Letters to the editor: Shale oil production won’t drive down gas prices
2012 File Photo/The Associated Press A drilling rig is seen near Kennedy, Texas, in 2012. “Big Oil and big banks” view the supply-and-demand model of crude oil as outmoded, a reader says.
Waiting for U.S. shale oil production to lower gasoline prices? Don’t hold your breath. The global oil market has rid itself of the troubling concept of supply and demand dictating pricing.
Big Oil and big banks aren’t about to see a decline in profit based on this outmoded model as long as crude oil supply can be manipulated. “Drill, baby, drill” will be offset by “Cut, OPEC, cut.” Now at 30 million barrels a day, pressure is mounting on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to support current oil pricing.
As reported in this paper May 30 (“Briefcase: Robust supply puts pressure on OPEC to limit production”), Seth Kleinman, head of energy strategy at Citigroup in London, said, “The market is looking heavy in terms of supply and it’s getting heavier and there will come a stage when OPEC needs to address the weight problem. Supply growth will be robust and demand will consistently disappoint.”
So much for China and other emerging economies driving up the cost of oil by increasing demand.
Conversion to natural gas, increased automobile mileage and new sources of crude are combining to outpace future demand. The demand that remains is the demand for profit. That will not decrease. It is not a bad thing. Profit drives economies throughout the world and is the cornerstone of the American dream.
But let’s not dream that increased domestic production or the Keystone pipeline will return us to the days of low-cost gasoline at the local pump. The United States is now a net exporter of gasoline to the global market.
We can look forward to a use-less-export-more scenario in which we are competing with ourselves to keep prices high. Call it “managed.” Call it “rigged.” The market is what it is, and we cannot produce our way out of it.
Eateries must contain volume to retain patrons
Recently my husband and I visited a local restaurant for what we anticipated would be an enjoyable breakfast of well-prepared food at moderate prices served by friendly, efficient waitpersons.
It was not to be.
At an adjacent booth, a young woman with an outwardly refined appearance commenced a very loud, obnoxious conversation on her cellphone.
On the other side of us, a party punctuated their boisterous conversation with ear-shattering peals of laughter.
We were trapped between two regrettable examples of what has apparently become the norm in our culture today: cellphone users who regard restaurants as their private telephone booths and self-centered patrons who think only of themselves and are oblivious to everyone around them.
I would venture to guess that there are others who have also experienced this unwelcome behavior.
We would be the first to agree that everyone has the constitutional right to free speech, but we have reached the point where we are reluctant to dine out.
It is in the hands of restaurateurs to address these issues.
However reluctant they may be to caution some discourteous patrons, they will only gain by more frequent visits from folks like us.
May baskets were a victim of McCarthy-era paranoia
Regarding the letter “Memories of May baskets spur fond reminiscences” (May 29):
The practice was discontinued in the early ’50s as part of the anti-Communist hysteria of those times. May Day was the Communists’ primary holiday.
Now that the Cold War is over, there is no reason not to hang May baskets again.
Cathedral school best place for adult education classes
I was at Portland Adult Education on Douglass Street recently, and I was appalled at the physical condition of the building. The staff had jury-rigged tarps to carry water leaking from the roof into strategically placed wastebaskets.
Portland Adult Education is such an asset to our city, and I am ashamed to see that this is how we show our appreciation.
The dedicated staff serves more than 4,400 students annually, and they do it on a shoestring. The city of Portland contributes one-third of PAE’s overall budget, and that is less than 2 percent of the total school department’s annual budget.
It is my understanding that Portland Adult Education will finally be able to escape from these deplorable conditions in the summer, and that their new facility will be either the former Cathedral elementary school or the basement of Portland High School. In my opinion, Cathedral is the clear choice.
The Cathedral school will allow Portland Adult Education to conduct all of its classes under one roof. Portland High School cannot match either the quantity or quality of the Cathedral space. Cathedral has off-street parking available, Portland High does not. Finally, cramming hundreds of additional students into Portland High School each day would not be beneficial to the students and staff of either school.
Portland Adult Education provides a critical service to ensure that the city’s educational system serves all of our citizens. Let’s give its students and staff the home that they deserve.
Concerns about Woodfords keep falling on deaf ears
Here we go again! So many complaints (“Letters to the editor: Can’t get there from here on Portland streets,” June 5) are heard daily concerning Woodfords Corner, and still nothing is done about it.
I live on Allen Avenue, and I will not take Forest Avenue at certain times to reach my home. I detour to Washington Avenue or Brighton Avenue just to avoid Woodfords Corner.
Please do not tell me that those stores in that section need that area for customers in front of their stores. They have parking in the rear for customers.
There have been a lot of accidents in that area due to the congestion there. The traffic lights’ timing at that intersection only makes it worse.
LISA BENSON’S VIEW
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