Falling energy prices

How come diesel fuel and heating oil prices are still up over $4 per gallon. Don’t give me the shit that it’s because the fuel today was bought on futures. That’s bullshit and we all know it. But what this article does prove is that the price of a barrel of oil is manipulated by speculative bidding. That’s a serious no-no in most trading circles but because of the Enron Loophole, they don’t have to report transaction in the oil spot markets.

Nice huh? That’s the other thing, recently National Grid asked to drop an increase in natural gas prices by 4.6%, but then they want to increase the distribution charge by 5.4%. I’m just a little miffed on that one because I have to question, what the fuck have I been paying distribution charges for over these years that National Grid has owned the energy market in Rhode Island?

Sort of how we’re all paying for the burial of high tension lines that once stood over India Park. National Grid fought tooth and nail not to have to pay the cost, but yet they kept collecting distribution network charges from us like they’d done for years prior.

As I’ve said before, the deregulation of the energy markets in Rhode Island were from the perspective of the consumer a very stupid move. It gets worse, even though National Grid does business in Rhode Island they’re a NATIONAL company, so who regulates it? It certainly isn’t our Pubic Utilities Commission since they have no enforcement teeth when it comes to electricity and natural gas distribution.

Push the pendulum back, eliminate the Enron loophole and put the regulation of electricity and natural gas suppliers back in the hands of the state regulators. Don’t stop there, give the regulators the power to impose enormous fines for screwing over the ratepayers.

NEW YORK – Oil prices sank below $106 a barrel Friday as a jump in the U.S. unemployment rate signaled to traders that Americans might keep paring back their energy use to save money.

The Labor Department said the economy lost jobs in August for the eighth consecutive month — and at a faster-than-expected pace. The unemployment rate spiked to 6.1 percent from 5.7 percent in July, above the 5.8 percent rate that analysts forecast.

“There’s been a terrific amount of growing concern about the outlook for demand globally,” said John Kilduff, senior vice president of risk management at MF Global LLC. “Today’s employment report emboldened that concern.”

Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell $1.93 to $105.96 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after falling to $105.13, its lowest trading level since early April. Since surging to a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11, crude has dropped by over $40, or more than 27 percent.

What could possibly stanch the drop is a cutback in production. Investors are waiting to see if OPEC decides to restrict oil output at its meeting next week in Vienna in response to the two-month plunge in prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has indicated it may take action to defend the $100-a-barrel level for crude.

But with the dollar on the rebound, many analysts say even a production cutback could prove ineffectual in boosting oil prices.

The dollar weakened modestly against the euro and pound on Friday after the employment report, but rose against the yen. The dollar’s recent comeback has helped accelerate oil’s price decline. Commodities were bought by many funds to hedge against inflation and weakness in the U.S. currency, so when the dollar rebounded, funds unwound those hedges, thereby driving commodities prices lower.

The jump in the dollar and the decline in oil has also been driven by signs of economic weakness in developing countries around the world — particularly those in Western Europe.

“It’s sort of a race to the bottom among the leading economies — Europe is ahead at the moment. That’s pumping up the dollar, or making the dollar economy seem much less worse,” Kilduff said.

Heating oil futures fell 5.59 cents to $2.9678 a gallon on the Nymex, where gasoline prices dropped 6.19 cents to $2.6785 a gallon. Natural gas for October delivery edged up by 4.1 cents to $7.363 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, October Brent crude fell $2.25 to $104.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

In addition to economic indicators and OPEC, traders are keeping an eye on storms developing in the Atlantic. Forecasters do not expect Hanna, Ike or Josephine to head for key oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, but the hurricane season is not officially over until the end of November.

The Energy Department’s weekly U.S. oil inventory report released Thursday showed a decline in gasoline inventories last week that was smaller than expected. But the report also showed surprising drops in stockpiles of crude and distillates, which include diesel fuel and heating oil; analysts had expected increases.

U.S. gasoline demand has been hovering about 1.6 percent to 3.1 percent lower than a year ago, but demand for distillates is still higher than a year ago, according to Peter Beutel, head of the energy risk management firm Cameron Hanover.

Meanwhile, distillate imports are at their lowest level in years, he wrote in his research note.

“If any rally gets going, distillate is likely to lead it,” Beutel wrote.


Associated Press Writers Alex Kennedy in Singapore, Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Hungary, and Joe Bel Bruno in New York contributed to this report.

2 thoughts on “Falling energy prices

  1. The oil companies have us by the balls and they are squeezing us to death. I hate big oil and these monopolies they support like the national grid. I can’t wait until election day when Americans take back America


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