Bush calls for conservation (momentarily)

For the first time ever, in response to the loss of refining capacity in the gulf, President Bush called for energy conservation by the federal government and ordinary citizens.

Bush … urged Americans to avoid unnecessary car trips and encouraged federal workers to use public transportation or join car pools.

This is a stunning reversal of his previous energy “strategy” (if you can call it that) of unlimited consumption and increased drilling in sensitive wilderness areas. That statement is sure to cause panic among his friends in the oil industry. But not to worry. This is only a temporary suggestion, until the oil companies can get their refineries back in operation.

Offshore production across the entire U.S. Gulf of Mexico remained closed Monday, meaning a fifth of the nation’s oil production has been shut down… The Energy Department said Monday that Katrina and Rita together had cut the nation’s refining capacity by 25 percent.