New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 18, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Hard times hit petro-states
In TUC ACCnriATcnnnrrr
ly THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
When times were good, Saudi Arabia’s oil sheiks uilt up a $150-billion "rainy day fund.” Now that ainy day has come — and stayed — and $50 billion as gone.
The Saudis' dwindling bank accounts are only ne sign of the hard times hitting the world’s big
A worldwide Associated Press survey finds vidence of the oil slump everywhere — from the undreds of thousands of foreign workers being .icked out of the "petro-states,” to the gourmet heese no longer let in; from food price increases or peasants to tourist-class tickets for oil Ministers.
The downhill skid began in 1980. when worldwide recession cut sharply into demand for oil. At he same time, consumer countries, balking at the )PEC oil cartel’s high prices, managed to reduce
iii needs further through conservation.
World production slid from 63 million barrels of ill a day in 1979 to 54 million barrels last year. Prices went from an OPEC average of $34.50 per jarrel in 1981 to $27 on the "spot” market today.
The recession lias eased, but leaner economies low need less oil than before. And prices stay low because of stiffer competition from such oil iroducers as Mexico and Britain - not members
of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The backlash catches not just the oil states.
The big U.S. construction company Bechtel, which cashed in on Saudi Arabia’s ambitious development plans, has suffered a 39-percent drop in revenues as the Saudis scale down those projects. Countries such as Egypt and Jordan that long depended on money sent home by emigrant workers rn the Persian Gulf oilfields now find the workers themselves coming home, jobless.
But the most dramatic change is in the oil countries themselves. Here is a nation-by-nation sampling:
Saudi Arabia — Although its sands hold one-quarter of the world’s known oil reserves, Saudi Arabia today pumps less oil than Britain — 2.2 million barrels a day, compared with 2.7 million.
As production plunged from a 9.6-million-a-day peak in 1980, annual Saudi oil revenues crashed from $101 billion to a projected $25 billion this year.
Kuwait — The $18-billion oil income of 1980 is now barely half that. Land prices in this once-booming oil emirate have fallen by 50 percent, and new office construction by one-third, the Central Bank of Kuwait reports
Libya — Revenues that reached $22 billion in 1982 are estimated to have slipped to $11 billion last year. But the impact on Col. Moammar Khadafy’s north African oil power is not clear.
Mexico — It has been one of the few oil producers with relatively steady income, because of rising production, but Mexico nonetheless is struggling through its worst economic crisis in decades
Venezuela — In an "oil boom” country wnere unemployment was rare just a few years ago. at least one Venezuelan worker in six is now jobless.
Nigeria — The oil slump’s human impact is most visible in this teeming African nation of 80 million people, where production declined from 2.3 million barrels a day in 1979 to 1.4 million last year.
In 1983, Nigeria expelled 2 million foreign workers, mostly other west Africans. This May. it completed the purge, ordering the last 700,000 of the illegal aliens out.
Indonesia — The poorest of the OPEC countries, Indonesia introduced value-added and other sales taxes to try to make up for depressed petroleum revenues
Some oil states have escaped the harshest effects.
NBC mulls CNN rival
LOS ANGELES (AP) - NBC has considered launching an allnews cable-television network to compete with Ted Turner’s Cable News Network, NBC News President Lawrence K. Grossman said.
The project has been under consideration for the past month or two, Grossman said, and a decision is expected before the end of the year.
He described the project as still
“a long shot.”
The network began soliciting reaction to its plans earlier this week during a meeting of its television station affiliates’ board in New York.
Satellite News Channel, a joint venture of American-Broadcasting Cos. and Group W i Westinghouse) Broadcasting & Cable, briefly competed with Turner, who paid $25 million for the operation and closed it down tw o years ago.
Hormel strike worries residents
AUSTIN, Minn. AP) — Fifteen hundred meatpackers struck Geo. A. Hormel & Co. on Saturday, refusing to accept the same wages paid at other Hormel plants in spite of a company threat to move its headquarters out of town.
The mood here is of grave apprehension and fear about the uncertainty of whats ahead,” lawrence Maier, a psychologist at the Mower Mental Health Center in Austin, said Saturday Maier said the mental health center has had an increase in cases since the labor dispute began about IO months ago at Hormel. which provides one out of four paychecks in this southern Minnesota town of 23,000
Every bod) in town is talking about it,” Mater said. * There s no question it s on everybody s mind ” Members of Local P-9 of the United Food and Common tai Workers union went on strike at 12 OI a rn Saturday after overwhelmingly rejecting fi rmers final contract offer earlier in the w tM»k Hormel offered to pay Austin workers a base $10 an hour starting Sept I. which matches the wage at nine other Hormel union plants The industry average is $8 to $9 an hour, the company said.
The union also opposes a company request for concessions on seniority, attendance control and plant assignments
Reagan says farmers
get confused signals
SANTA BARBARA, Calif . AP President Reagan criticized America’s farm programs on Saturday for sending "confusing signals to fanners” and distorting the market In his weekly radio address delivered from his mountaintop ranch near here, Reagan also called for increasing farm export* to ease tile burden on American fanners Reagan is spending a 23-day vacation here
Discussing the plight of the farmers, Reagan said a major contributor lo the problem is the federal program designed to help fanners.
For years now federal farm programs have distorted the market, and sent confusing signals to farmers Interventionist commodity programs have encouraged farmers to produce more than the market will bear...”
Reagan reiterated his administration’s position to work to boost farm exports
"The world market holds the potential for increasing opportunities for our products,’ he said. "But we must have a farm policy that maintains our competitiveness. Through our trade policies, we must ensure that fanners have full and fair access to all foreign markets. That is one of the federal government’s greatest responsibilities.
returns to Oz
SOUTH HADliCY, Mass IAP) -luke Dorothy returning to the Emerald City, the silver screen’s first "Oz” heroine led a parade of 500 children Saturday as Mount Holyoke College Summer Theater kicked off its annual adaptation of the fantasy stories.
Riding in a convertible in a long, white sequined gown, Romola Remus Dunlap, 85, waved at the cheering crowd lining the quarter-mile parade route.
Each year, the college theater adapts one of L. Frank Baum's 14 “Oz” books. This year’s third annual play, which opens Tuesday, is based on “The Patchwork Girl of Oz.”
Mrs. Dunlap, now a church organist and music teacher in Chicago, had faded into obscurity like the 1908 silent film "Fairylogue and Radio Plays” that she made under Baum's direction. She never portrayed the character of Dorothy again.
"Since that time, Dorothy has not returned to Oz, and we d like to welcome her back to the Emerald City,” said theater director Tom McCabe, handing Mrs. Dunlap a green wooden key to South Hadley , which town fathers have renamed the Emerald City for the plays run
Adult "Oz” buffs applauded and young ones, some dressed as characters from the books, stared wide-eyed. Mrs. Dunlap thanked McCabe and said she was too moved to make any prepared remarks.
McCabe said he chose to adapt Baum’s "Oz” books for Mount Holyoke’s children’s plays because he was enchanted with them as .« child
I think it's the most magical of all adventures I ve read.” he said. He
wrote them so the last half of the book could be performed on stage.”
Leak shatters image
INSTITUTE. W.Va. AP) - The leak of toxic gas from Union Carbide’s plant here that sickened 135 people has raised new questions about the safety of an industry w hose image was shattered by a deadly leak in India, and has undermined claims that "it can’t happen here.” The leak a week ago also has polarized public opinion in an area dubbed "Chemical V alley," a 25-mile stretch along the Kanawha River around Charleston that is dotted by at least 13 major chemical plants.
But by week's end, local officials who initially criticized Carbide's slow response to the leak already were talking about "risk-benefit ratios” and Union Carbide Corp s importance to the local economy, About 500 to 600 marchers paraded through nearby South Charleston on Saturday in a show of support fur Union Carbide They included several city council members who said they think the 6,000 jobs Carbide provides, out of the valley s 10,000 chemical jobs. far outweigh threats posed by the industry The leak released a cloud of the pesticide ingredient aldicarb oxime. an irritant, and methylene chloride, a suspected carcinogen. Six workers
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and 129 residents were hospitalized for eye. nose, throat and lung problems. A smaller leak at Carbide’s South Charleston plant two days later caused a brief scare but no serious injuries.
An estimated 2.000 people died in December's methy l isocyanate leak at Union Carbide’s plant at Bhopal, India During a February visit to West Virginia, company Chairman Warren Anderson said a similar incident could never happen here, w here MIC also is produced.
Following last week’s leaks, many residents aren’t so sure.
"They're getting a little bit careless.” said Hilda Tyree, 76, of Institute, I know better than to sleep with the w indow open.”
I ve lived in Charleston near the South Charleston plant and I ve lived knowing that Carbide could be detrimental to my health — but Bhopal made us more aware,” said Freda Burkett, who lives about 75 yards from the Institute plant's eastern border.
In addition to providing jobs, chemicals used at Union Carbide s Institute and South Charleston plants atu. intermediates later turned into such household and farm goods
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