Bush Urges Conservation as Retail Gas Prices Rise (But isn't energy conservation just "a sign of personal virtue" ?)
- From: BigMachoSUVOwner <yourmommasemailaddress@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:38:27 -0700
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a second... ain't energy
conservation just "a sign of personal virtue"? I remember back during
the California energy crisis days in the early days of the Bush
administration they pretty much told California to F-off when the
state asked for Federal help with regulating Enron & Energy Companies,
Inc because they were manipulating profits out of thin air by gouging
the state through their gaming of the state's electrical grid. As I
recall back then Vice President Cheney pretty much mocked the state
for turning to energy conservation as a strategy for dealing with
Enron & the other thieves. Ah yes, here is a Forbes article at the
time commenting on Cheney & the Republican belief that conservation is
a "virtue" (kind of like wearing warm sweaters & turning down the
thermostat on a cold winter day is a sign of virtue I guess):
http://tinyurl.com/8fnua So now what, these conservative Republican
oil & energy guys 'running' the Federal government these days, now
suddenly they are making noises about conservation a la Jimmy Carter
in 1978 & California in 2001?? That's BS, plain & simple. The reason
gas prices are too high is all the goddamn taxation on gasoline. Gas
is taxed 6 ways to Sunday & if they eliminated all the damn taxes on
it you'd see the prices drop to 1950 levels: $0.25 a gallon. And
conservation is a frigging joke! If you got the money to fill your Big
Macho SUV (like I drive!), if you got $100 to fill it up, then do it!
Screw conservation! That's for pansies like Democrats & Liberal
nut-kooks, think Ed Begley, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, & Susan Sarandon,
Hollywood "liberal elite" types, not the average red-blooded American.
If you got the scratch to drive your behemoth, like I do, fill the
damn thing up & floor it dammit. See Bush starts talking like Jimmy
Carter & I realize he ain't no damn Conservative Republican, just like
Carter wasn't a damn Conservative Republican. Bush is just a frigging
mess is all! Anyway, enough of my diatribe & monologue, now on to the
September 26, 2005
Bush Urges Conservation as Retail Gas Prices Rise
By VIKAS BAJAJ
President Bush called on Americans to conserve gasoline and avoid
non-essential driving today as the average national prices for retail
gasoline climbed higher for the first time since they peaked over the
Labor Day weekend.
The president's remarks appeared to reflect concerns that gasoline
supplies may remain tight and prices will rise further, even as the
energy industry and analysts were breathing a sigh of relief over the
limited scope of damage at Texas refineries from Hurricane Rita.
"We can all pitch in by being better conservers," Mr. Bush said after
being briefed on the situation at the Energy Department. "People just
need to recognize that these storms have caused disruptions." In
addition to urging consumers to cut back, he said federal employees
should use carpool and public transport and not take non-essential
Retail price increases were most acute in Texas, the Gulf Coast and
Southeast, areas closest to and most dependent on oil refineries in or
near the hurricane's path. Nationwide, the average price for regular
unleaded gasoline was $2.80 a gallon today, up from $2.748 the day
before, according to the Oil Price Information Service. The president
also said the nation needed to relax regulations on the construction
of new oil refineries. A new refinery has not been built in the United
States in almost 30 years, though companies have expanded capacity at
existing plants and are running them closer to 100 percent capacity.
Mr. Bush again reiterated that the federal government was ready to
release more crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
"We need additional refining capacity in order to meet the needs of
the American people," Mr. Bush said. "The storm has shown how fragile
the balance is between supply and demand in America."
Gasoline prices in Dallas, which drew hundreds of thousands of
evacuees from Houston last week, rose to $2.803 today from $2.709 on
Sunday. Prices in Houston tracked the national average, but gasoline
supplies remained scarce on many of the key routes taken by the three
million people who evacuated the Houston area in advance of Rita's
One Dallas-area gasoline distributor and service station owner said in
a telephone interview that he sent his tanker trucks to as far as
Oklahoma and Louisiana to fetch fuel, which he then delivered
sparingly to stores. "We have been able to stay in fuel by doing what
we call milk runs where we make six stops and drop a little bit at
every location so they can stay in business," said Bill Douglass,
chief executive of the Douglass Distributing Company in Sherman, Tex.
During normal conditions, one tanker-load, about 9,800 gallons of
fuel, would go to one store.
The situation was less dire in other parts of the country that have
refineries closer to them or are receiving imported fuel from Europe.
Gasoline prices in Chicago and New York were either unchanged or
dipped slightly, while prices in Atlanta, which relies heavily on
gasoline from the Gulf Coast, were up 10 cents a gallon, according to
the Oil Price Information Service.
Futures prices for gasoline slipped today, while oil rose moderately.
Gasoline for October delivery was down 2.56 cents, to $2.06 a gallon,
on the New York Mercantile Exchange this afternoon. Crude oil for
November delivery up 46 cents, to $64.65 a barrel.
Even as futures prices settle down after a volatile few weeks of
trading, oil industry analysts said retail prices in the Gulf Coast
and Southeast may climb even further in the coming days, because it
will take some time for even undamaged refineries and pipelines that
run from Texas to the East Coast to return to normal volumes.
"I would suspect that you will see some increases," said Fred Rozell,
director of retail pricing for Oil Price Information Service, which
surveys service stations. "I don't think you will see gigantic spikes,
but you will see it edge up at least a dime or so."
Gasoline prices spiked up past $3 a gallon in many markets after
Katrina forced shutdowns of more than 10 percent of the nation's
refining capacity, half of which is still out of service, and the two
major pipelines that deliver gasoline and other fuels to the eastern
half of the country. Prices had been on a slow but steady fall since
Labor Day, which typically marks the end of the summer driving season.
"Absent Rita, we should have seen gas prices continue to fall," said
Justin McNaull, a spokesman for AAA, the auto club.
In preparation for Rita, energy companies shut down refineries that
make up about a quarter of the nation's capacity, but many of those
plants, particularly in Houston and nearby Texas City, escaped major
damage and officials say many are restarting. It typically takes a few
days to bring up an undamaged refinery.
But it could take weeks to months to bring back more damaged plants in
Port Arthur, Tex. and Lake Charles, La., where Rita's wrath was most
concentrated. Power outages and wind damage seem to have taken the
greatest toll. .
The Colonial Pipeline Company, which operates the largest of several
pipelines that transport gasoline and oil from the Gulf Coast to the
rest of the country, was operating at less than half its capacity on
Sunday because of power outages. It expected to be running at 54
percent of its capacity later today and 72 percent by Tuesday.
According to an estimate by Barclays Capital, the precautionary
refinery shutdowns alone could amount to 25 million barrels of lost
fuel production, in addition to the 100 million barrels that were lost
because of Katrina damage. To put that into context, Americans consume
about 9.3 million barrels of gasoline a day, not to mention diesel,
jet fuel and other oil products.
"Given the tightness of the U.S. refined product market, especially in
gasoline, even lost output solely due to the precautionary shutdowns
at refiners in the region is likely to be important," Barclays'
analysts said in a research note.
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