Middle East unrest may lead to higher gas prices
On the heels of the unrest in the Middle East, crude is heading for the biggest weekly increase in two years. The crisis is also being used by some politicians and media outlets to exploit their message of “Drill Baby Drill.” Whatever the solution to American dependence on foreign oil, the short term economic ramifications for many Americans still suffering from the economic crisis appear dire if food prices skyrocket as well.Foreign Policy contributing editor Steve LeVine explained, “The United States itself is in fact dependent on Libyan oil…We have a world oil market, so when one place goes down, if one place is in trouble, which is seems like Libya is today, then it affects the oil price around the world.” The economic realities in the US do not help matters either, and many folks fear the oil crisis could cause a relapse in the already weak economic recovery. Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck raised fears, exclaiming that Ghadafi is threatening to burn up the oil fields. Experts are predicting a worst case scenario of $220 a barrel if that happens. Some experts, however, said those exploiting this crisis are doing it to push their own agendas.Graham Wisner of Patton Boggs told RT, “I don’t believe that this particular interruption of oil supplies will last very long, so if you’re trying to tie drilling offshore with what’s happening in Libya, I think that’s a bit of a stretch.” The unrest is not just limited to the Middle East. Labor protests have taken over America’s Midwest as well, and if the price of oil continues to rise the people who are already suffering will be hit the hardest. “The people who are in the worst economic shape are the first ones to get hit by gas prices and this will cause a lot of discomfort to a lot of people who don’t need this bad news.” The bad news was echoed by Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who warned the unrest in Libya has already driven crude prices beyond fair market levels, which could endanger the global economy.