Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe the most important factor in the precipitous rise in oil prices in the past five years is our program of endless war. It’s a karmic reaction certainly and one that might have been easily predicted. Just yesterday President Bush was in Saudi Arabia begging for a production increase. Today I read an article at Common Dreams written by a Philadelphia journalist, Dave Lindorff.
Analysts keep getting trotted out on TV and in print, attributing the dramatic price rise to everything from “peak oil” — the idea that producing countries have reached their peak of productive capacity, and that the only direction for oil supplies looking forward is down, while demand continues to rise — to increasing demand in China and India, to supply bottlenecks, to specific news events, like a pipeline break in Nigeria, or a closed refinery in California.
Politicians, like Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, have called for a two-month moratorium on federal gas taxes, but with taxes running at something on the order of 18 cents a gallon, this is not going to do much to bring prices down-in fact it might do nothing, since retailers would be free to just raise prices to match the tax break, and pocket the profits.–Dave Lindorff