Oil price soars

The price of oil has made a record jump to nearly $139 a barrel, amid reports it could reach $150 by July because of rising demand and political tension.

The spike in oil prices coincided with a dollar slump, plummeting share prices on Wall Street and US unemployment suffering its biggest rise in 20 years.

Correspondents say oil prices were also pushed up by Israeli threats to strike on Iran over its nuclear programme.

The BBC's North America Editor, Justin Webb, says the gloomy figures are a reminder to all Americans that the nation faces serious economic problems and perhaps even a recession.

The wheels are coming off the wagon. Let's send another hundred billion dollars off to Iraq as long as we're at it. What the hell! We'll just print more money.

No votes yet

"If Iran continues with its programme for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective," Mr Mofaz told Yediot Ahronot.

With Israel and the US continuing to threaten another Near Eastern oil producer, the cost of oil will never come down. We should consider at least talking to Iran and explore ways of reaching an accommodation. This is becoming crazy. We seem to be willing to jeopardize our oil lifeline and our economy to achieve a Pyhrric victory -even if we bomb those guys, we can't take over their whole country and then oil will become $300 a barrel. We are working ourselves into a hole that we can't get out of, and all of us will pay for it financially and in every other way. We can't continue to pretend that we are the grand puppet master and that we are pulling all the strings. We aren't that rich or powerful anymore.

"In 1995, Congress authorized oil drilling in the coastal plain – but President Bill Clinton vetoed it."
Because the Democrat hero Bubba "Blue Dress" Clinton VETOed legislation to drill ANWR in 1995.

So now, 12 years later, the oil would have been flowing for 2 years and we could tell the Middle East where to put it since the ME sends most of it's oil to Europe and China.

But Dimocrats are hoping and praying that someone invents a new source of power that somehow magically will answer all the worlds problems TOMORROW.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a

You are so fixated on liberals and Democrats that you can't see that both of the parties are working together. It's Yin and Yang, they're joined at the hip. We need a new party and new thinking. Forget the old Right versus Left. They're both the same. And change your moniker. It sounds as if you're looking for one.

Speculators driving up oil prices, Senate panel told

By Les Blumenthal

McClatchy Newspapers

George Soros, left, Michael Greenberger, center, and Gerry Ramm participate in a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — One is a billionaire financier and the other operates seven gas stations and convenience stores in a farming community of 7,000 in Eastern Washington.

But George Soros and Gerry Ramm delivered the same message Tuesday to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee: Rampant speculation has helped spur out-of-control crude-oil prices.

Soros, whose hedge fund by some accounts made $3 billion last year, talked about a "speculative excess" and warned that the increase in oil prices could drag the United States into a recession.

"There is a strong prima facie case against institutional investors pursuing a commodity index-buying strategy," he said. "It is intellectually dishonest, potentially destabilizing and distinctly harmful in its economic consequences."

Ramm, president of Inland Oil of Ephrata, Wash., was more plain-spoken. "Excessive speculation on energy-trading facilities is the fuel that is driving this runaway train in crude-oil prices," he said.


We get most of our oil from Mexico and Canada. No one knows how much oil there really is in Alaska, and about the only things that opposing parties can agree on is that oil exists in an area that is untouched wilderness. The dirty little secret is that there is not enough recoverable oil, by anyone's estimate, to offset the increasing demands of the US.

If the US government was serious about removing our dependency on oil, we'd have alternate energy by now. The government wants the status quo to remain safely in place, as do the oil companies and the automakers. But, thanks to mismanagement by Congress, Senate and President the cost of oil is rising faster than a sixteen year old male watching a Bangkok pole dancer. Between this and the various wars the US insists on fighting, the economy will surely tank into a full blown, undeniable depression. Recovery will be painful, and will likely include the alternate energy source of choice: Muscle power.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

The stock market and energy speculators are killing us. How long before they get rich while at the same time destroy the worlds economy ?

A few thoughts:

1. Agreed with Pete that both parties are to blame, and that this incestuous duopoly of political power paralyzes us. Also agreed with Pete that LibsCanBlowMe does seem to be trolling for sexual activity; maybe he will achieve his goals of leftist fellatio and then relax.

2. MadJack can create some mad metaphors and similes.

3. Most of us can make changes in our lifestyle to minimize the pump pain in the short term, but I think few of us would disagree that we need to get our collective arses in gear and push for alternative forms of energy. It is clear that demand for petroleum products is outstripping supply, and we probably have reached or are approaching the point of Hubbard's peak oil projection.

4. It seems also clear that the price spikes are beginning to have deletrious effects on the US job market, as indicated by yesterday's disturbing news of 49,000 job cuts and a huge one-month jump in unemployment.

5. Several posters referenced US and Israeli saber-rattling toward Iran as a contributory factor. This is part of the short-term spiking, but we also have to remember that the Incredible Shrinking Dollar is also driving oil prices up, since this is still the currency du jour of most oil producers. Still, if the bombs fall on Iran this year, you can bet the analysts will be talking about $300 per barrel oil.

6. From what I have read about oil deposits in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, even if we agree to tap this oil, we would be years away from it hitting the market, and the benefits of 1-2 million barrels per day that we might extract would not go far when the world demand might well be 40-50 million gallons per day higher than current production. So either we drastically cut domestic consumption, or we find other ways to meet our energy needs. The demand for petroleum from China and India alone over the next 10 years will probably jump by 10-15 million barrels per day.

7. I'm glad my wife and I have some retirement money in Asian stock funds, which has softened the losses we already have received this year from our domestic blue chips and aggressive equity stocks. Maybe I'm not enough of a true-blue American by investing overseas, but I'd sure like to have something left over when I get to Sunny Acres retirement complex.

8. Walk, ride your bike, and re-evaluate every single car trip you think about. We bought a pair of $800-$1000 4-cylinder clunkers that get 25-35 MPG in the past month to cut down on the gas-hogging Suburban, parking the trusty SUV for the moment. These rusty-but-trusty deals might not look so swell, but they'll pay for themselves in about four months.

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