Creating people's geographies
Eye-opening article by Thomas I. Palley: Manipulating The Oil Reserve in TomPaine.com (January 26, 2007). His bio:
Thomas Palley runs the Economics for Democratic and Open Societies Project. He is the author of Plenty of Nothing: The Downsizing of the American Dream and the Case for Structural Keynesianism. His weekly economic policy blog is at www.thomaspalley.com.
2006 was the year that oil prices came close to breaching $80 per barrel. This was despite the fact that there were no significant supply interruptions and oil demand actually fell in industrialized countries. That raises the question of what caused the spike.
It turns out there is good reason to believe that record oil prices may be due to our own strategic oil reserve, which the Bush administration may have been manipulating to drive up prices for the benefit of its clients. This is something Congress must investigate, and here is some preliminary evidence.
Any finding of manipulation would go far beyond corruption and be close to economic treason, because when oil prices increase America must pay more for its imported oil. That, in turn, increases the trade deficit and our foreign debt. Alternatively, one can think of price manipulation as the equivalent of a tax increase on American families that is paid to foreign governments, including Iran. While some small energy scandals are under investigation by Congress, the big enchilada is the strategic oil reserve, which may have been “strategically” manipulated to drive up oil prices. The key to understanding this manipulation is demand and supply and oil storage capacity.
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