AFTER THE STORM - The Katrina Crisis
Date: Saturday, September 03, 2005 @ 16:42:20 GMT
Topic: General


A hurricane produces an integrated energy disaster.
BY DANIEL YERGIN
Saturday, September 3, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
OpinionJournal (from The Wall Street Journal - Editorial Page)

Man's technical ingenuity has collided with nature's rage in the Gulf of Mexico, and the outcome has been an integrated energy disaster. The full scope will not be understood until the waters recede, the damage to platforms and refineries is assessed, and the extent of damage to underwater pipelines from undersea mudslides is determined. Yet what has happened is on a scale not seen before, and the impact of the price spikes and dislocations will roll across the entire economy. Even as we confront the human tragedy, the consequences will also force us to think more expansively about energy security, and to focus harder on a matter which other events have already emphasized: the need for new infrastructure and investment in our energy sector.

What makes it an integrated crisis is that the entire energy supply system in the region has been disabled, and that the parts all depend upon each other for recovery. If the next weeks reveal that the losses are as large as some fear, this would constitute one of the biggest energy shocks since the 1970s, perhaps even the biggest. Unlike the crises of the '70s or the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990-91, this does not involve just crude oil: It includes natural gas, refineries and electricity.
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Read the whole article here: The Katrina Crisis





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