineries have been cutting back on the production of gasoline because their margins have declined. In fact, average gasoline reserves on hand have risen since this past October, while oil reserves in this country have gone up virtually every week this year—and only fog in the Houston Ship Channel that kept oil tankers from unloading their crude one week kept it from being every week.
I have to admit, the more I learn about the oil industry, the more disgusted I become. There is so much work to manipulate prices on what is essentially a fungible resource. If this article is right, then the Republicans do deserve to lose the presidency.

1 comment:

Suricou Raven said...

There are other reasons to reduce oil usage and dependance. I see three compelling ones - even if one of these is wrong, the others hold.

1. Carbon dioxide. Burning oil inevitably poduces it. Bad for climate change.

2. Shortage. One day, it *will* run out. The argument is over the time - next decade, or next century? Either way, it will happen. And before it happens, the price rise will cause economic problems.

3. Politics. The cheapest oil comes from countries that are really not that pleasant. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and the unstable Iraq. These are not countries that anyone wants to be so heavily dependant on the cooperation of. How can the US pressure, say, Saudi Arabia to end its oppression of women when they know that if they just close the valves it would cause a global economic collapse? Its just too much power to trust anyone with. Even if the current regimes are at least peaceful, there is also the future rulers to worry about.