Gas and Other Forms of Indigestion

June 20, 2011

On Friday, I put another $20 worth of fuel in the old Jeep and the pump price was the same as the last time — $4.19 a gallon for regular.
Isn’t that something? The excitement is not in the price, but that it didn’t go higher — hard to understand these numbers at the pump as oil prices fall once again, but relief here in northern California seems still way in the future.

(Illustration found here).

The oil prices have somehow been linked to financial troubles in Greece, and this particular price-drop phase reportedly won’t last long.
From liveoilprices this Monday morning:

In London, Brent crude oil futures for August 2011 delivery was trading at $111.87 a barrel, 07.30 GMT this morning on the ICE Futures Exchange.
On Friday, Brent settled at $113.21 a barrel, its lowest level since 24th May, falling 4.7 percent for the week.

“There is full fledged fear of this Greece crisis falling apart. At the end of the day, they will get a bailout, but there is fear of a contagion, a mini crisis not very long after the Lehman collapse.” said Tony Nunan, a risk manager with Mitsubishi Corp, Tokyo.

“Two factors have contributed to the collapse in oil futures, Greece and the US economic outlook. But the pull back in oil prices is temporary because the Greece crisis will pass and supply side concerns remain.” (Nunan added).

Meanwhile, WTI dropped even further: US Light crude oil futures for July 2011 delivery was trading at $91.63 a barrel, 07.20 GMT this morning in electronic trading on the NYMEX. The July WTI contract expires today.
As prices fall, US peoples are still seeking out the cheap gas, especially discount-deals offered by different outlets, which allows employment of a card via several trips to that location.
Money saved, though, is not necessarily money in your pocket — the dropping pump prices was offset by an inflation jump in other shit — food, clothing, cars and housing (nothing heavy) — and the leap was higher than what the economic brainy-types had forecast — instead of just a .01 percent increase in US consumer prices, but in reality upwards to .02 percent, the biggest jump since July 2008.

Beyond the US and in the realm of energy is the way-back burner news on that Japanese nuclear disaster, an event which seems to have flopped off the radar of just about every news organization.
CNN reported this morning workers at the doomed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are planning to open the big doors on the No. 2 reactor, just to check it out.
The New York Times had nothing on Fukushima on its global edition front page.
And just how are things going at the Japanese plant? Couldn’t be worse, but most-likely will be.
From Aljazeera English:

“Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

“Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed,” he said, “You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively.”

“We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl,” said Gundersen.
“The data I’m seeing shows that we are finding hot spots further away than we had from Chernobyl, and the amount of radiation in many of them was the amount that caused areas to be declared no-man’s-land for Chernobyl.
We are seeing square kilometres being found 60 to 70 kilometres away from the reactor.
You can’t clean all this up.
We still have radioactive wild boar in Germany, 30 years after Chernobyl.”

And why hasn’t the alarm been sounded — only Germany has responded like rational human beings — and allowed some research or investigation into the state of those 110 nuclear plants in the US.

Nuclear operator Exelon Corporation has been among Barack Obama’s biggest campaign donors, and is one of the largest employers in Illinois where Obama was senator.
Exelon has donated more than $269,000 to his political campaigns, thus far.
Obama also appointed Exelon CEO John Rowe to his Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

The mention of Obama nowadays makes me almost want to puke, the digestive tract just won’t handle all that contaminated shit.
Apparently Obama is just Bush II — just last week he went over the heads of his legal beagles at the DOJ and the DOD and claimed he had the war-waging right to continue the adventure with the Libyans.
From Glenn Greenwald:

That George Bush would knowingly order an eavesdropping program to continue which his own top lawyers were telling him was illegal was, of course, a major controversy, at least in many progressive circles.
Now we have Barack Obama not merely eavesdropping in a way that his own top lawyers are telling him is illegal, but waging war in that manner (though, notably, there is no indication that these Obama lawyers have the situational integrity those Bush lawyers had [and which Archibald Cox, Eliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus had before them] by threatening to resign if the lawlessness continues).
There’s another significant and telling parallel between Obama’s illegal war and the Bush eavesdropping scandal.
One of the questions frequently asked about the NSA scandal was why Bush and Cheney decided to eavesdrop in violation of the law rather than having Congress approve their program; in the wake of 9/11, both parties in Congress were as subservient as could be, and would have offered zero resistance to requests by the administration for increased eavesdropping powers (the same question was asked of Bush’s refusal to seek Congressional approval for the detention and military commissions regime at Guantanamo).
The answer to that question ultimately became clear: they did not want to seek Congressional approval, even though they easily could have obtained it, because they wanted to establish the “principle” that the President is omnipotent in these areas and needs nobody’s permission (neither from Congress nor the courts) to do what the President wants.

My stomach won’t take much more.

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