Friday, October 13, 2006

Now, Thank the nice Saudis for the temporary price cuts

Aren't you glad that gas prices are down? Good.
Aren't you suspicious that they're down just before the U.S. Elections? Maybe you should be.

The New York Times reports that “OPEC did away with its quotas last year when its members pumped at maximum capacity”... this was “the highest level in more than 25 years.”

Thanks OPEC... I think.
Everybody in the oil businesses made a killing last year. I guess I can't blame you for selling as much oil as could at that price. Yet, by producing as much oil as you did, oil prices eventually did come down. Which means that we should only expect that you cut production now.

OPEC has agreed to cut production by 1million barrels a day. But, the details still need to be worked out. The actual production cuts will likely take effect some time after the U.S. midterm elections.

How convenient...

Now, some of you might see this as some kind of conspiracy to keep Bush's friends in office. Well, it is true that the Bush family and the House of Saud go way back, and that Saudi investment in Bush businesses have been very helpful. Also, the Saudis do pretty much control the direction of OPEC. But that does not mean that the Saudis want to influence American politics.

So, just relax. Have a beer. Check to see what's on cable.... It was all a coincidence that our oil inventories are up just before our elections. It was just a coincidence that gas prices will be at their lowest just before our elections. If you turn on a channel and see Bob Woodward (you know, that boring guy who broke the Watergate story way back in prehistoric times), change the channel. He's just going to irritate you with some lame story about the Saudi ambassador promising George Bush Jr. (way, way back in 2004) that Saudi Arabia would cut oil prices before the November elections.

I usually don't write about foreign affairs on this blog. But I feel it is important that we realize that the domestic coal companies will try to influence our government too... if they can get away with it. Sure, the price of coal is cheap now. But don't expect it to be cheap once we have committed our power generation facilities to decades of buying coal. Suppliers will charge as much as they can. That's just capitalism. And, like in some convoluted game of (create your own rules) Monopoly; they will play us for all they can get. To them, that's just effective business tactics.

And Remember: If we now had the alternative energy infrastructure that President Jimmy Carter had tried to build; by now, thirty years later, it's likely we wouldn't care about the price of oil. Someone didn't want that to happen. Someone wanted us to be dependent upon oil. Someone now wants us to be dependent upon coal.

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