Amid a world oil glut and declining prices, the United States is moving for the first time to fill its emergency petroleum reserve to its full 700 million-barrel capacity over the next few years. President Bush on Tuesday directed that the reserve be filled “in a deliberate and cost-effective manner,” beginning as soon as possible, to protect against oil supply disruptions. The shipments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a series of Gulf Coast salt domes in Louisiana and Texas, are expected to begin next. Administration officials stressed there was no imminent threat of an oil supply interruption, saying they believed it prudent to refill reserves while prices were falling.
Popular Science magazine named the Boeing Co.’s Sonic Cruiser and two other technology developments to its “Best of What’s New” list for 2001. The list was announced Tuesday. Boeing’s work on the X-45A unmanned combat air vehicle received the Grand Prize in the magazine’s aviation and space category, making it the year’s top new idea in the category. The Sonic Cruiser and the Boeing-built Destiny laboratory for the international space station also made the list. “We appreciate Popular Science for recognizing the importance of these programs to the future of mankind,” said Dave Swain, Boeing’s chief technology officer.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday proposed requiring airlines to install new rudder control systems on their Boeing 737 aircraft. Problems with the rudder, the flap on the vertical tail of the aircraft, are suspected in two deadly U.S. air crashes. Moving the rudder left or right causes the plane to turn in that direction. Under the proposal, airlines would have five years to install the new system, still being developed by Boeing, and make any additional changes to the airplane to accommodate the new rudder. The FAA is seeking public comments for 60 days before issuing the new directive. The FAA estimates that 2,000 U.S. airplanes would have to be refitted, at a cost of $364 million.
Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Tuesday’s auction to the lowest levels in 43 years. Three-month bills sold at a discount rate of 1.815 percent. Six-month bills were auctioned at a discount rate of 1.820 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors – 1.850 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,954.10 and 1.862 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,908.00. In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the average yield for one-year constant maturity Treasury bills, the most popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, fell to 1.99 percent last week from 2.11 percent the previous week.
Herald news services