Betting on the oil markets

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The last time that we saw gas prices rising this quickly was in the 1970s, when Americans responded by cutting their gas use by 30 percent. Lisa Margonelli, author of "Oil on the Brain: Adventures from Pump to Pipeline," says the high price of oil is, in part, driven by one group of people that surprised us: oil speculators.

Takeaway facts:

  • Oil prices are rising, following unstable supply, firm global demand and concerns about the weakening U.S. dollar.
  • Sixty percent of America's oil is imported.
  • Every 24 hours, the world uses 86 million barrels of crude oil.
  • Each $1 increase in a barrel of oil raises annual costs by $60 million at United Airlines, according to Bloomberg.
  • This week, Royal Dutch Shell said it may have to cut deliveries after a pipeline attack in Nigeria.
  • Saudi Arabia plans to spend more than $90 billion over five years to help expand its oil industry.

Guests:

  • Lisa Margonelli, author of "Oil on the Brain: Adventures from Pump to Pipeline," writes about the global culture and economy of energy.
  • Jeff Deck, of the Typo Eradication Advancement League, is traveling across country correcting the nation's grammar.

Contributors:

Sitara Nieves

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