So much for cheap oil

Those of us hoping for lower gas prices (read: pretty much everybody) had our hopes dashed this week as oil hit $90/barrel. And alas, with oil prices also come the gasoline prices.

So does there appear to be any relief in sight? Well, unfortunately oil has an, shall we say, unpredictable economic history. There is much talk about just how random these fluctuations are, though, and more specifically, just how much influence the petroleum industry has over them. OPEC often finds itself chief whipping boy when oil prices are on the rise.

On the up side, the seemingly inexorable rise in prices has created a perfect storm, causing many to call for laying off the black gold. Some consider our reliance on those shady folks in OPEC a huge national security issue. Environmentalists, like award winner extraordinaire Al Gore, increasingly push for reducing our demand for oil, too. And perhaps, just perhaps, as prices continue skyrocketing, more will join those diverse voices calling for change.


One person that doesn't want lower gas prices. Me.


I'll admit to being in the same category myself. The higher gas prices in the UK and Japan seem to have encouraged those societies to design viable transportation alternatives. Plus, gasoline is an excellent example of something with a negative externality, i.e. a societal cost not truly reflected in its market price.

Perhaps we should be trumpeting the ever-increasing price of crude. Maybe we'll finally do something like, oh, I don't know, increase the CAFE standards?