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Peak Oil? Hello? Is nobody paying attention? Gasoline shortages possible THIS WEEK.

The government and energy experts are increasingly nervous that some places will run out of gas temporarily as soon as this week. "It looks like the big bulk terminals in Florida are going to run out in the next few days."
Gasoline supplies likely to shrink, prices rise
By James R. Healey
USA TODAY 2/25/2004 11:02 PM Updated 2/25/2004 11:55 PM

Motorists face gasoline shortages as well as record prices the next few weeks because of the skintight U.S. refining and distribution network.

The vulnerability of that network, combined with low inventories of both gasoline and the crude oil from which it's made, have the government and energy experts increasingly nervous that some places in the USA will run out of gas temporarily. An accident that has disrupted shipping on the Mississippi River and in the Gulf of Mexico could trigger shortages this week.

"It looks like the big bulk terminals in Florida are going to run out in the next few days," Tom Kloza, analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said Wednesday. Big gasoline suppliers were warning their customers of imminent Florida shortages and reduced allocations, he said. The Coast Guard said it had reopened some of the channel Wednesday, but a backlog of ships remained.

"The U.S. gasoline supply system is not 'just-in-time' delivery; it's 'a-minute-too-late' delivery," Kloza says. The river disruption "underscores how hand-to-mouth the supply system is. ... It's a preview of the kinds of things that can happen in spades" as demand rises in the spring and summer driving season.

Americans drive more as the weather warms, increasing demand to 9.5 million to 10 million barrels of gas a day in the summer, vs. 8.7 million now.

"Many signs (point) to a tight gasoline market this driving season," the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

Analysts are more blunt. "Expect major regional gasoline shortages," warns A.F. Alhajji, associate professor and energy economist at Ohio Northern University. When that happens, prices zoom as gasoline wholesalers compete for supplies, giving a regional shortage national impact. Alhajji is confident that "gasoline prices will increase nationwide as we approach the driving season, even in areas that have adequate supplies."

Average gasoline prices in California and Hawaii have topped $2 for a gallon of unleaded regular, and Nevada is close at $1.968, AAA said Wednesday. AAA said regular averaged $1.681 nationwide, up 7.9 cents the last month. That's 5.6 cents less than the record average of $1.737 reported last Aug. 30. EIA, using different data, lists the record as $1.747 last Aug. 25.

Gas would have to average $2.89 to surpass the inflation-adjusted record of $1.417 in 1981.

EIA's weekly report showed gasoline supplies down 1% last week from the previous week. Refining operations were slowed by problems, maintenance and disruptive changes necessary to produce lower-sulfur and summer-blend gas required by clean-air regulations.

Supply worries kicked up West Texas Intermediate crude oil $1.10 per barrel, to $35.68.

homepage: homepage: http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2004-02-25-gasprices_x.htm

SUV 26.Feb.2004 14:19


Maybe somebody should tell that to Kerry:

"But he appears to have had a seamless transition to the protective bubble, slipping easily in and out of black SUVs, working and making phone calls from the back seat."


peak audacity? 26.Feb.2004 15:01


I heard a fellow on George Noory's show last night pushing the idea of Peak Oil. Of all the remarkable things that came out of his mouth, besides going on about the "bulletproof credentials" of some of the people who are categorically some of the worst peddlers of Bad Science, and about how much oil it takes to make a windmill (if the man would just talk like he'd ever heard of hydroelectric before, maybe I could begin to listen), the most revealing thing I think he said, was when...

I heard him equate conversation with the collapse of society.

Between Peak Oil and the Pentagon's apocalypse, the Oil Barons have all the spin they need to justify seizing any oil-bearing country that might suit their fancy because Bush is suddenly America's savior, peddling the lowest grades at the highest prices to anyone they please, and setting the price of gas wherever they like it.

I'm not saying there aren't real dangers, or that there isn't any real need to conserve- even if the Peak Oil mouthpiece I listened to couldn't find reasons to conserve- but if we wondering if a day would come when they'd figure out how to profit from enviromental crises while they push us that much harder that much faster toward any real ones, that day may be here.

duhhh, typo 26.Feb.2004 15:26


"I heard him equate conversation with the collapse of society."

Sorry, that's "I heard him equate conservation with the collapse of society," naturally, just in case it wasn't obvious.

Skepticism warranted; question for recyclist 26.Feb.2004 16:10


Recyclist, I agree that this Peak Oil business could be propaganda to justify war, etc., and skepticism is fully warranted. I've found myself buying in to this story, and am now taking a step back. On the other hand, if it is true, it will be bad, and as a polity we need to know and start planning, of course with conservation as a top priority.

You suggest that the credentials of the experts the Peak Oil guy quoted are not bulletproof. I have read The Party's Over that quotes the experts, as well as various websites on this issue. Do you have any particular doubts about this theory?

I heard the Coast to Coast show briefly and heard him talking about SUVs bad, bicycling good. I didn't hear him make the statement you are concerned about and so can't comment.

distribution different from supply 26.Feb.2004 16:14


This sounds like a supply problem but if Peak Oil is here or almost here, may give a taste of what's to come in the near future.

bought, paid for, and bulletproof? 26.Feb.2004 16:55


Well, it's like there is any time there is a serious vested interest in a scientific outcome I suppose, it makes you wonder if you will get anything that isn't $pin, that isn't just wrong. Dr. Colin Campbell is supposed to be on his third prediction now of when the peak is, I have heard. The phrase "bulletproof" was used by Noory's guest Matthew Savinaar more than once, but most notably to describe the credibility of Matthew Simmons (R), who is (i.e., happens to be) Bush's energy advisor and friend or "close friend" of Bush. How does that re-assure me that this is not a Bush admin political and economic trump card they've had ready to play? Set this beside the Pentagon suddenly thinking they're Greenpeace, which could be the biggest joke I've heard in a long time, and the other things going on or being said here, and I'm not having an easy time having great confidence in this somehow.

It takes figuring it out for yourself 26.Feb.2004 17:45


There is reason to be doubtful of "peak oil." It could be our worst nightmare. On the other hand, is it really any surprise that oil is a finite resource and the time will arrive that demand supercedes supply? Oil won't disappear, but the cost will be passed on to the consumer, and it could be very high. I think it is better that we figure this out and start finding answers sooner, not later. This is a fascinating topic and it could be the impetus to do many of the right things with conservation and sustainability.

Doom looms 26.Feb.2004 19:51


I wonder about all the doom-crying going on right now.In all of them, national security is played up a lot. Since the lie about bu$h being so great on national defense is one that a lot of sheeple believe, and the election's a'coming....dunno, it seems awfully convenient.

Has anyone else noticed the synchronicity between what's been going on and the bible's revelation and other apocalyptic texts? Not being a christian, this is alarming to me rather than comforting.Any thoughts?

Re: "Doom" 26.Feb.2004 20:42


I haven't thought of peak oil as being anything but fact. But now, considering some of the above posts and sources, I too am at least wondering a little whether doomsday scenarios actually help the fascists in their attempted takoever. I tend to believe that we are nearing the end of oil as a viable resource, but I'll keep my mind a bit more open.

As for Revelation, my brother (also non-Christian) has noticed quite a few disturbing similarities also. But I guess one can ask if this wasn't true at any time in history. I'm reminded of the scene from the movie "Pi" where the retired math professor tells his brilliant, obsessed protege(who's searching for a unified field formula) "if you're looking for one number in nature you'll find it everywhere. From (something I can't remember) to the number of steps it takes from your front door to the mailbox. But once you go down that road you lose the rigor of the scientist and are nothing more than a numerologist." (That was the prof. dissing numerology, not me.) Anyway, things (socially, environmentally, etc.) sure feel apocalyptic, but remember that the shift in human and planetary evolution that we seem to be entering may very well might not be an all-or-nothing proposition. I personally think billions are about to die, but that doesn't mean that we as a species might not survive all of this. Chilling to consider, in any case.

a better 'peak oil' source? 27.Feb.2004 17:34

theresa mitchell

This is an interesting article (below), and it doesn't come from a spooky-sensationalist AM radio host:

1. Oil: The illusion of plenty Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
pp. 20-22, 70 Oil: The illusion of plenty By Alfred Cavallo ... terms of barrels of oil, it's just a drop in the gas ... 27 billion barrels of oil per year, meaning that 112 billion (....)


Getting Real 16.Apr.2004 09:11

Dale tyler

Tell me how much you don't believe in the concept of "peak oil" and dwindling oil supplies when you can't afford to heat your home, drive to work, or feed your family other than the most basic foodstuffs. $2 a gallon for gasoline? What about when it's $6 or 7?

PEOPLE WAKE UP. THE PARTY IS OVER. Everyone should be holding their elected leaders accountable for an energy policy for the next 20-30 years till some sort of transition can be made.

PS: If you just got married and are thinking about having a nice big family -- you can forget about that too, unless you're wealthy.