Egypt and the Gas Pump

By Samuelson, Robert J. | Newsweek, February 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

Egypt and the Gas Pump


Samuelson, Robert J., Newsweek


Byline: Robert J. Samuelson

Do revolutions mean higher oil prices?

Never underestimate Americans' capacity for denial. The upheaval in Egypt reminds us of lessons that, despite decades of warnings, we have consistently sidestepped: the United States and the rest of the world will depend on oil for the indefinite future, global oil markets remain hostage to political crises that cannot be predicted or controlled, and we have not taken the prudent steps that would reduce--though not eliminate--our vulnerability to catastrophic oil interruptions.

Just what Egypt's crisis will do to oil markets is, as yet, unclear. Driven by cold weather and strong demand from developing countries, oil prices were already increasing before Egyptians took to the streets. After averaging about $2.80 a gallon for most of last year, U.S. gasoline prices pierced the $3 barrier in December. Prices rose further on the turmoil, but the gains could be short-lived. Egypt produces only about 700,000 barrels a day. That's not much compared with global demand of nearly 90 million barrels daily (mbd). If all of Egypt's production halted, it could be replaced because the world now has about 4 mbd of surplus capacity elsewhere.

A greater risk involves oil shipments. The Suez Canal and the Sumed (for Suez-Mediterranean) pipeline together now move about 3 mbd between Asia and Europe. If these supplies were blocked, prices would almost certainly rise. But, again, accommodations would be made. Tankers would be rerouted; shipments via other pipelines would increase.

The real flash point would occur if a cascade of political turmoil cut production from major suppliers: Saudi Arabia (present output: 8.5 mbd), Kuwait (2.3 mbd), Iran (3.7 mbd), Iraq (2.4 mbd), or Algeria (1.3 mbd). This danger will remain no matter how the present crisis ends.

What can we do? Well, two things: decrease oil consumption, preferably by a stiffer gasoline tax, and in-crease production, preferably by less hostile regulation. The Obama administration isn't doing either. Instead, it's touting a goal of 1 million plug-in electric hybrids by 2015. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Egypt and the Gas Pump
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.