Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oil Prices Surge To $100 A Barrel

Joshua Schneyer - I had a nice discussion last night about the transfer of the organizational and confrontational tactics of the left to the right (see my post from last year on the subject). Last night my best example was the startling story that the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing has started to investigate more than 300 email complaints against those doctors who were giving out fraudulent "notes" that purported to excuse teachers from working so that they could demonstrate against Republicans. Conservatives never used to be that smart. They have learned, in part because they have adopted the teachings of Saul Alinsky who -- and this part is hilarious -- they only heard of in the first place because the Democrats nominated a community organizer to run as their candidate for president.

Today we get another example of a deft procedural counter-punch from Republicans, albeit from inside the parliamentary system:

Sometimes politics makes you laugh out loud. Hot Air has a roundup of the latest from Wisconsin, of which the greatest is this: the Republicans have adopted a rule that Senators have to collect their paychecks in person, on the Senate floor. Hilarious! Can the Democratic Party survive the shame of this debacle? I suppose so, but no amount of ridicule is too much.

Whatever you might think, this whole confrontation in Madison is nothing if not amusing. "That is why it is imperative the Saudis release some extra barrels into the market now to calm the situation, rather than simply trying to talk the price down."

Many analysts expect Libya's violence to take a heavy toll on the North African country's oil output, potentially crimping exports for months or years.


Brent traded at a $12.58 a barrel advantage to U.S. WTI, widening from a $10.85 gap on Tuesday, as traders bet conflict in the Middle East could hit European oil supply hardest. Libyan exports usually feed a quarter of Italy's oil demand.

However, the spread has narrowed sharply from a record $16.51 hit on February 17.

U.S. crude rallied through a long-term uptrend resistance, on course for the biggest weekly gain since the financial crisis.

Traders geared up for U.S. weekly inventory data, the first of which will be released by the industry group American Petroleum Institute later on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. EST.

A Reuters poll forecast that U.S. crude stockpiles rose 1.3 million barrels last week, while distillate inventories fell 1.4 million barrels and gasoline supplies rose 400,000 barrels.

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