Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Slack in the System

It's really rather an amazing lesson in the way the world works -- you know, when we learn history we learn about the cause and effects of different pressures on the world... but somehow, following these stories day by day, it's really amazing to see the fluctuations -- the control that real people have over the whole world, if not their own lives...

Less Driving Forces Gas Prices Down

David R. Baker, SF Chronicle

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This year's record-shredding spike in gasoline prices has finally ended, with prices throughout the country falling by more than a penny per day.

And American drivers can thank themselves for the drop.

Shocked by prices that reached $4.11 per gallon nationwide and $4.61 in California, drivers stopped buying as much fuel. That cut the demand for gasoline's raw material, crude oil. Crude prices dropped as a result, taking gasoline prices with them.

Now the nationwide average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.96, 11 cents less than a week ago, according to the AAA auto club. California's average remains substantially higher, at $4.32, but it fell 12 cents in the last week.

"Consumers have definitely sent a message," said AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris.

MEANWHILE, back at the ranch...

Oil Rises a Second Day on Concern Nigeria Violence Will Worsen

By Grant Smith

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose for a second day on concern that attack on a Royal Dutch Shell Plc pipeline in Nigeria signaled a renewed campaign by militants.

Nigeria's main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, warned last week it would suspend a ceasefire to refute allegations it received government payouts. The group's attack on Shell's Nembe Creek trunk line yesterday may limit exports to U.S., where crude stockpiles may have fallen a second week, according to a Bloomberg survey.

``A slight shock like that sends prices fundamentally to the upside,'' Serene Gardiner, oil product analyst for Standard Chartered Plc in Dubai, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. ``The slack in the system at the moment between supply and demand is very thin.''

That's a great quote!

I'm having lunch in a few weeks with my high school history teacher -- one of the hands down most brilliant minds I've ever studied from -- to talk about this project -- I wonder if there is a way to breach the gap between history and journalism -- perspective, distance and what is happening now -- in this time -- as journalism moves (often regrettably) closer and closer to immediacy...

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