Friday, August 19, 2005

On the other side of the world

The headline is "Its Tanks Running Low, China Tries to Refuel". Peter Wonacott wrote a story for the Wall Street Journal which appeared in this morning's Washington Post. The opening paragraph is:

"China showed signs of alleviating a politically sensitive gasoline crunch, as emergency deliveries arrived in wealthy southern cities to placate private car owners angry over long lines for fuel."

The story provides a view of the demand created in a nation which has a consumption of 6.7 million barrels daily and a production of 3.5 million barrells daily. There are a couple of sentences that I reread several times: "But refineries have been partly to blame for the shortages too, as they have exported precious stock aboard, where they can command higher prices than they could get at home. Over the past months, Beijing has been bumping government-controlled fuel prices higher to keep a lid on inflation."

The closing paragraph quoted a spokeperson for a Economic and Trade Commission, "The situation is getting better every day," he said, adding that most of the police who had been keeping order at the gas stations have left".

Price controls? Release of oil reserves? What do you suppose that our government will do to respond to the outcry about the price of fuel? There's only one way that I can influence this effectively, I have to use less. What are you going to do?

No comments: