No, the commodities markets did that. Just look at the current market
frenzy surrounding Hurricane Katrina. Up went the price!
Oil company costs did not go up, just the price of what they sell (except
for repair costs, much of which will be borne by the insurance companies).
Oil companies are not complaining, but they know the jackpot could end at
any time, depending on future events, so they're banking evey penny they
Thank the EPA for that. Tetraethyl lead was the cheapest additive around,
which is why it was adopted way back. Refineries stuck to that until they
were legislated into using something else (which just happened to be more
expensive and less efficient).
Any legislated alteration or regional segmentation of finshed gas raises
costs to the oil companies. Believe me, they resist all such
"environmental" alterations until forced to carry them by law. This is due
to the costs involved, and the low margins that gas carries.
There is no point in being the only oil company to suffer due to those
enviro costs. Better to wait until everybody is forced to do it, that way
nobody has a costing advantage over anyone else.
For that one, you can thank the farm lobby. Nothing like a bit (lot) of
pork in your home district to drum up a few sales. Note that the strongest
political proponents or ethanol are those with rural districts.
Also, the environuts are irrationally convinced that ethanol is somehow
"enviro friendly", so they add their efforts to the farm lobby.
And my sister is a corporate accountant. she's told me many of those ways.
and there are a LOT. Many times the board gets the report they want to see,
rather thanone that truly reflects the state of the corporatoin, something
it's possible for nobody to actually know...
the commodities markets don't set what's called the "crack split".
that's refinery mark up. only the oil companies do that.
end? how can it end? refineries were busily being taken out of
production for "unsceduled maintenence" long before katrina came along.
unless there's more capacity and independent competition, gas prices
are a one-way street.
no, thank oil company lobbying of the epa for that.
lead was essential to reduce knock. it was around long before the
calorific content game was being played.
no, the epa went to look for cleaner burning fuels. these can be
achieved by lower aromatic content, closer molecular weight bands, low
sulfur, etc. but some genius cleverly managed to side-track epa
emphasis into the search for clean burning fuels via "oxygenation" and
hence the opportunity for the consumption of what had hitherto been a
by-product, mtbe. once mtbe was in the mix, the calorific content game
became crystal clear to the oilcos, and the game was on.
so they say, but the fact remains that in california, mtbe was mandated
by a govenor whose wife just happened to be a director of a certain
large oilco, who also just so happened to have refineries whose unique
chemistry just so happened to be able to create large quantities of
mtbe. just coincidence you understand. but the real rub came when the
other oilcos, whose refinery processes did /not/ produce mtbe, found
themselves compelled to get gouged for, sorry, /purchase/ a filthy
by-product from a competitor. they complained about /that/ for sure.
tell that to the california legislature! we have specially formulated
gas, specially formulated milk..., the special interest lobbying list
goes on and on and on. it's the wild west out here. whoever gets to be
sherrif gets to make the rules!
they're not fools - they know pork when they see it. but i still don't
see why the rest of us have to pay tax to subsidize that pork, then
premium prices, /then/ get inferior product.
this one amazes me. just like the biodiesel freaks. you need to grow
tons of crop to harvest a few pounds of oil. the /smart/ route would be
to use the whole biomass to produce a liquid hydrocarbon product, but
that apparently is too much of a conceptual leap. not that the
established fuel industry is in any hurry to point that out - they'd far
rather pay lip service to biodiesel because they know the concept to be
fundamentally flawed and therefore not long term viable.
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