The price of oil topped $85 a barrel briefly in New York yesterday, before settling above $84 for the day, according to various reports.
While some analysts and media pointed to strong demand, despite the U.S. credit and housing crises and some fears that winter supplies would fail to meet that demand. But the common thread running through the analyses was a fear of an impending Turkish incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan that would disrupt supplies from a major oil-producing region that is part of OPEC.
Peak Oil theorists will again question the token supply increase OPEC agreed to in September. Some questioned then whether the world's top oil producer, Saudi Arabia, was hiding production troubles that could indicate it has reached a peak of production, just as have most nations outside of the Middle East. Peace advocates and war critics will question the purpose of the Iraq war. Environmentalists will point to the dangerous liability in our continued reliance on finite and polluting fossil fuels.
Whatever the underlying reason(s) for the price run up, it shows how volatile the market can be for oil, how dependent our economy and society is on cheap oil, and how urgent is the need to develop viable alternatives.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.