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News is reporting that there was recently an explosion at what is described as the world's second largest refinery, located in Venezuela.  Right now, 39 people have died. Sounds like the death toll is likely going to rise :\

CARACAS, Venezuela — An early morning explosion and fire at Venezuela's largest refinery killed at least 39 people Saturday and left the nation's most important source of auto and airline fuel out of commission.

It was too soon to say what effect the fire, at one of the largest refineries in the world, could have on U.S. gasoline prices. On average, Amuay exports about 360,000 barrels per day of refined gasoline, mostly unleaded, to the eastern United States. Thus, U.S. motorists, who buy more than half of the complex's average production of 645,000 barrels per day, could pay higher prices if the refinery remains out of commission.
As much as I hate to trivialize the dead and their families by asking this, but one has to wonder how badly this will impact the US elections. I read elsewhere that those 360,000 barrels comes out to about 1/4 million gallons of gas. One can see with frightening ease how this will probably be used as a reason to jack gas up well past the $4.00 and maybe even $5.00 mark. If so, that would in all likelihood have major negative implications on the Presidential election for President Obama.

Or am I way off base here?

We so badly need to ween ourselves off of fossil fuels, for christsake. I have hope that in the next decade we will, but it seems like it's going to be an ugly, painful trip getting there.

Either way, our condolences and sympathies go out to these poor families today.

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