Sunday, June 15, 2008

A few news articles.

Been busy this past week, and will probably continue to be busy most of next week. Life isn't all online, you know! But here are some articles to ponder.

From Life After the Oil Crash:
Yahoo News: Exxon Bails Out of the Retail Gasoline Business

LATOC Editor's Note: My guess is they're selling them now because they (likely) know the already-limited profitability of retail stations will plunge once A) gasoline deliveries become sporadic and B) people no longer have the discretionary income necessary to buy the food/drinks inside the convenience stores attached to most stations:

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday it is getting out of the retail gasoline business in the United States as sky-high crude oil prices squeeze margins. Those branded service stations may be the most public aspect of Exxon's business, but they account for a small part of the company's profits. Exxon
plans to sell those service stations over several years...

It's the same reason, IMHO, that we aren't seeing any new oil processing facilities being built or much serious investment in infrastructure - who in their right mind would sink all those billions of dollars to upgrade an industry that has maybe 10 years left, if that?

Time Magazine:
With Gas at $4, Bush Can't Afford to Attack Iran or He'll be Leaving the White House on a Mule Drawn Cart

If it wasn't clear before, it sure is now: the Bush Administration can’t afford to attack Iran.

With gas already at $4 a gallon and rising almost every day,
Iran figuratively and literally has the United States over a barrel. As much
as the Administration is tempted, it is not about to test Iran’s promise to
"explode" the Middle East if it is attacked. One oil speculator told me that
oil would hit $200 a barrel within minutes. But Iran’s official news agency,
Fars, puts it at $300 a barrel. I asked him if Iran is right, what does that
mean? "At $300, you have $12 a gallon of gasoline and riots in Newark, Los
Angeles, Harlem, Oakland, Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas. "In either case, Bush
does not want to leave the White House on a mule-drawn cart . . ."

So, Bush can either goad Israel into leading and performing the attack, or Bush can push their Demand Destruction plan ahead of schedule. I'm thinking option #1 is more likely.

UPDATE! June 20th, 2008
International Herald Tribune
Says Drew on Fark: Not that anybody should worry or anything, but the Israeli Air Force just held a full blown dress rehearsal for bombing Iran

The Wall Street Journal: OIL SHOCKER
Stung by Soaring Transport Costs,
Factories Bring Jobs Home Again

By TIMOTHY AEPPEL June 13, 2008; Page A1

The rising cost of shipping everything from industrial-pump parts to lawn-mower batteries to living-room sofas is forcing some manufacturers to bring production back to North America and freeze plans to send even more work overseas...

Peak Oil begins to deflate the myths of globalization and a push to relocalize is the obvious answer. But we tore down our manufacturing infrastructure and let our rail yards fall into disrepair and inadequacy - do we have the resources to undo all this before it's too late? I hope so, but I seriously doubt it.

What this represents, though, is an incredible opportunity for our communities to band together and set up our own shops and businesses to manufacture, hand crafted and small scale, those things we need for everyday life. Now's the time to get started, class, before costs get more outrageous than they already are!

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