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Just the Facts, Please...
Editorial by Keith Smith

Funny things happen when a curious Internet publisher has extra time to surf the net. Certain trends start to form out of the gazillion "information" sources available.

Fiction:
"... I see decline in global inventories", from an Energy Secretary Sam Bodman interview for the Bloomberg News, March 5, 2008. "I don't think this is a big surprise, that we've had a jump in price when there has been a decrease in crude inventories".
Fact:
Oil reserves in this country have gone up in eight out of the last nine weeks and would have gone nine for nine if fog in the Houston Ship Channel two weeks ago hadn't kept oil tankers from unloading their crude.

Fiction:
"It should be obvious to you all that the [gasoline] demand is out-stripping supply, which causes prices to go up", per President George W. Bush in an Associated Press interview, March 5th, 2008.
Fact:
Gasoline reserves on hand have built up to the highest levels since the early nineties. In fact, gasoline reserves have risen for 19 straight weeks.

Fiction:
"E85... is not only good for the environment but is good for business.
Fact:
Pilgrim's Pride announced 1,100 layoffs on March 13th, closing one processing plant and six of their 13 distribution centers because their company's price for chicken feed went up $600 million last fiscal year and was on track to increase by another $700 million this year. And that's just one company processing chicken.

Fiction:
The weak American dollar is the primary cause of these sky rocketing oil prices.
Fact:
The dollar has lost 30% against the world's currencies since 2002. The price of oil has gone up 550%.
Fact:
The United States used 4% less petroleum in January than we did a year ago. Demand has been falling slowly since July of last year.
Fact:
Worldwide production of oil has risen 2.5% in the first quarter, while worldwide demand has grown by only 2%.
Fact:
Worldwide production is expected to increase by 3.3% in the second quarter and by as much as 4.1% by the third quarter.

That's the problem with rhetoric; it rarely matches the facts.


 

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