The head of Iran's state oil company said Sunday that the price of crude will reach $120 to $150 per barrel, as officials in Tehran prepare to discuss a ban on crude sales to European Union countries in retaliation for an EU embargo . . . [Iran] says the embargo will hurt the West more than Iran, in part by causing a spike in prices" ("Iran Oil Official Says Crude Could Reach $120 to $150 Per Barrel, Downplays EU Embargo," The Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2012).
Currently, the lowest price of gas in the United States is around $3.00 per gallon, far lower than in most of the rest of the world. Could $4.00 a gallon—or even higher—become the new U.S. norm?
Nations can and do use oil as a weapon. If oil sold for $150 a barrel, the price of gas would jump to about $4.30 per gallon. How many can afford to fill their tanks at that price? And how would this affect the price of everything else—including essential foods and basic needs—that must be transported by vehicles also burning higher-priced fuel?
Much of the world is already skirting the edge of the abyss financially. More economic disruption could lead to increasing international conflicts and the rise of dictatorships not unlike what preceded World War II.