"The head of International Energy Agency forecast on Saturday that Hurricane Katrina could spark a worldwide energy crisis. “If the crisis affects oil products then it’s a worldwide crisis. No one should think this will be limited to the United States,” Claude Mandil told the German daily Die Welt. That same day, 26 nations—including the United States—agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products from their emergency reserves over the next 30 days. This nearly unprecedented move (the IEA also opened its taps during the first Gulf War) was surely a measure of the seriousness with which national leaders viewed the problem."
"While the bringing to market of a few tens of millions of barrels of stored oil and gasoline may temporarily calm speculators and thus prevent dramatic price spikes, it cannot balance the global supply-and-demand equation for more than a few weeks (the world uses 84 million barrels of oil each day, after all). And once these stores are gone, few nations will have any cushion in the event of other supply threats. Hence Katrina may mark the beginning of the inevitable unraveling of the petroleum-based industrial world system." (read on)