Hurricane Katrina disrupted Gulf Coast petroleum output and rattled energy markets on Monday, sending oil and natural gas prices soaring and setting the stage for a spike in the retail cost of gasoline.
The Bush administration said it would consider lending oil from the nation’s emergency stockpile to refiners that request it and the president of OPEC said he will propose a production increase of 500,000 barrels a day at the cartel’s meeting next month.
Given that the Middle East remains relatively unstable, that one of the largest exporters in this hemisphere has a mad-on for freedom, and that a rising rival power’s consumption of the existing supply is growing, I’d rather we save the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for just in case the s really hits the f beyond consumer inconvenience and price increases. Call it a foolish consistency, but I opposed the last president’s proposed release as well.
I mean, where does the government’s meddling in free markets end? With increased home seizures when the housing bubble “bursts,” so better to spur demand and keep the supply tight? Oh, no, you say? Why the heck not?