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Ignoring Militaristic Causes of Higher Gas Prices

Posted by libhom Sunday, June 08, 2008

This AP piece on the MSNBC website is typical of how most of the coverage of soaring gas prices mentions little about causes and censors the biggest ones. Here is the lonely paragraph on the rise in oil prices on the world market.

Skyrocketing oil prices are largely to blame for the surge. Soaring demand in Asia and elsewhere ensures global supplies remain tight even as Americans cut back; recent figures from the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration showed U.S. gasoline demand actually fell 1.4 percent over the last four weeks.

Here is the single graph from the CNN.com story.
The $10.75 gain was the biggest one-day advance in dollar value ever, nearly doubling the previous mark of $5.49 set Thursday. Weakness in the dollar, geopolitical concerns and an analyst's prediction of $150-a-barrel oil by July 4 helped spur Friday's advance.

The specific nature of the "geopolitical concerns" were left to the reader's imagination.

Although the San Jose Mercury is usually a relatively good newspaper, their reporting of the story omitted any mention of some of the specific causes of rising crude oil prices, and thus gas prices.

Why aren't these top causes of rising fuel prices getting mentioned?

1) The War in Iraq

2) Bush's saber-rattling with Iran.

3) Bush's saber-rattling with Venezuela.

4) Israel's government's threat to attack Iran.
(They are backing away somewhat from it now.)

One interesting thing is that news prepared for business audiences is a bit more honest. This iStockAnalyst.com story, for instance has the title OIL SURGE:Iran-Israel Tensions To Keep Weighing On Oil-Experts. You don't see much of this kind of coverage in corporate media stories targeting general audiences:
Israel's Transportation Minister, Shaul Mofaz, said in a newspaper report that the country will have "no choice" but to attack Iran if it doesn't stop its nuclear program, sparking fears of a military strike. The statements came as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Tuesday that Israel is "doomed to go." The remarks, combined with Iran's push to develop a nuclear program, triggered new fears the country could launch a nuclear bomb on Israel if it is in a position to do so.

Amidst these statements, current U.S. president George W. Bush, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and his Republican counterpart, Sen. John McCain, all said in recent days that Iran's nuclear program poses a threat to global security - also sparking speculation the U.S. could back an attack on Iran.

Such an attack would trigger dramatic jitters in international oil supplies. The Islamic Republic is the second largest exporter in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. In addition, experts have feared that Iran may close the Strait of Hormuz - the southern end of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of the world's oil supply travels - were it to enter into a direct military confrontation with the U.S. A U.S. government study earlier this decade concluded that a shutdown of the Strait would cut off about 17 million barrels a day of crude supply.

This is an example of why people who don't own stock need to follow the business news. You need to in order to find out what corporate interests and their government flunkies are doing.


1 Responses to Ignoring Militaristic Causes of Higher Gas Prices

  1. Unknown Says:
  2. The Futures traders are the real culprits in the high price of the barrel of oil..Since no one monitors or watches these fuckers..they can run the market to make their money..its a no-brainer.

    As for the actual price of a gallon of gas, there are lots of reasons and you name most of them.

    BTW..ExxonMobil is selling off all their gas stations..that way they can fuck those guys too.



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