Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sending a Message

We find Ourselves again with $53/barrel Oil. OPEC has been pumping at practical maximum with little spare capacity. China came in with a 9.5% growth rate for the First Quarter(estimate).

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-Oil-Prices.html

Oil Prices Rise As Gas Supply Declines
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 20, 2005
The Department of Energy said in its weekly petroleum supply report that the U.S. supply of crude oil fell last week by 1.8 million barrels to 318.9 million barrels, or 8 percent above year ago levels. Gasoline inventories declined by 1.5 million barrels to 211.6 million barrels, or 5 percent above year ago levels

Gasoline demand has averaged more than 9 million barrels a day over the past four weeks, roughly 1.2 percent above year ago levels.

This Author does not expect a real Oil or Gasoline Shortage, either here or elsewhere in the World in the Short-term. This is not the Problem! We need to rethink our Energy Policy. American Gasoline consumption increases in the face of rising prices, when the Economy underperforms in terms of Employment and Industrial growth. The Chinese economy cannot maintain the pace, but will absorb Oil until it slows. Any sign of economic performance from the EU and Japan will raise the demand for Oil. Russia continues to promise higher Oil supply, but is in a blizzard of bureaucratic and Criminal paperwork.

This Author does not believe in Government interference in the Market, though it must, when certain common behavioral practices must be broken. This Summer may find Us again desiring Gas Rationing, something unheard since WWII. The Author is not talking Coupons! The President may need to issue Orders to limit Consumer access to Gasoline and Oil. This not because of developing Shortage, but to limit Oil price increase dangerous to the Economy. The most sensible Order would forbid Retailers from selling more than Ten gallons of fuel at any one time, except for Commercial vehicles, and forbid any Sale of fuel to non-Commercial users between 10 pm and 6 am.

The Order would not hurt Retailers, would help the Hotel/Motel industry, and retard RV trekking. This Author estimates it could save one million barrels per day, open Spare capacity for pressured Refineries, and break an American practice of needless Joy-riding engaged in by almost All--including the Author. He will probably again be accused of Leftist leanings, but it might become necessary. lgl

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