Oil Prices: No Solution in Sightby Tim Manni
Oil prices peaked at $119 a barrel today after tensions in Nigeria and Iran put a continued strain on the already volatile commodity. A strike by Nigerian Exxon Mobil workers continued for a second day today as a Nigerian rebel group claimed responsibility for yet another pipeline bombing. A U.S. cargo ship fired flares and warning shots at two Iranian ships today when the vessels did not respond to warnings that they were getting too close.
In an effort to solve the nation’s dependence on oil, U.S. ethanol production has come under fire due to global and environmental concerns. The global demand for corn has raised its price to three times what it went for two years ago. Critics complain corn should be grown to feed people, not to produce the inefficient and expensive ethanol. The average ethanol plant uses 400,000 gallons of water per day, and when the product is completed, the ethanol must be shipped to market in large fuel-consuming trucks, instead of via less-costly pipelines.