Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Headline fiasco of the day, II

Headline: Bush, Inventories Hit Oil Hard
Appears in:
Author: Elinor Arbel

My take:
Oil prices (or to be more precise, the price of the benchmark WTI crude) dropped nearly 3 dollars. What prompted the plonge? Most news outlets correctly credit a Department of Energy report that showed that crude inventories in the U.S. rose by 5.4 million barrels, when analysts were expecting a rise of just 650,000 barrels.

Yet, today’s featured article actually began like this:

Crude oil prices tumbled towards $51 a barrel Wednesday, beaten down by
President Bush's commitment to achieve more U.S. self reliance in energy
production and by bearish inventory data showing a surge in crude stocks.

So what momentous words did the President offer us? Let me quote the article again:

In a speech before the Small Business Administration, President George W. Bush
stressed his commitment to increasing local production of energy in the U.S.
Bush reiterated the need to pass an energy bill that would ease many regulatory
restrictions to better accommodate the building of new refineries, liquefied
natural gas terminals and for drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
He also lauded the merits of nuclear energy and stressed the importance of
conservation efforts.

Yada, yada, yada. Basically, he just repeated what he has said since he was a candidate and what most politicians have stated since the 1970’s. In sum, a totally irrelevant speech. In this thoroughly excellent Bloomberg piece, Bush’s speed merited one paragraph out of 18.

Ms. Arbel should learn to tell the wheat from the chaff.