Strange Gas and a Strange Focus

I’ve heard this multiple times over the years: Most of the oil (and gasoline) used by the United States is imported… I think “most” came to about 85-90% at least. The rationale was that the US was saving its domestic supply for wartime when international trade may become hindered or impossible.

It puzzled me then to see many many reports on the “inevitable” and then the proceeding substantial rise in gasoline prices following Hurricane Katrina. It seems gas prices have risen approximately 50% following the Hurricane, far more than would be assumed from even a 15% supply reduction. A report showed a large warehouse destroyed and implied a great loss of oil from that. Perhaps domestic oil production was ramped up in response to less imports following the Iraq situation.

Its also strange to me that there would be so much media focus on looting. In this kind of catastrophe whether a man continues to have X number of shirts or suddenly has X-1 number of shirts is really irrelevant. Very little is important here but getting people to safety. The media sadly saying “the police are powerless to stop the looting” makes me wonder just what goes on in their heads.

Maybe the media is trying to draw some kind of parallel between the Race Riots and the flooding, as absurd as that sounds. Looting, crime, murder, social disorder, black people. I suppose there are people that equate the two scenarios and place both on some kind of immoral platter together… or would like to place the two together.

Think about this outside of the current context. Lets say Place X has a massive flood, people are dying… heck, lets say its a HISTORICAL flood, occuring centuries ago. Would the issues ever be Human Life, How to Prevent, and LOOTING? I’ve never seen looting be considered a major issue of importance in a massive flood… never. Until now.

They didn’t say “We can’t go in there; people are looting.”, they said “We can’t go in there; people are shooting.”.

The violence was the real problem. Looting is a problem too, though maybe not on an individual basis. More of a total lawlessness basis where mass looting leads to unrest and violence.

Hey that doesn’t make any sense. Unrest leads to looting, not the other way around. Other than that…Looting is more of a story about the state of the people than a story about the number of shirts being stolen, in a situation like this.

I don’t see why you think something unsavory and racial!! is going on just because they talked about the looters a lot, though. They have 20 hours of coverage to fill a day. Do you just want them to throw in “oh and people are looting all over the city” every couple hours?

It doesn’t work that way. If there isn’t enough supply, the price goes up until people stop buying as much. If it’s something people really need, and are willing to pay for, the price can go up quite a bit.

See ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ for an example :D

They don’t have 20 hours of coverage to fill a day… they get to CHOOSE how much coverage and what kind of coverage is done each day. Its not “Hurricane Network” even where all they are allowed to show is hurricanes… its CNN which brings worldwide news to its viewers.

I watched about an hour of CNN over the last three days. Every time I watched it was about the hurricane. Most of the screen was taken up by four windows from cameras focused on some place involved with the hurricane (flooded streets, destroyed buildings, etc.). Since I kinda assumed the streets would be flooded and buildings would be destroyed, that didn’t tell me much. It obviously wouldn’t tell me much if I watched it for four or eight hours, as I assume its possible to do.

The rest of the screen was busy busy. Red and Blue background, scrolling text along the bottom. Dramatic music played while Wolf Blitzer talked. The music was really distracting and seemed to be pointless. I’d like to determine for myself when the situation is dramatic, thanks.

The highlight of my experience was the two times (during the hour) that reporters talked to people who had come from (or were still in) the flooded areas. They expressed their current situation and their needs, which unlike seeing streets filled with water and destroyed buildings, I couldn’t precisely predict. Actual NEWS!

News isn’t exactly about telling people what’s going on. Its about telling people what’s going on useful to them that they don’t already know.

It doesn’t work that way. If there isn’t enough supply, the price goes up until people stop buying as much. If it’s something people really need, and are willing to pay for, the price can go up quite a bit.[/quote]

I found out that the problem was not the oil supply but oil refinement, which occurred in some of the plants damaged by the hurricane. Thus the supply of effective oil was dramatically reduced.

There was a guy from some oil institute on Aaron Brown’s newscast a couple nights ago trying to explain why the price of gas was rising. He had a good patter about "commiditization"of oil but Aaron, this was the same night he talked to Sanjee Gupta about how the poor were abandoned to die at Charity hospital while the rich and the staff of a private hospital next door were evacuated, wasn’t really buying into it. “So what you’re really saying is that oil companies aren’t paying any more for the gas they’re selling now - this is coming out of tanks in the ground that have been around for a while? They’re just making a huge profit?”

The expert, grudgingly, admitted it but quickly moved the conversation on to another topic leaving Aaron Brown, once again, shaking his head in disbelief.

[quote=“Brian Koontz”]I’ve heard this multiple times over the years: Most of the oil (and gasoline) used by the United States is imported… I think “most” came to about 85-90% at least. The rationale was that the US was saving its domestic supply for wartime when international trade may become hindered or impossible. [quote]

Yes you’ve heard that several times on this very forum which is full of wack jobs making stuff up without checking facts. The US currently imports about 60% of the oil and currently has about 2% of the worlds reserves. Do the math and that’s not conservation for wartime, we’re importing because we can’t pump it out of the ground as fast as we can use it.

If you’re still in paranoid disbelief then you can google percentage of oil imported by US, Slate.com has had several good articles about it if you search for oil on their site.

Exactly. I flip between a few networks when I have cable. The CBC is out these days so I’m usually going between the BBC and CNN. The difference between the two is that the BBC gives me some pertinent information and then goes on to other things. CNN gives me that same information and then a couple of hours of human-interest stories, reporters’ “video diaries”, and other filler that basically tells me the same thing dozens of times over: It’s fucking grim. Yeah, thanks.