The Hurricanes of SeptemberSubmitted by SIERRAHPBT on Sun, 09/07/2008 - 14:36
The Hurricanes of September
September 1, 2008
It has certainly been a Labor Day to remember for me. I have been off since Saturday August 30th and have been following Gustav, Hannah and now Ike on the Internet. Haven't even had the TV on: why bother? The Hurricanes of September are the end of the television monopoly on breaking story coverage, at least for the one half of the American people who have Internet access. I have been online for hours on end each day. Checking out the National Hurricane Center's advisories, tracking models, paths, satellite pictures etc. etc. etc. What we have here is the reason the Internet is so important. I have simply bypassed the system and injected the Hurricane experience directly into my mind, sans media filters; assorted "experts" telling me what to think. I can look at a satellite picture myself thank you Mr. media expert.
Further, I have been online at a forum, the tree of liberty, where I have been exchanging ideas, information, opinions etc. etc. etc with people from all over the country. In other words, the phrase "Internet community" is a very descriptive one and one that truly describes what the Internet has become. Explains why the NWO terrorist organization called Comcast wants to limit Internet download capacity. The NWO fears and despises the Internet since it allows people like me and you to bypass the NWO control mechanisms. They hate the Internet because, as the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate put it so eloquently regarding Christianity, "It makes slaves think." The NWO doesn't like slaves who think. They have spent decades destroying the American education system to make sure that doesn't happen. And then the Internet comes along!
The thing that strikes me most after several days of watching the progress of hurricanes Gustav and Hannah is Steve Quayle's book "The Weather Wars" is spot on. I may write another essay on that subject, but not now. By the way, Cuba reported a documented wind gust from Gustav of 212 mph. By the time Gustav hit Morgan City Louisiana it was "merely" a category 2 storm with 110 mph winds. Um, the start of category 3 is 111 mph. For all intents and purposes, Gustav was a category 3 hurricane. As I write this essay, New Orleans still exists and hasn't suffered either the catastrophic damage of Katrina, or the inept, bungling and pathetic governmental response. We got a massive governmental response this time around.
Although, it will be several days before the full extent of Gustav's damage is known, certain things are clear. By zigging west and avoiding New Orleans, Gustav inflicted heavy damage upon the energy industry. We are talking oil and gas here: pipelines, refineries, import terminals and natural gas processing plants. The Oil and Gas news tells us 12% of total USA refining capacity was shut down Labor Day for Gustav. Without burying you under a pile of statistics it is absolutely a fact that Gustav has already had a major impact on energy production, refining and pipeline shipment in the USA. The United States gets 25% of its oil and about 15% of its natural gas from the oil rigs shut down in the Gulf of Mexico to avoid Gustav. What is their physical condition after having 115 mph winds roar through them? What is the physical condition of the oil import facilities at Port Fourchon? How soon will they reopen to process the heavy oil from Mexico and Venezuela? A day or two? A week? A month? A good question regarding all the oil infrastructure damaged by Gustav. Some estimates are up to a third of the oil and gas production will be shut down for a month. IKE looks to be headed into the Gulf, ploughing the same area that Gustav did. We shall just have to see how that plays out by September 15th.
And now a word about oil refineries. Oil refineries in the USA don't refine enough product to meet current US demand of 19 plus million barrels per day. They only refine around 17.45 million per day. NIMBY gone mad for three decades. What that means is we lost 2 million barrels per day of domestically refined oil, in addition to the other one or one and one half million barrels of refined product we already import. So we are looking at an actual refining rate of 15.5 million per day, when we need 19 plus million per day. What we got here is a refinery gap.
Not being an oil expert I have no idea of the cost difference between importing a barrel of crude at $120 and refining it, versus importing already refined gasoline, or heating oil or jet fuel.
One final thing. It is unclear at this time whether these refineries are damaged or were merely shut down. It is not a good idea to try and operate an oil refinery with 80 to 110 mph winds howling through your refinery. After all, what really is an oil refinery? It is simply a place where you pump a lot of oil around to various tanks using lots and lots and lots of pipes. All the while you are heating this oil, or "cooking it" or "cracking it" in the slang terms used. You then pipe the vapors off to make various products, like gasoline or jet fuel. You need a certain number of "steps" to create each individual petroleum product. You may rest assured the workers and companies involved are going to go through their refineries inch by inch before they just start them up. I would guess it will be several days before these facilities, assuming they are relatively undamaged, will start back up. About time for Ike to enter the Gulf of Mexico, if the latest satellite pictures are accurate. After all, I have been empowered. May even start my own hurricane center. The age of the common man is entering new territory. This slave is thinking.
Other essays by Doug McIntosh