$200 Oil on the Horizon?

Via Eric Bolling of Fox News:

The Suez Canal and the Suez Canal pipeline transport about 4.5 million barrels of oil per day between the two, so when oil investors/traders see protesters on tanks in the Suez, it creates panic because they’re concerned about the delicate balance between supply and demand on the world’s oil.

Any disruption in oil supply spikes prices, and these events are certainly cause for disruption.

Also very important is the geographic location — just across the canal is Saudi Arabia — the world’s largest producer of oil. If this unrest spills over into Saudi Arabia, prices could double to $200/barrel!

The effect on the U.S. economy would be disastrous  and hamper the economic recovery.

I am not as pessimistic as Bolling (yet), but the situation in the Middle East is explosive, and the potential is certainly there for economic disaster. If the Mubarak regime is overthrown and replaced by a fundamentalist group like the Muslim Brotherhood, anything is possible up to and including a shutdown of the Suez Canal. If, as Bolling suggests, this unrest spreads into Saudi Arabia, all bets are off. There are already reports that the unrest in Egypt is spreading to Jordan and beyond. Some worry that the instability could spread further to other OPEC countries such as Libya and Algeria.  And, if we throw a newly nuclear-armed Iran into the mix, Bolling’s prediction of $200 oil may be on the low side.

None of this is good news for the fledgling economic recovery struggling to gain steam in the U.S. If oil prices rise to even $125 and stay there, a double dip recession becomes more likely than not, and anything north of $150 virtually guarantees it.  Meanwhile, our clueless president promotes monetary and fiscal policies designed to further weaken the dollar, and keeps his suicidal drilling ban in place while dreamily musing about solar shingles and windmills.   This is insane.  Fantasy is no substitute for an actual energy policy, yet that is all this administration offers.

What, precisely, is it going to take for the Obama Administration to wake up from their ideology-induced stupor and realize that we need to drill here and drill now?  We need to be developing all of our domestic energy supplies (e.g. natural gas, oil, nuclear, coal, etc. ) with all deliberate haste.  Is Team Obama so afraid to admit that Governor Palin is right about this (and has been right all along) that they’re willing to risk economic disaster?  It certainly appears that way.  And make no mistake, if we see sustained oil prices of $200 or higher, the recession from which we just emerged will seem like a walk in the park.

The only reason for optimism is that the 2012 election is only 21 months away.  If, as appears increasingly likely, the Obama Administration does nothing in four years to develop a realistic energy policy, the voters will know who’s to blame.  Indeed the only energy policy coming from this administration that I can discern is to do everything possible to prevent the development of those domestic energy resources that, you know, actually work.  Presumably this is the approach Obama believes will help us “Win The Future”.  In 2012 voters will have the opportunity to take a different approach.

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