WASHINGTON -- The frozen water pipe this morning was a rude awakening. I managed to thaw the pipe without bursting it, thus saving the cost of a plumber. However, a few hours later, I opened our bill for home heating oil. At $2.70 per gallon, it was a blunt reminder that, with petroleum at $100 a barrel, the future cost of keeping fuel in our furnace -- and gasoline in our cars -- will make the plumber's price pale in comparison.
According to the "experts," those of us who drive to work will be paying $4 per gallon for motor fuel soon, and we all will be paying more for electricity, consumer products, air travel and to heat our homes. Happy New Year.
Depending on which "experts" you believe, these ever-higher prices for energy are because:
A. Violence in Nigeria, Africa's No. 1 oil-producing nation, threatens exploration and deliveries.
B. Mexican oil depots and on-load ports are threatened by bad weather.
C. The government in Tehran has threatened to cut off oil production if sanctions are imposed over Iran's nuclear weapons program.
D. Turkey's attacks on Kurdish militants threaten deliveries of Iraqi oil.
E. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries says demand for crude oil threatens to outstrip OPEC production by 2024.
Note that "threat" appears in each of the explanations for this week's price spike. Note, as well, that all these "threats" -- and the century mark for the price we pay for crude oil -- come just two weeks after President Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In its Dec. 19 news release, the White House said the new law will "help reduce U.S. dependence on oil." The new law sets higher fuel economy standards for automobiles, mandates the production of 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022 and requires higher energy efficiency in everything from household appliances to light bulbs.
This new law doesn't mean we will be paying less for fuel to propel motor vehicles, heat our homes or to light our streets and buildings. No one in his right mind argues that synthetic or renewable biofuels will be less expensive than those that are petroleum-based. While it may make farmers in the Midwest happy to know that soon we will burn more corn in our cars than we eat, it doesn't do anything to reduce the global demand for oil -- or the flow of petrodollars to finance the jihad being waged against the West.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.