Friday, December 2, 2011

Prediction: Hurricane Gustav & gas prices (August 31, 2008)

Current mood: argumentative

I went out to tank up around 7 p.m. Saturday, 8/30. Here in Pittsburgh, 87 octane was 365.9, 89 was 373.9, hi-test was about 395.9. Hurricane Gustav is about to tear through the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 4 storm or close to it. Something like half of our petroleum refining capacity is in Louisiana and nearby Texas, directly in the path of this storm. Lots of our drilling platforms are in the Gulf, in Gustav's path, too.

Just like after Katrina, I suspect that gasoline is going to spike 30 or 40 cents a gallon. The storm hits Monday. Coincidentally, also in about two weeks, chances are pretty good that Pittsburgh bus drivers will go on strike. See if there isn't an additional couple of cent spike in fuel prices with a bunch more cars on the road here in The 'Burgh as a result.

Also, just like after Katrina, President Bush will call for more oil drilling and using the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve to alleviate the price spike. Problem will be, just like after Katrina, it's not oil that we will be short on, but refining capacity. There was no oil shortage in September 2005, but rather refining capacity. If the industrial sites were not wrecked or in need of electricity, then the people who ran them were driven out by the storm. That's what caused the price spike.

Darn tootin' I'm going to ride my bike every chance I can get, so I don't have to use the car. I recommend everyone else do likewise -- or ride transit, or carpool, or walk, or telecommute, or whatever. Just don't drive!

1 comment:

bus15237 said...

Comments on the original 2008 post:

Stuart Strickland

OK, maybe it'll be Hurricane Ike. Looks like it's going to churn through the Gulf from east to west. Too early to say exactly what direction it will go, but it's sure to mess up the drilling rigs, and it's probably going to be a very strong storm, maybe Category 4.

Stay tuned.

Stuart Strickland
OK, Gustav was a dud. Only Category 2 at landfall, and the offshore drilling platforms weathered the storm without major incidents. The price of crude actually fell to a 5-month low this morning.

Nevertheless, the Louisiana governor actually did request the federal government to let the oil flow more freely from the SPR, on the specious argument that freeing up crude oil makes gasoline magically appear overnight. That's like saying, free up grain stored in Kansas silos because my cupboard is running low on Froot Loops.