UNABLE TO TOPPLE PUTIN – IS BIDEN NOW OUT TO SPARK WAR WITH CHINA? – INSTEAD OF TACKLING THE MOUNTING FUEL SHORTAGE IN U.S. WITH GAS STATIONS RUNNING OUT – BIDEN SUDDENLY WANTS TO INVITE TAIWAN TO WHO – KNOWING FULL WELL SUCH A STEP WILL BE VIGOROUSLY REJECTED BY BEIJING – IS BIDEN HOPING FOR A U.S.-CHINA WAR TO UNITE UNHAPPY & WORRIED AMERICANS – AS THEY RUN OUT OF BABY FORMULA & FUEL – WHILE NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN INFLATION, MASSIVE JOB LOSSES & A MOTHER OF ALL RECESSIONS START TO SINK IN

China rejects US call to invite Taiwan to WHO assembly

Taiwan has been blocked from attending the assembly in recent years by China, which considers the island a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland.Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US strongly advocates for the WHO to invite Taiwan to take part in its annual World Health Assembly as an observer, criticising its exclusion as “unwarranted”.

Beijing lashed out in response to the comments.

“There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part,” he told a regular briefing.

Zhao added that Taiwan’s participation in international organisations, including the WHO, must be handled in accordance with the “one-China principle”.

Taiwan was expelled from the WHO in 1972, a year after losing the “China” seat at the UN to the People’s Republic of China.

It was allowed to attend the WHO’s top annual meetings between 2009 and 2016 as an observer when relations with China were warmer.

But Beijing has stepped up its campaign to pressure Taipei since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power, as she refuses to acknowledge its stance that self-ruled democratic Taiwan is part of China.

Zhao added today that “any attempt to play the Taiwan card” or use the island against China was “doomed to fail”.

But Blinken, in an earlier statement, said: “As we continue to fight Covid-19 and other emerging health threats, Taiwan’s isolation from the pre-eminent global health forum is unwarranted and undermines inclusive global public health cooperation.”

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry today expressed regret and dissatisfaction that it has yet to receive an invitation to attend the WHO meeting in Geneva.

“Our side thanks the US for leading and collaborating with other like-minded countries to help expand Taiwan’s international participation,” the ministry said.

The World Health Assembly is scheduled to take place May 22-28. – AFP

Analyst Warns Of A Fuel Shortage Crisis In The U.S.

  • Low fuel inventories could lead to a crisis this summer in the U.S.
  • Refinery outages could be disastrous during this period of supply tightness.
  • Sankey: we’ve never seen inventories this low, particularly in the northeast. 

Very low inventories of oil products in the United States and a shortage of refining capacity have laid the foundations for an oil shortage crisis in the United States this summer, Paul Sankey, Lead Analyst at Sankey Research, told CNBC in an interview on Thursday.

“I just don’t think there’s anything the Administration can do about it,” Sankey said, referring to the fact that a refinery cannot be built in time to ease the gasoline and diesel crunch.

Asked about what would happen if an operating refinery were to stop production because of an accident or a hurricane, Sankey said, “we’re on the verge of a U.S. oil crisis as it is, obviously what I’m talking about is shortages.”

“We’ve never seen inventories this low, particularly in the northeast. We haven’t seen gasoline this low at this time of year in history,” the analyst added.

With the hurricane season later in the year, “We might have a crisis this summer, I’m telling you,” Sankey said.

There is a global shortage of refining capacity, and currently the energy world “is completely insane”, he noted.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said that insufficient investment in global refining capacity is one of the key drivers of the global rally in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel prices.

There isn’t a quick fix for all-time high fuel prices in America— or elsewhere — analysts say. The quickest fix is not one that American consumers would want — a recession that would lead to job losses.

Some 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of refinery capacity in America has been shut permanently since the start of the pandemic. In the U.S., operable refinery capacity was at just over 18 million bpd in 2021, the lowest since 2015, per EIA data. Rising demand since economies reopened and people returned to travel, combined with lower refining capacity and very tight distillate markets have drawn down U.S. product inventories to below seasonal averages and at multi-year lows, with record-low inventories reported on the East Coast.  OILPRICE.COM

Gas Stations In Washington State Are Running Out Of Fuel

Gas stations throughout eastern Washington State are sold out of gasoline, and some are selling only diesel, while nationwide U.S. gas prices hit another all-time high and Washington’s average gasoline price is now nearing $5.20 per gallon.

In the Tri-Cities area (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland), residents are scrambling to find a gas station that hasn’t run out of gasoline, The Post Millennial reports. Residents in the area have flagged in a local Facebook group that more than 10 gas stations in the region are out of fuel.

A gas station in Auburn has reprogrammed displays to show double-digit prices, although it doesn’t expect $10 regular gasoline price and sells the more expensive race fuel, a spokesman for the station told The Post Millennial.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline hit another record at $4.589 on May 19, up from $4.101 per gallon a month ago, and from $3.043/gal at this time last year, according to AAA data. In Washington State, the average gas price was $5.184/gal on Thursday, up from $3.547 a year ago.

On Wednesday, the average price per gallon in California topped $6, while the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will be the most expensive holiday weekend ever.

“Buckle up, drivers. This Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to be the most expensive holiday weekend at the pump… ever. Drivers will be paying about $4.65 on average, though high prices aren’t actually deterring many from hitting the road,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for fuel-savings app GasBuddy, tweeted on Thursday.

Despite record gasoline prices, more Americans intend to road trip this summer compared to last year, GasBuddy’s annual summer travel survey showed today. Yet, 70% of Americans said their summer travel plans have been affected by high gas prices. OILPRICE.COM

AFP / OILPRICE.COM

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