Tension in Iran May Mean Higher Gas Prices for You

gas pricesIran is country run by dictators, with an economy run by oil exports. It’s the fourth largest oil producer in the world, and 80 percent of its public revenue comes from exporting it. It is the Middle East, after all, which is where a large quantity of the world’s oil comes from.

The United States doesn’t buy oil directly from Iran, but that country’s direct involvement in the oil industry, coupled with its strategic geographic location could mean higher gas prices at the pump. Iran takes up the entire north side of the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow sea passageway that connects the Persian Gulf to the open ocean, where it is shipped to refineries to be turned into the stuff we’re paying almost $4 a gallon for so we can get our kids to ballet class, piano lessons, and softball practice on time. Almost a fifth of all oil shipments on the planet go through the Strait of Hormuz, so this little stretch of water is definitely a big deal.

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Meanwhile, Iran has been developing its nuclear program. They say it’s just for energy purposes, but critics are skeptical. It’s kind of like believing a pyromaniac when they insist upon having matches in case there’s a power outage and they need to light some candles.

Earlier this month, congress passed a bill that would impose sanctions on our allies on doing business with the Iranian Central Bank. Since many of our allies do buy oil from Iran, they must do business with the bank. This bill, which President Obama has said he will not veto, could cause other countries that want to maintain good faith with the United States to get their oil elsewhere.

The goal is to give Iran as little money as possible in order to impede the development of their nuclear program. Obviously, Iran isn’t too pleased about this prospect, so it did what any dictator-led country would do: Threatened to cut off the supply of a huge portion of the world’s oil by blocking the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States immediately responded that we would take care of things should Iran attempt any funny business, and I’m sure we would, because we’re total baddies like that. Don’t mess with the U.S.! But of course that would take money; money that we really can’t afford to spend right now.

There’s a solution to all of this that would up the supply of oil, drive down the price of gas, fuel the economy, take away power from Iran, and oh yeah, create about a million jobs right here in America: Drill, baby, drill.

The United States has more than three times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming alone. There’s tons more off the coasts of Florida, California, and Alaska; not to mention the stuff buried in the frozen tundra known as ANWR. We are ridiculously resource rich – there is no reason at all to be forking over so much money to other countries when families here are struggling to make ends meet. 

President Obama, please reconsider your position on making America energy independent. Our national security and economic prosperity depend on it.

 

Image via A Siegel/Flickr

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