Oil prices haven’t been affected too much by the spill, relatively speaking, and in some parts of the country have actually gone down. It’s a complicated reasoning, but basically the law of supply and demand is still what affects the value of any commodity. Even though the leak in the gulf is affecting the supply, it’s not enough to immediately worry traders on the market, since it hasn’t stopped any other wells in the world from producing oil (coupled with the fact that the U.S. dollar is still weak on the European markets.) But people are worried, and the gulf spill will have major effects on oil companies, and therefore oil prices. Tougher regulation and permitting processes for new and/or existing wells will drive production costs up. Oil companies will also have to spend a great deal of money on new safety measures, sky-rocketing insurance costs, and drilling in deeper, more dangerous areas (since all the “easy-to-get” oil is basically gone.)
Much like the environmental effects of the oil spill, the effect on “business as usual” will have long-lasting consequences. It’s up to us to not forget about the true costs of this oil spill, and to make the switch to cleaner energy.
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