Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

August 7, 2006

Oil Prices Do Not Reach New High Today Despite Bad News

Category: Editorial – Tom Harrison – 10:19 pm

Monday, August 7, 2006, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Oil prices did not hit their all-time high price today even after BP announced that they will be closing their tiny little Prudhoe Bay facility for a teensy-weensy little bit of time. Prices only got to $76.98/barrel which is far short of the current record of $78.00/barrel. Blowing things all out of proportion, today’s New York Times asserted that

Taking the field off line will reduce domestic oil production by 400,000 barrels a day, or 8 percent

. Typical ECLM (East Coast Liberal Media) take on things — doesn’t this just show why we need to open up the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)?

Here’s some balanced commentary on why we should open up ANWR. A site I found called “” seems to put things just right. Read their take on the Pros and Cons of drilling ANWR. Now, check the links they post, for example Myths About Drilling in ANWR from Fox News. Ok, so that’s one side, let’s hear from another. How about the site? Pay no attention to the fact that is run by a company called “Artic Power” — they mean power as in “power to the people”, not “power up my Ford Navigator”. OK, there’s an apparently (if broken) valid link suggesting reasons For drilling, and a valid link from Audubon arguing Against, then finally a link titled “Pros and Cons of Arctic Drilling” which leads to the link Now that’s balanced politics. Thank goodness for those of us speaking the truthiness here on the Internet.

OK, I’m back. My sarcasmitron has been switched off and placed in the upright and locked position.

So what happened today that made oil prices rise? Not a hurricane. Not a war. Not political instability. Today’s reason: corrosion. BP is shutting down one of our largest oilfields for an unspecified length of time. Being British, they are ever so sorry for the inconvenience. The price of a barrel of oil went up almost 3%, landing at $76.98, after hitting a high of $77.30/bbl, just a hair off the current record price of $78/bbl. Here’s a fun site to see how oil prices have changed over time.

I used to listen to the weather, stock market and Red Sox on my local NPR station as I drove to work in the morning. Now, it’s a regular feature to report the current price of a gallon of gasoline in the Boston area, base on the American Auto Club reports. Today we’re at a modest $3.05/gallon. The news says it might go up more than ten cents. Hmm, that would be close to the record set after an actual disaster, Katerina. You know, last year.

Damn, that sarcasmitron needs a careful look at it’s on-off switch.


  1. Looks like Prudhoe Bay is offline for 2-3 months, based on an update this evening.

    Alternative energy is going to need sustained, higher oil prices to induce enough substitution. I’m long-term optimistic on cellulosic ethanol (i.e. not corn-based), but it will take a while to get it going and to make a dent in transportation energy consumption. It also takes a long time to swap to different energy sources, historically on the order of decades.

    On the bright side, gasoline prices in the US are still fairly cheap by global standards, as you probably know already.

    Comment by Ho John Lee — August 8, 2006 @ 12:45 am

  2. […] power grid with relatively little overhead. Neither is cost-effective … at today’s energy prices. And the government subsidy is compared to the subsidies oil companies, farmers, and car […]

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