Maine News…energy and more…. Zimbabwe update…

Posted: 03/07/2008 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

More new records for oil, gasoline prices

Crude oil prices reached yet another new high Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil stockpiles in the United States fell more than expected last week.

According to the EIA, inventories of crude oil dropped 2 million barrels in the week ending 27 June to 299.8 million barrels, while gasoline stockpiles were up more than expected in adding 2.1 million barrels while distillates in storage, including heating oil and diesel fuel, were up 1.3 million barrels in the week.

Energy Sector Roundup: Another Oil Price Record
NEW YORK – Following is a summary of top stories in the energy sector Wednesday afternoon:
Oil Climbs to New High
Oil prices shot to a new high near $144 a barrel and went on to a record close, as the government reported a bigger-than-expected drop in crude stockpiles and the threat of conflict with Iran weighed on traders’ minds.

Firewood elusive as people stock up
BRUNSWICK (AP) – Mainers who buy firewood are paying more as they stock up this summer and many are finding short supplies, as well.Pete Lammert of the Maine Forest Service warns that most firewood dealers are hustling just to fill orders from regular customers.

Maine firewood sales on the rise
AUGUSTA (AP) – As the price of heating oil goes up, so is the demand for firewood.Firewood dealers in Maine say they’re seeing more people turn to wood as heating oil prices creep toward $5 a gallon.

Support builds for energy session
AUGUSTA, Maine – Gov. John Baldacci and legislative leaders say support is building for an energy special session this summer to address what the state can do to help Mainers weather the energy crisis next winter.

“I have talked with legislators and they want to do something to help people this year,” Baldacci said in an interview. “They know, we all know, that this winter will be very difficult and we need to do what we can to help people cope.”

Update on Zimbabwe….

A few days ago I posted an article on the situation in Zimbabwe, and questioned whether the pending refugees would be coming to Maine, as did some Somali refugees. The migration of the opposition supporters has begun, according to this Voice Of America article…

About 200 Zimbabweans Seek Refuge at US Embassy in Harare
U.S. officials say about 200 people are seeking refuge outside the American Embassy in Zimbabwe.A State Department spokesman, Bill Strassberger, tells VOA the people came to the embassy after being forced out of the headquarters in Harare of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. He says embassy staff are contacting humanitarian groups to see what can be done to help them. The request for refuge follows word from Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday that political violence is continuing against supporters of his MDC coalition.In the week since Zimbabwe’s presidential runoff vote, Tsvangirai said nine people were killed and many more were beaten and forced to leave their homes. The opposition leader had pulled out of the election because of violence directed at his supporters, leaving President Robert Mugabe, the sole candidate, to declare himself re-elected.

The United States has put a draft resolution before the U.N. Security Council calling for new travel and financial sanctions against the Mugabe government.
A copy of the draft obtained by VOA calls for freezing the assets and restricting the travel of President Mugabe and 11 of his top officials. The proposed resolution also would expand an arms embargo against Zimbabwe’s government.
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Zalmay Khalilzad, says the resolution also would help Zimbabwe’s populace by removing obstacles to deliveries and distribution of humanitarian assistance. Khalilzad says he expects a vote on the resolution next week.U.S. State Department officials say the people seeking refuge outside the American embassy are not in danger, and that the situation is peaceful. They are believed to be the last of some 2,000 people who were forced to leave temporary shelter at the MDC headquarters, also known as Harvest House.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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