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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The only thing we have to fear?

Are possums and racoons? From this week's Crop News Weekly:
What do a raccoon and a possum have to do with a 7-cent increase in the wholesale price of gasoline on the West Coast? As perhaps the most egregious example thus far of just how skittery these markets are, on the night of March 5, at two different locations in the Los Angeles area, within an hour of each other, two hapless animals set off this chain of events:
* The possum, which got fried in the process, caused a power interruption at a California Edison electrical substation.
* The raccoon, which also got cooked, interrupted power at an L.A. Water and Power substation.
* Those events disrupted operations for about two hours at an Exxon Mobil refinery and about 10 seconds (yep, that's right: 10 seconds) at a Shell Oil Co. refinery.
* Next morning, news of the brief refinery disruptions pushed wholesale gasoline prices up 7 cents a gallon.

Are we on a hair trigger or what?

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