The oil refining weapon (cont.)


The Wall Street Journal has an article today ($link) on the rage Chinese citizens are feeling regarding gas shortages and high prices caused by China's lack of refinery capacity. This artificial demand was created by a Chinese government juggling act

"that has sought to keep domestic fuel prices low even as global crude—oil benchmarks head to new highs....

"government officials fear any sharp rise in fuel costs would spur inflation and, possibly, social unrest". The article continues, "the impact of higher oil prices extends beyond the economy. The frictions are the latest sign of an increasingly assertive middle class, which has mobilized with growing frequency to protest unfair seizure of properties, stock market losses and dirty  air and water." Gas station attendant expressed relief that police showed up to control protesters when gas supplies ran out. "Without he police, people would have gotten out of control. People were getting crazy".

Ed Lasky   8 17 05