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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Oil prices headed back up

NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude oil futures jumped more than $1 to top $43 a barrel Wednesday after data showed a steep decline in inventories.

The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. commercial inventories of crude oil declined by a 4.2 million barrels to 287.1 million barrels last week. The decline came amid a drop in imports the Department of Energy said in its weekly report.
I gave up trying to play the markets a few years ago, but I will suggest that oil being under $50 a barrel and the Dow being over 10,000 are both just whistling in the dark. Bush's oil grabs are taking much longer and costing much more than he had counted on, and they're being paid for with borrowed money (and stolen political capital). We appear to be at or close to peak oil, so the price will continue to climb overall, even with occasional dips like the past two weeks. And that will severely damage or destroy the American economy, exacerbated by the Chinese and Japanese calling in their loans. We won't pay them, of course, but it will dry up the capital which has kept us afloat for years, and send the world economy into depression. Here's my corny (corniest?) analogy for the day: The American economy is a swiftboat floating on a Mekong of oil, running on borrowed fuel. And it's bound to run aground as the Mekong is drained.

Bush, or Kerry, will probably continue to do everything possible to fight their way out of this crisis for as long as they can, which will only make it worse in the long run. The only sane thing to do now is immediately implement drastic conservation methods. But sanity has no role in American politics, unfortunately--for everybody on this overstressed planet.