Oil Rises Above $130. Is Anyone Minding the Store?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oil prices rose above $130 a barrel Wednesday for the first time, as supply concerns mounted and the value of the U.S. dollar weakened. Light, sweet crude reached a trading record of $130.47 a barrel in electronic trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The average national price of a gallon of regular gas rose 0.7 cent overnight to a record $3.807 a gallon.

On October 2, 2002, the day the U.S. Congress (yeah, that mean you, Hillary Clinton) voted to give George W. Bush the authority to go to war with Iraq, light, sweet crude was $24 a barrel. How’s that war vote working out for you now, Mrs. Clinton?

Meanwhile, American Airlines, the nation’s largest carrier, said Wednesday it would start cutting domestic flights and begin to lay off workers as it grapples with record-high fuel prices. American plans to cut domestic flight capacity by 11 percent to 12 percent in the fourth quarter.

Nationally, school districts are raising fees to cover the cost of fuel for school buses. Some schools are cutting back and eliminating field trips altogether due to the rising costs of gasoline. At Burton Elementary in Durham, NC, the annual field trip to a local pumpkin farm is no more.

The World Bank’s index of food prices increases by 140 percent from January 2002 to the beginning of 2008, and a full 75 percent just since September 2006 thanks to the explosion in petroleum prices and subsidies to ethanol.

Which takes us back to the hapless George W. Bush administration. Recently, Bush traveled to Israel and then Saudi Arabia where he begged his old family friend, Prince Abdullah to increase oil production. Bush was promptly rebuffed by the Prince. So it would appear that in the final months of Bush’s time in office, Americans can expect absolutely no leadership from his administration vis a vis high gas prices. For George W. Bush, it’s just a matter of running out the clock until her can go home to Crawford (or Paraguay?) and hand off the energy mess to Barack Obama to deal with.

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19 Responses to Oil Rises Above $130. Is Anyone Minding the Store?

  1. TOM339 says:

    Christopher – An excellent post.

    I agree 100%. No one is home and no one is minding the store.

    The Dems are focused on winning the presidency in November, so they don’t care about gas reaching $4 a gallon.

    The Repugs don’t care either because Big Oil represents their largest campaign donors following the insurance industry.

    And what you pointed out is true. Crude was $24 before the Iraq war. Now it’s $130. The Iraq war has been a catastrophe by every measurement.

  2. DMason says:

    I’ve started driving to the Park-n-Ride and taking the bus to work M-Th. Friday, I go in too early and still drive both ways. I have a small car but I’m still getting killed paying $3.89 a gallon. These politicians don’t care about us and since they earn $165,000 a year, what’s $3.89 a gallon to them? Nothing.

  3. Aunt Peg says:

    Bush is such a punk. A bitch-ass punk sucking up to the Arabs, holding his widdle walnuts in his hands and coming home empty.

    What a disgrace. But hey, don’t blame me.

    I voted for Al Gore!

  4. Estacada says:

    The cost of food in Portland, OR is outrageous.

    I’m not talking about gourmet items but basics like milk, eggs, bread and cheese. A quart of milk is nearly $3 dollars and you can’t find any bread under $2.99 a loaf.

    My salary hasn’t gone up since 2004 but the amount I’m paying for gas to get to work has doubled. I really wonder how much more of this our economy can sand before we slip into a depression?

  5. Adirondacky says:

    There is one solution to high gas prices no one ever mentions: nationalize the oil companies. I know it’s an idea many see as un-American and “commie,” but all it would take for this to happen is the Congress to give Exxon, Chevron, Hess an ultimatum. Either use some of your profits to build more refineries and lower your profit margins by 50% or the US military will seize their operations. $130 a barrel has become a national security issue and the Feds can’t allow this to continue.

  6. Tiny Dancer says:

    The Bush/Cheney oil cartel don’t want to see the price of oil go lower. If it did their investment portfolios would take a hit.

    Remember, the Iraq war that Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Joe Lieberman and John Edwards voted for had zippo to do with U.S. security — but it had everything to do with Israel’s security and a core component of Israel’s security is oil.

    The sheeple Americans think Iraq isn’t producing any oil because of the damage it sustained in the U.S. attack. Think again. Iraq is producing lots of oil and most of it is going to Israel via Haifa.

  7. emcee says:

    I love the idea of nationalizing the oil companies. These bastards don’t care of they destroy this country with their obscene prices. Just storm the refineries and take them over.

  8. goodtimepolitics says:

    Maybe we should call the White House at 3 AM and see if anyone answers the phone! 🙂

  9. Jim says:

    It’s clear that no is minding the store and no one CARES to mind the store, except for Obama.

  10. Larry says:

    It’s hard for the Saudi”s to take Bush seriously with his tongue in the Princes ear at every meeting.

    The Senate is holding more hearings for publicity on the rising oil prices, meanwhile thousands more lose their jobs, and thousands more will lose theirs tomorrow.

    January 20th can’t come soon enough.

  11. Dick Small says:

    Here in upstate New York, the lowest price gas is now $4.05/gallon.

  12. Joe in Colorado says:

    Christopher – You had a blog post up about Goldman Sachs forecasting crude reaching $141 a barrel by the end of the year. I think they (and you) were correct. Maybe things will change when gas reaches $7.50 a gallon? I’ll buy a horse and ride the day that happens.

  13. Randy Arroyo says:

    The problems Obama will inherit from the eight years of Bush/Cheney are so huge, so daunting, that on the one hand, I respect and appreciate Obama for even wanting to give it a shot to clean up, but on the other hand, I have to be honest and say, why bother?

  14. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says:

    Tiny Dancer, i thought most of their crude came from Russia. What’s the source for ” Iraq is producing lots of oil and most of it is going to Israel via Haifa.”

  15. DMcD says:

    Bushco ; do “anything” to help the public withstand these ‘crippling’ fuel prices ? Not in this lifetime !! The Bush Whitehouse won’t be happy till they’ve put America “out of business” (in every way possible).

    The ‘spineless’ Congress isn’t likely to be of much help either.

    Still, it sure would be nice to at least have the pleasure of seeing the low-life’s at Exxon etc. , “SHARE the PAIN” along with us. The oil companies may (or may not ) have a valid argument in pointing to high supply costs BUT I’ll bet , Exxon (and the rest) still charge the same % in their mark-up resulting in a situation where , they ‘don’t care how much we pay’.
    Hell , think about it , they have an ‘incentive’ to have prices go thru the roof , permanently. Exxon has proved time and again that they don’t give a damn about you , me or America. Not only do they not offer to help and reduce costs on their end but these scumbags are still rolling in the big $60 billion giveaway (thanks to Cheney’s backroom deals).

    We have to somehow force the lawmakers to “TAKE AWAY THEIR INCENTIVE”.

  16. Travelingman says:

    Great post Chris. As someone who works in an industry that is directly related to the price of oil I can tell you that Americans have a great deal to fear.

    We have to start respecting the fact that oil is not a renewable resource. When we use it like water we do not realize that one day there will be no more oil. It will be gone forever.

    What does this mean for us? It means respecting the environment, using our oil wisely and not driving cars that get 12 miles to the gallon. We should be like Europe and have a minimum of 27 mpg for cars and trucks.

    People need to wake up and begin to make changes in their life. One day folks there will be no more oil.

  17. joost says:

    MSNBC had an oil analyst on this morning who said we should prepare for gas to hit $15 a gallon.

    If the United States government doesn’t get this mess under control, I predict rioting in the streets and a breakdown of the social fabric that holds our society together.

    This can’t continue.

  18. leadership on oil?
    are we kidding.

    we havent had leadership here since 1/21/01
    we have a plutocrat taking care of his buddies. we have a douchebag who should drown in petroleum. we have an idiot who give up golf as a sacrifice — ansd is PROUD of it.

    we have the beginning of the end of the US –

  19. goodtimepolitics says:

    It’s clear that no is minding the store and no one CARES to mind the store, except for Obama.

    Jim lets put it this way, Obama does not know how many States we have. His wife says she has not been proud of her country her entire adult life. and you then say only Obama cares! Wake-up he could care less about you or I.

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