Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gas prices

The price of light sweet crude oil is now over $113 a barrel.

This has been an issue in the presidential campaign, but only to the extent that the candidates have paid lip service to the idea of "energy independence" and "reducing our dependence on foreign oil" and casting blame for high gasoline prices. It's not clear what those phrases mean -- or, more importantly, how any of the candidates, once president, would get an "energy independence" agenda through Congress.

What is clear is that there seems to be no end in sight to the astronomical increase in the price of oil, and it's beginning to affect everything else in the market, from food costs to airline tickets.

And it could get much, much worse:

If peak oil theorists are correct, crude oil at $100 per barrel would seem ridiculously cheap. Rapidly rising oil demand from the developing world coupled with shrinking supplies would likely produce an oil spike of epic proportions.
Meanwhile, OPEC continues to refuse to increase production:
"Current OPEC production at more than 32 million barrels per day will be sufficient to both meet demand growth and contribute to further stockbuilds," the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report.
There are plenty of things the United States can be doing to deal with this crisis. Conservation is one important side of the equation, but new drilling is the other.

It's time to put our foot down with this madness before it destroys our economy.