Oil (crude oil futures for February deliver) hit $100 a barrel just after noon today, before closing at $99.62, up $3.64 today.
Three years ago when I was still totally not myself, I went through about a four-week phase when I first heard about peak-oil, of really freaking out about, well, basically that The End Of The World is coming. I remember specifically predicting -- and again, this wasn't really me; I wasn't home in any real sense of the word -- that we'd be at $100 oil by the end of 2006.
Eh... One year and two days off. Not bad, not bad.
And the world didn't end. So we've got that going for us.
The New York TimesTwo-thirds of the world's proven oil reserves live in the middle east.
Oil prices, which had fallen to a low of $50 a barrel at the beginning of 2007, have quadrupled since 2003.
Gasoline has lagged the rise in the price of oil. It stands at a nationwide average of $3.05 a gallon for regular grade, according to AAA, the automobile club. That is below the all-time peak in May of $3.23 a gallon, but it is 73 cents higher than at this time a year ago. Some analysts worry that gasoline could hit $4 a gallon by next spring if oil prices remain at high levels.
Oil is now within reach of its historic inflation-adjusted high reached in April 1980 in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution when oil prices jumped to the equivalent of $102.81 a barrel in today’s money.
Unlike the oil shocks of the 1970s and 1980s, which were caused by sudden interruptions in oil supplies from the Middle East, the latest surge is fundamentally different. Prices have risen steadily over several years because of a rise in demand for oil and gasoline in both developed and developing countries.
The war(s) goes on.
No real commitment to alternative fuels exists on a national scale, regardless of what may be happening at individual and regional power companies (some of whom are fiercely committed.) As a nation and a world, our need for oil continues to rise, while the pool of oil continues to shrink. People continue to die and starve and wars are fought over oil (e.g.: Iraq, Africa (throw a dart damn near anywhere)).
And if you're asking yourself why, just remember this...
The Vice President of the United States is still Richard Cheney.