Did I mention ….Strikes…..
Dems in charge. Do they dare nationalize the refineries and threaten all those union jobs?
Reagan did when he busted the air traffic controllers union.
Nah. We motorist are toast. Clean up the bicycles. Or pay 30 bucks a gallon.
Or stay home on your stimulus checks. Heh heh.
Strike Out: Nationwide Refinery Strike Could Mean Higher Gas Prices
Posted by Keith Johnson
Oil prices may be headed lower, but are prices at the pump set to shoot back up?
That’s a possibility if the U.S. Steelworkers Union makes good on threats to launch a nationwide strike that could affect as much as two-thirds of the country’s refining capacity. Bloomberg reports that union officials have rejected industry offers—made by lead negotiator Royal Dutch Shell—and are preparing to go to the pickets when their contract expires Super Bowl Sunday.
Refinery workers may not have a whole lot of leverage right now. Thanks to the recession and plummeting demand for oil, refinery economics have taken a hit. Many refineries have been throttling back operations and shutting down refineries for maintenance ahead of schedule; the sector is currently operating at historically-low capacity levels.
A strike-induced, short-term refinery outage could soak up some excess gasoline sloshing around the groggy economy, serving as a boost to refinery economics. Shell and Exxon say they expect to keep their refineries running even in the event of a walkout.
But what if demand destruction in the U.S. has already run its course? Last week, gasoline stocks decreased in the U.S., even as crude-oil stocks rose significantly—a possible sign that gasoline demand, and thus pump prices, could be headed north again. Refinery shutdowns would just put additional pressure on gas prices.
Traders are already taking positions, in any event. Even as crude oil futures kept slipping 2% Thursday, gasoline futures were up more than 3%.