FROM Neil King
The Price of Gasoline and the Race for the White House Americans are suffering from increased pain at the gas pump, and Republicans are blaming President Obama. What are the real causes of increased gasoline prices? Can the President persuade voters it's not his fault and that he's doing all he can?
The Price of Gasoline and the Race for the White House A US president can't really do much to influence gasoline prices, but this year's Republican candidates insist that he can, and two-thirds of the voters believe them. So President Obama will devote three days this week to an energy tour of the country, emphasizing what he claims is solid energy policy . What are the major factors leading to recent increases in the price of gas at the pump? Are the oil companies exploiting opportunities for domestic drilling? Did the President blow it by delaying development of the Keystone XL Pipeline ?
China Overtakes US in Energy Consumption Ten years ago, China consumed half as much energy as the United States. Now, after economic development at breakneck speed, China is the world’s largest consumer of oil, gas, coal, nuclear power and renewables.
China Overtakes US in Energy Consumption China has now become the world's biggest consumer of energy. Because of the recession, it overcame the US five years sooner than anybody expected. That means more competition for limited resources, more clout for countries the US doesn't like, and, in the short run, more environmental pollution. What will it mean for green technology, especially if the US continues to lead the way in research while China does the manufacturing? We look at the vast implications of what's being called "a new age in the history of energy."
Obama Lambastes Lackluster Regulation of Oil Drilling There’s now a consensus that the Gulf oil spill is at least 10 times bigger than official estimates—and it’s still growing as the gusher beneath the sea continues. Today, President Obama lashed out at all three of the responsible companies.
Oil Slick Shifts Direction, Heads West At a Senate hearing in Washington today, BP, Transocean and Halliburton each blamed the others for the deadly explosion on the oil rig called Deepwater Horizon 3 weeks ago.
Today, It's Chrysler... Tomorrow, GM? Big banks who've accepted billions in federal bailouts had little choice when President Obama demanded that they take "haircuts" to keep Chrysler in business. But smaller investors, including hedge funds, said no deal, and now Chrysler's reorganizing in bankruptcy court.
Today, It's Chrysler... Tomorrow, GM? President Obama says he does not want to run a big automaker , but the federal government could end up owning 50% of General Motors. In the meantime, it will own 10% of a new, multi-national company when Chrysler merges with Fiat , presuming, of course, that bankruptcy goes well. Big banks who've accepted billions in federal bailouts didn't have much choice when Obama demanded they take "haircuts" to keep Chrysler in business. But smaller investors, including hedge funds, said no deal, forcing Chrysler's reorganization in bankruptcy court. We hear about the economics and politics involving investors, unions, part suppliers and dealers. Also, what about the cars? Will American drivers change their ways and go European?
For GM and Chrysler: an Ultimatum President Obama says General Motors and Chrysler have failed to justify their requests for $17 more billions of federal dollars. Bankruptcy is a real possibility. GM has 60 days to come up with a better plan for reorganization; Chrysler has 30 days to pull together a merger with Fiat of Italy. Even if the companies do go bankrupt, the President insists that he won't let the auto industry die: he says Washington will back the warranties on all their new cars. The President compared what's happening to the auto industry to a natural disaster. He spoke directly to the men and women who work in the industry and those who live in communities that depend on it, saying he can't pretend there won't be tough times to come. Will today's drastic actions help to restore it or drive it over a cliff?
Oil and Gas Prices Heading Back Up? After peaking at $147 a barrel in July, oil prices yesterday were at their lowest since 2007, $63 a barrel. Today, they started back up again. Neil King is International Energy reporter at the Wall Street Journal .
The Economic Fallout of Chronically High Oil Prices Two hundred dollars a barrel for oil and $6 a gallon for gasoline--next year. That's according to experts at Goldman Sachs. Many authorities believe those rising numbers won't ever be coming down and that this is the time for the US to wake up and do something about it. As Congress waits for a new president who might have an energy policy, there's talk of an uprising by angry consumers. Meantime, the International Energy Agency, a multi-national organization based in Paris, is making its first attempt to comprehensively assess the condition of the world's oil supply . Final results are expected this coming November. But the agency's already worried since aging oil fields and diminished investment may indicate that supply won't meet demand 20 years from now. Has oil reached its peak? Will Americans agree to sacrifice the environment for oil? If there‘s a market for alternatives, will it be ready in time?
US and Iran Hold Second Round of Talks on Iraq In May, the US and Iran began talks about stabilizing Iraq, an event considered "groundbreaking." Today, in round two, all three nations agreed to set up an ongoing security subcommittee, even though the US said the two months since May have not been encouraging. Neil King is diplomatic correspondent for the Wall Street Journal .
Bush and Olmert Explore Mid-East Options after Palestinian Split At the White House today, as expected, President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed their efforts to bolster Mahmoud Abbas in his battle with Hamas. Both leaders referred to the Abbas, who is also known as Abu Mazen, as the democratically elected president of all the Palestinian people and to Hamas as the organization that violently attacked the unity government. Neil King, Jr. is diplomatic correspondent for the Wall Street Journa l.
Another Roadblock to Peace in the Middle East Two weeks ago in Mecca, Saudi Arabia brokered a "unity government" deal between the Palestinian factions, Islamist Hamas and secular Fattah. That was good news for Palestinians exhausted by bloody fighting between the two, but bad news for peace between the Palestinians and Israel--and for Condoleezza Ric e, who left a three-way summit today empty handed. Is peace among the Palestinians killing hopes for peace between the Palestinians and Israel? Did Secretary Rice jump too soon in hopes of a much-needed diplomatic breakthrough?
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.