Thursday :: Apr 1, 2004

Baa-aa-aa! Hummer Buggers!


by pessimist

Been to the gas station lately? Of course you have! So you know how high the gas prices are. But have you wondered why the prices are so high?

We're told lots of things about why this is so. We're told that Shell is closing a refiniery in California, and others are down for "maintenance" - of what (besides the profit margin) no one can seem to define. We're also hearing about increased usage (still glad you bought that 8 mile/gal Hummer?), increased petroleum purchases by the government for the Strategic Reserve, OPEC production cuts, blah, blah, blah,....

Of course, if we just listened to our Sssssssssss-elected pResident, all would be made clear and We, the Sheeple could go back to grazing on bio-engineered grass while we watch Court TV and American Idol.


White House Blames Congress for Gas Prices

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE - Americans would not be paying high prices for gasoline if the Congress had passed President Bush's proposed energy package three years ago, a White House spokesman said Tuesday as the administration faced criticism from Democratic rival John F. Kerry.

See? Now it's clear - Bill Clinton's penis is the reason the gas prices are so exorbitant! Now, if it wasn't for all of those godless communist pinko lib'rul Democrats who are so obstructionist toward Owwer Leedur's esteemed programs for the betterment of all corporate bottom lines, we would still be gettin' our motors runnin', headin' out on the highways of America, and searchin' for adventure in whatever comes our way. Instead, we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous petroleum prices. What? Shut up and graze? I can't understand you when you talk with your mouth full!

In a thinly veiled criticism of Kerry, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, "Some have advocated higher gas taxes. ... The president remains firmly opposed to increasing gas taxes." The Bush campaign has accused Kerry of proposing a 50-cent a gallon gas tax increase. Kerry was quoted once as mentioning the idea but has since repudiated it.

OK, now I'm really confused! I doubt that there has been any increases in the gas taxes lately, even thought they just might do some good for the country if they were!). Owwer Leedur's Plundering Plutocrat Party wouldn't ever allow such a thing! It might reduce quarterly earnings! So just what would gas taxes have to do with the high price of gas? NO! That's my grass! You go find your own patch and graze on the grass there! Well, that's not my fault! I told you where the latrine area was!

"Bush and Cheney love making excuses and hate taking responsibility for their failed policies," said Chad Clanton, a Kerry campaign spokesman. "They have ignored this gas crisis and now it's spinning out of control. Voters have a clear choice: John Kerry, who is on the side of consumers, or Bush and Cheney, who everyone knows are on the side of oil the companies." Kerry has called for the Bush administration to stop filling the nation's strategic petroleum reserve and divert the oil to the market until gas prices fall. The Democrat has not suggested using the supplies from the reserve to lower prices.

Now, if these were normal times, Kerry's suggestions would make sense. But these are not normal times. Anyone who doubts this can look at the USA Today for the poll that says the American people are more supportive of George Warmonger Bush and his War on Terra than they are Kerry, and this after a week of testimony by Richard Clarke about how Iraq was always more important to the Bush (mis)Administration than defending the country against known threats from Al Qaeda. What? Where? Alright, already! I'm moving! Damn sheepdogs! OW! That HURT!

McClellan said the administration remained opposed to using supplies from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve as a way of trying to lower gas prices. He said independent analysts have concluded that opening the reserve would have only negligible impact. Morever, he said, "It's important that we have the necessary resources in the event of a severe disruption of supply." The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are to meet in Vienna on Wednesday to reconsider a planned 1 million barrel cut in production scheduled to begin this week. (They did plan a cut)

Opening the Reserve would only have a negligible effect on the gas price, with OPEC production still essentially unchanged (see oil production info below), but if there is a 'severe disruption' the Reserve is going to take care of our needs? Hey! Quit pushing! There's only so much room on this truck, you know!

McClellan said the administration has been in regular contact with major oil producing countries to stress the importance of letting the market determine the prices of oil. "What we need are comprehensive solutions, not patchwork crisis management," the spokesman said. "We wouldn't be in this situation right now if Congress had acted on what the president had proposed three years ago," he said.

We wouldn't be in this situation now if Bush had acted on the terror threat information three years ago! You shut up and watch the scenery! You got the spot by the side! All I get to look at is that smelly George Bush under that Cheney tail of yours! Talk about a Weapon of Mass Defica ... never mind.

When Bush took office, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. By midyear, the Democrats had a narrow majority in the Senate, but the GOP was in charge in the House.

For all the good it did us! But even though this was the case, what does this have to do with gas prices now? OH - silly me! I forgot. Clinton's appendage as represented in the Congress. Got it. Baa-aa-aad joke there, Fluffy!

McClellan said the administration was "doing everything we can to address the issues that might contribute to rising gas prices." The administration has said it is looking for price gouging and other improper price manipulation.

No doubt in order to get their 'fair' share of 'campaign contributions'! Hey! I told you to go before we got in the truck! But no! Just dump on the guy behind you - that's what the GOP does! You kiss mine!

So as McClellan says, the (mis)Administration has 'regular contact with major oil producing countries' to promote Republican market place strategies. How well did they do for the average consumer?


Saudis Signal They Will Proceed With Oil-Production Cut

Saudi Arabia signaled today (March 30,2004) that it was proceeding with its plans to cut oil production, prompting a gathering of OPEC officials here this week to voice support for higher crude oil prices, which have become a sensitive political issue in the United States.

Thanks, George! That's what we get for letting you do it!

"Throwing more oil on the market would be destructive for everybody," said Ali al-Naimi, the oil minister for Saudi Arabia, the most pivotal member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Remember, we are sheeple and aren't included in the set 'everybody' - that's reserved for those formerly known as the Top 1%, now properly known as 'people'.

Mr. Naimi sought to brush aside criticism that his nation was seeking higher returns from oil exports, claiming a flurry of speculative activity in commodity markets was behind the recent increase in oil prices. Still, as if on cue from Mr. Naimi's statements, prices for light crude closed up 80 cents at $36.25 a barrel in trading today on the New York Mercantile Exchange. OPEC is expected to discuss on Wednesday whether it will adhere to a cut of 1 million barrels announced at a meeting last month in Algiers.

OPEC, which produces roughly a third of the world's oil, is believed to be producing about 26 million barrels a day, or well above its official target of 24.5 million barrels.

This is that statistic that I pointed to above indicating that production wasn't seriously affected by a 1 million barrel cutback. They are producing 106% of the oil they had been planning on producing. Sure, even this cut could affect the oil prices, but to the extent of a 30%+ increse in price? Something really smells here, and it isn't just the obtuse Ovine Idiot ahead of me! You are too an idiot! Idiot! I know you are, so what am I?

Supported by strong demand in China and the United States, the price for West Texas crude oil averaged $35.25 a barrel in the first quarter, the highest such level in the last 20 years, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates. There appears to be strong sentiment within OPEC to keep prices high, with several delegates speaking in support of Saudi Arabia today, including representatives from Algeria, Libya and Venezuela. "I feel we should go with the cut," Fathi bin Shatwan, Libya's oil minister, told reporters. "Maybe there's a bit of oversupply even."

Don't you just love it when someone tells you you've had too much when you know you aren't getting enough?

Despite signs that some producers in the Persian Gulf might be hesitant to pursue an output cut, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, OPEC is expected to sway in the direction of Saudi Arabia, which alone has the swing capacity to rapidly increase or decrease production.

So why is a decrease in production so important to our 'good ally' Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi economy is growing at its fastest pace since the early 1980's, helped by robust oil sales.

Oh! NOW I get it! They're making more money, so they need to make even more money! Why didn't I think of that? I am not stupid! At least I know better than to follow underage girls around like some perverted sheeple I can name!

Growing concern in Washington over rising oil and gasoline prices seems to be having little effect on OPEC's decisions. "People in power know that crude supplies have nothing to do with the current gasoline prices in the U.S.," Mr. Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, told reporters during a brisk walk through the streets of Vienna today. "A lot of things will be said in an election year."

Losing your touch there, George? Seems like OPEC isn't afraid of the Wrong, Small 'Texan' anymore! Maybe you should claim that Saddam's Missing Weapons of Mass Destruction are hidden somewhere in Riyadh and invade! It worked once with We, the Sheeple, so it HAS to work another time, right?

There is little doubt that gasoline prices in the United States, which are expected to reach a record this spring, are bringing renewed attention to OPEC's 11 members. At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 23, which was mostly about nuclear weapons, Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, questioned Spencer Abraham, the Energy Secretary, about energy prices. "No one in that state can understand why the president of the United States isn't jawboning OPEC to increase production to make a difference at the very time that we're losing men and women over there in Iraq," Mr. Kennedy said. "Maybe there's a rationale for that, but it's an intolerable position."

"We also are concerned about prices," Mr. Abraham replied. "I have expressed this on a number of occasions recently. We've also made it clear that we're not going to beg for oil." But Andrew Card, the president's chief of staff, appearing on MSNBC two days later, said that the United States was consulting with its "allies" in Opec and asking for more production.

We won't beg for oil, but we WILL consult and ask for more production? I may just be one of the Sheeple, but even I can spot this contradiction! I guess George W. Bush is finding out that he isn't the Top Dog anymore and that his Saudi OPEC business partners are! Who dances to whose tunes now? No wonder you can't dance, Fluffy! You have four left feet!

Few analysts believe, however, that OPEC will actually implement production cuts even if it announces such measures. For instance, it would be almost impossible for OPEC to immediately implement any cuts in April since its members have already committed to shipping oil to customers around the world next month. Data collected by analysts that track tanker movement also suggest OPEC shows few signs of letting up shipments. Vela, the tanker arm of Saudi Arabia's national oil company, is thought to be sending more shipments to American ports in the Gulf of Mexico in April than at any month since last October, said Katherine Spector, an energy strategist at Deutsche Bank. "We might get cuts from a smaller OPEC member like the U.A.E, but more for reasons of maintenance than anything else," said Ms. Spector. "It's hard to see any significant cuts taking place."

So in theory, the prices should be going up with the supply remaining stable - or is it? I'm beginning to smell an oily rat!


Watchdog Agency Faults Lack of Iraqi Oil Metering

The U.S.-led authority in Baghdad is failing to meter Iraq's oil production, leaving a door open to smuggling, an international watchdog agency said on Tuesday, calling for urgent steps to address the problem.

The International Advisory and Monitoring Board, set up by the U.N. Security Council to watch over Iraq's oil production in the post-war era, said the Coalition Provisional Authority informed it two weeks ago that crude oil was unmetered.

Metering production, referred to by the monitoring board as a standard oil industry practice, allows the producer to verify that no oil is diverted between from time it is taken out of the ground to the time it is marketed. The absence of metering "represents an internal control weakness which needs to be addressed urgently," the board said in a notice posted on its Web site. "As an interim step to strengthen controls over oil extraction and limit possible diversion, the IAMB welcomes steps taken by the CPA to curtail smuggling activities," it said. "The IAMB recommends the expeditious installation of metering equipment in accordance with standard oil industry practices."

Sure - that will happen! Right after Cheney reveals the list of the participants of the 'energy' meeting!

Iraq has exported more than $6.9 billion in crude oil since Saddam Hussein's government fell nearly a year ago, the coalition authority reported on its own Web site. The authority had deposited $6.93 billion in its Development Fund for Iraq as of last Thursday, it said. A total of $335 million was deposited in the fund during the week ending last Thursday, compared to $205 million the previous week, it added.

And that ain't Sheeple Feed! This is what they are after - a cheap (for them - we pay the true costs) source of petroleum that they can sell to the world at the going rate. Such a deal!

PAUCITY OF OIL DATA

Beyond the weekly figures on oil proceeds deposited in the development fund, the CPA provides no public information on sales of Iraqi oil, such as volume or price data or the reasons for weekly fluctuations in deposits into the fund.

Can you say 'money laundering'? I KNEW you could!

Under a resolution adopted by the Security Council last May, the authority is required to deposit all the proceeds of Iraqi oil exports into the fund. The resolution was intended to ensure Iraq's secretive U.S.-led civil administration was not engaged in any dubious practices in marketing Iraq's oil and using the money for reconstruction. Under international law, the coalition authority can use the oil money only for the benefit of the Iraqi people and can not make any long-term marketing commitments.

Hey, what's a little law breaking when there's great profits to be made?

Some Security Council members have complained they are not given enough information to judge whether the CPA is complying with those requirements. The IAMB has been hampered in its work for months by differences with the coalition authority over its powers and delays in selecting an accountant to audit the development fund's books.

Gee! Florida all over again! These guys are good! Fool the Sheeple once, shame on you. Fool the Sheeple twice, you can fool them again - and again - and again - ...

An accounting firm was finally approved just last week, but it's name has not been made public.

I'm sure that the choice of Accenture, the spinoff of Arthur Anderson, the accounting firm of Enron infamy, would hardly be a popular choice!

OK, so here we are. We, the Sheeple are being taken for a ride while OPEC is raising prices, MAYBE as a counter-strategy to lost US sales due to the illicit transportation (performed discretely by the Saudis, business partners of the Bush Family Evil Empire, in their tankers) of Iraqi oil for storage in the Strategic Reserve (largely controlled by Texas oil men) at no-to-low cost (paying the Saudis for transport), and to help cover this scandal, the domestic oil companies used insider information to pulled an Enron-style scam to take advantage of the situation and raise prices to increase their profits.

Or is the wool being pulled over my eyes?

pessimist :: 8:18 AM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!