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"the energy shock has become a matter of

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HowardHughs Member Level  Tuesday, 05/22/07 05:47:28 PM
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"the energy shock has become a matter of life and death."
Wall Street Journal 18 May:

The impact of today's energy crunch on the poor is plain in rich nations such as America: Expensive gasoline and soaring heating bills make a hard life harder. In impoverished countries such as Guinea, where per capita income is just $370 a year and surging gasoline prices have helped spark bloody riots, the energy shock has become a matter of life and death.

Global demand for oil has soared in recent years, pushing international prices to record levels. Despite a recent decline, a barrel of crude still costs about double what it did three years ago. The most powerful energy-importing nations have responded by proclaiming energy security a top policy goal. President Bush has vowed to wean America off its "addiction" to oil. The U.S. is mobilizing more ships and soldiers to protect supply lines, while Beijing is scrambling to buy oil fields from Asia to Africa.

While robust economies like America and China are withstanding the shock, the poorest countries aren't. Increasingly they can't afford to slake their citizens' thirst for petroleum -- breeding another form of energy insecurity. The pressure threatens to undermine economies and sow domestic strife, further unsettling shaky regions and presenting fresh worries for policy makers in the West. In addition to Guinea, Nepal, Yemen, Iraq and Indonesia all have been rocked by fuel protests in the past two years.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2570#more


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