hell of a way to run a war zone

Iraqis Paying 5 Cents a Gallon for Gas:
Although Iraq is a major petroleum producer, the country has little capacity to refine its own gasoline. So the U.S. government pays about $1.50 a gallon to buy fuel in neighboring countries and deliver it to Iraqi stations. A three-month supply costs American taxpayers more than $500 million, not including the cost of military escorts to fend off attacks by Iraqi insurgents.

The U.S. government paid even more last year for Iraqis' gasoline -- between $1.59 and $1.70 per gallon -- when the imports were contracted to Halliburton, the Texas oil services giant formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Analysts say the U.S. gas subsidies can't last forever -- and Iraqis may be in for an unpleasant shock when they end. In the meantime, however, the American taxpayer continues to foot a huge bill.

"The United States controls all Iraqi resources now," said Jenan Jabro, 50, tanking up his black Opel. "So what if they have to pay a little bit for gasoline? That's nothing compared to what they get in return."

Analysts say there never was a good case -- either before the war or afterward -- that a U.S. invasion would pay dividends in cheap oil. "Some of the neo-conservatives might've been saying that, but no energy analysts were walking around saying that," Cordesman said.

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9 Responses:

  1. baconmonkey says:

    The cheap fuel is spurring unsustainable demand, promoting wasteful use of energy and transportation, and squandering Iraq's oil output that might otherwise be exported, Cordesman said.

    boy, that sure would be terrible of those darn Iraqis were allowed to use their own oil.

  2. wilecoyote says:

    Analysts say there never was a good case -- either before the war or afterward -- that a U.S. invasion would pay dividends in cheap oil

    So, you're saying that all those people shouting "no blood for oil" were just repeating a cheap, simplistic, demagogic slogan with no resemblance to reality?

    Thank you. I knew it.

    • relaxing says:

      Since when has political discourse in the U.S. been anything but cheap, simplistic, demagogic slogans?

      BUSHSUXKTHXBYE.

    • wfaulk says:

      Just because it's unfeasible or unreasonable doesn't mean that it wasn't at least one reason the neocons had to decide to go to war. Just like one of the main stated reasons was because of a link between Hussein and al Qaeda, which was also not true.

      I'm not saying that I believe that oil was a factor or not, but your argument doesn't quite follow, regardless.

    • down8 says:

      I only remember the liberals saying that, using it as a diatribe against conservatives, who never said cheap oil was one of the agendas. Not that it surprises me that liberals wouldn't think to run the numbers.

      :^)

      -bZj

    • jwz says:

      When people said "no blood for oil," I often thought, "well wait, how much blood, and how much oil? What's the exchange rate?"

      So now I find that I'm not going to get very much oil for my blood dollar, and that's just not good business.

      • companyman says:

        Of course, it was never about your oil, or your gas prices.

        It was, and still is, about the oil industry - and their access to the Iraqi fields for production. That's (one of the reasons) why they're big supporters of BushCo - the chance to come in and upgrade all that equipment and possibly crack the back of OPEC to boot would be a huge win for them.

  3. volkris says:

    "Some of the neo-conservatives might've been saying that, but no energy analysts were walking around saying that," Cordesman said.

    ...and then there were the many neocons who were flat out saying that cheap oil would NOT be a result of the invasion.

    Which lead to the interesting situation where the anti-war crowd was rebelling against and urging people not to believe in the "cheap oil" argument that wasn't even really being proposed.

  4. giantlaser says:

    Iraq has plenty of refineries. Nearly all of them were damaged during the invasion or by looters afterward. Only one major one is still operating - it's located in Bayji, about 90 km north of Baghdad. The oil pipelines feeding it, however, are non-functional. Insurgents bombed the northern pipeline 5 times and the southern one 7 times in the last few months. They are under repair.

    Gas prices in Iraq have always been this low. There is no sudden change in demand, and Iraq went straight from horses and donkeys to automobiles. They don't even ride bicycles when it would be cheap and convenient - that is for children.

    Finally, whatever people believe about this war being about oil money is bullshit. The resources in versus resources out equation will never balance in favor of the oil the US will get back. Which they've seen almost none of, by the way. If anything, it was about transferring public money into private hands - the hands of friends of those who started the war.