With the recent conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, oil prices have risen in the world. Because the region is home to a large portion of the world’s oil, the prices of gas are being affected by the political conflict.
With the escalating tensions in Libya, a major exporter of oil, the price of oil rose rapidly. As a result gas prices in the United States are as high as four dollars in some areas.
It seems as if gas prices rose out of nowhere.
At a time when the economy is just beginning to show real signs of recovery, the last thing Americans need is elevated gas prices to take out of their wallets the money that they just began to make back.
In response, President Barack Obama has spoken with his administration about the possibility of using oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
William Daley, the White House Chief of Staff, said that tapping the reserve is “something that has only been done on rare occasions,” and that the administration is seriously looking into it.
If Obama decides to tap into the reserve, gas prices would quickly fall in the United States.
Steven Chu, the Energy Secretary, said that the government does not want to react too quickly. They want to make sure the measures are absolutely necessary. He said, “We don’t want to be totally reactive so that when the price goes up, everybody panics, and when it goes back down, everybody goes back to sleep.”
Chu went on to say that the administration first wants to see if any other nation is going to increase their output of oil, thus dropping the prices back down as the supply is higher.
However, Democrats want the reserves to be tapped. The best way to control the price of oil is when you also own the oil.
The oil crisis taking shape is truly a call for bigger reform. It makes it clear once again that the United States can no longer be dependent on foreign oil.
Obama has already taken wise steps towards improving the efficiency of electric cars and passing laws making it so that gas vehicles have to be of a certain mileage per hour in order to be on the market in the United States.
Whether or not the reserve is tapped, it is time to take action against the rising cost of oil in the world.