Oil Prices Surge to a New High
Oil prices surged to a new high on Tuesday, rising to nearly $114 a barrel, as scattered pipeline interruptions and a weak dollar pressured a tight global market.
Crude oil futures jumped more than $2, to $113.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices have risen more than 18 percent since the beginning of the year.
Tuesday's price set a record for oil and helped push gasoline to fresh highs. Retail gasoline averaged $3.39 a gallon, according to AAA, the automotive group. That is more than 50 cents a gallon higher than a year ago. Diesel prices have seen even bigger gains. Diesel now averages $4.12 a gallon, according to AAA, $1.18 more than last year.
The immediate driver behind higher oil prices has been a string of interruptions in pipeline operations in Nigeria and the Caspian region, as well as a shutdown of Mexican exporter terminals in the Gulf Coast because of bad weather. While small, these interruptions underlined how reactive the market is to the slightest disruption in supplies.
. . . Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries consider the global market well stocked with oil -- that there is no shortage anywhere -- and that prices are being conditioned more by market psychology than fundamental factors.
The venerable NYTimes was once the mother of all scoops in the breaking-news game, but they've lost their touch, modified their moxie, gutted their gut-level instincts and folded their hand.
Every excuse has been given for $114 oil except the most obvious one, which the NYT ignores. In the past seven ignoble years of the closing Bush administration, the dollar has been reduced to tatters.
It is half the dollar Bill Clinton turned over to this pack of clowns.
A Clinton dollar would see oil at $57--bad enough, but a very long way from the $114 reported today. $31 dollars a barrel (the Bush admin opener) to $57 is a 184% increase. That portion can be attributed almost entirely to our mucking about in the horror that Iraq has become, both to Americans and Iraqis.
The rest (an actual 368% tsunami) is accounted for by the bullheaded unwillingness of this president to tax the nation for his war of choice, balance federal budgets or come even close to building an economy that is not 70% consumer-spending dependent. Oops, I forgot--there was a housing bubble and finance scam thrown in along the way for good measure.
But the NYT wrings its hands in frustration, not in the least understanding the current economy, the abuses it has absorbed or the impact those abuses have on the price of oil. This is what Pinch Sulzberger has wrought from the family dynasty, handed to him just as Bush pere conceived Bush fils.
Sons are so often a disappointment.