What’s Happening With the Price of Oil?

By Pastor Curtis O.
Robinson, Sr.

“So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’” St. Luke 16:2
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at a high not seen since August of 2008, closing at 11,755.44. Apparently the U.S. banking sector is staging somewhat of a rebound with positive earnings being reported.
The charge was led by JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. It is no secret on the street that corporate coffers are building nicely. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, provider of custom information technology (IT) consulting and technology services, and outsourcing services, reported that the company is sitting on $1.9 billion dollars in cash and has no debt.
This is starting to become the mantra of corporate America in that many corporations that made it through the storm are very focused when it comes to their cash positions. Although unemployment is still high, it is clear that many companies are making themselves better through maintaining meaningful cash positions and low hiring numbers.
It is clear that the days of free flowing cash are over as this country looks to rebound from one of the worst recessions in the history of the American economy. However, it still is not enough to keep oil prices from spiraling upwards.
One of the problems is the recent disruption that we have had in the Trans Alaska Pipeline. This 800 mile-long pipeline is responsible for 17 percent of domestic oil production. Built in 1977, the pipeline at its peak of oil production carried 2 million barrels of oil per day.
Now it carries about 400,000 barrels of oil per day, a far cry from the days of maximum consumption. And because of the condition of the pipeline, experts agree that this disruption could change the metrics on the global oil stage.
For America, it would mean more dependence on foreign oil. And for the consumer, it will mean higher prices at the pump. Until America decides that enough is enough, we will continue to pay escalating prices at the pump. For the oil industry, this is nothing more than sweet music to their ears.
The US imported about 14 million barrels of Oil per day in 2007, which means US consumers sent about $340 billion overseas building palaces in Dubai and propping up unfriendly regimes around the World.
In 2006, the U.S. had proven oil reserves of around 21 billion barrels and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that we use dramatically more oil than we have in reserves.
If America uses 7.1 billion barrels of oil annually, and if these numbers are correct, we will run out of oil because we continue to use more and more, but produce less and less.
This makes us vulnerable to OPEC and stops this country from turning the corner towards energy independence, because we don’t want to go through withdrawal symptoms like most junkies do when they want to kick the habit.
At the end of the day, it is the environment that will be diminished. The petroleum industry is absolutely killing this planet, and until Americans speak up, we too will go by the wayside.
The next time you want to complain about gas prices at the pump, instead write a letter to your Congressperson and ask them why has this country not adopted energy policies that will build a better tomorrow.
Pastor Curtis O. Robinson, Sr. is Interim Pastor at the Faith Baptist Church located at 2680-64th Ave. in Oakland.  He can be contacted at curt.girlsincrich@hotmail.com.

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