Hurricane Dolly hits land, skirts oil and gas facilities
Hurricane Dolly hit land in Texas Wednesday as a Category 2 storm. No deaths have been reported and the storm had a minimal impact on oil and gas operations; it largely missed offshore oil and gas facilities, but did cut production 10 to 20 percent at some refineries and by 5 to 8 percent overall. Oil futures hardly budged, and a collective sigh of relief went up from those who had feared Dolly would have a stronger impact on the shaky oil market. (The hurricane did have an impact on Sen. John McCain, who cited Dolly’s presence in the Gulf as the reason for canceling a planned trip to New Orleans, during which he had planned to helicopter to an oil rig and talk up offshore drilling.) With hurricanes Bertha, Cristobal, and Dolly, July 2008 has already been the third-most active hurricane-season month on record, and meteorologists are expecting a continuing busy summer for storms. More frequent hurricanes are, of course, also in line with what scientists expect to see as the climate continues to change.