Unusually for a spring season, gasoline prices have been steadily climbing
in the US since the beginning of 2011, and have surpassed $4/gallon in many US states, largely due to political instability
in many oil-producing African and Middle-Eastern nations. "Not so fast,"
says the Department of Energy. Although the price of crude oil has climbed steadily throughout the year, the price of gasoline has climbed much faster -- a disparity known as the crack spread
, which has remained
at its highest level in 32 months, even in light of a sharp decline in the price of crude oil at the beginning of the month. The DoE speculates that although crude oil is cheap and plentiful enough, the 2011 Misssissippi River Floods
are currently more to blame for $4 gas than the uprisings in the Middle East.
posted by schmod
on May 19, 2011 -
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges
, will have to learn to say "No we can't"
, Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield
, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye
, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees
, we will judge our commitment to sustainability
, scientists should research the causes of religion
, we will all be potential online paparazzi
, English will have more words than any other language
(but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops
, Iran will continue its nuclear quest
while diplomacy lies in shambles
, the sea floor is the new frontier
, we should rethink aging
, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project
-- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it
-- though it has some unfinished business to attend to
, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom
.The Economist: The World in 2009
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 27, 2008 -
Petroleum Industry Christmas Wishlist
Conservative pundits are quick to point out that no "new refineries have been built since 1976
", and even quicker to blame "environmentalists". But the facts just don't support that. Refiners have chosen the environment that they do business in, and in some cases have willingly contributed to it. (Plenty of data here
.) Here's why:
- The government has allowed the industry to merge, consolidate, and restrict refining capacity, thus impacting pricing, supply, and demand.
- The quest for profits has caused the need to run extremely lean supplies (ie. no stockpiles of crude - it arrives when you need it, not before) and has resulted in susceptability to wild volatility in prices, but has allowed refiners to operate at very high efficiency but with no margin of excess capacity for temporary shortages, disasters, etc.
- Oil refiners trimmed back capacity after the Oil Crash of the early 1980s and have been unwilling to reinvest in new technologies unless environmental restrictions and local fuel cleanliness mandates are reduced.
As one would expect, Bush's solutions nicely match up with the wishlists of OPEC
and US refiners
, who in the past few decades have largely undone the breakup of Standard Oil (via
) via mergers and joint ventures. Representative Joe Barton
, (R-TX), Chairperson of the Energy and Commerce Committee
, incidentally up for reelection and well funded
, by "the industry
" through various Political Action Committees
, has released a draft of the predictably named (to be found here
when released) Gasoline for America's Security Act of 2005
(committee discusion and webcast are scheduled for 9/28 at 8 am.)
Given that new refineries are years away, there is still no solution for current prices or the (90%?) increase in prices since January of 2001
posted by rzklkng
on Sep 27, 2005 -
Do internal memos reveal oil refineries engaged in price-fixing?
From Joshua Micah Marshall's Talking Points memo; links to a Paul Krugman NYT op-ed, but far more intriguingly to Sen. Ron Wyden's (D-OR) webpage
, where on June 14th he released his report on alleged price fixing by varied oil refineries based on internal memos and documents of these companies. These types of allegations have been made before, but there is some rather damning language from those internal memos...
posted by hincandenza
on Jun 28, 2001 -