Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Price of Oil Sets New Record High

With the summer driving season quickly approaching, oil prices hit a record high of $72 a barrel this week. The only time in history the price of oil hit comparable highs was when it hit $80 a barrel following the gas crisis and Iranian revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s. To make matters worse, the Energy Department said gasoline supplies fell by 5.4 million barrels last week, far exceeding their predictions of a 2.5 million barrel shortage.

If our leaders do not do something soon to prevent price gouging and diversify our fuel supply, our country is going to face another economic crisis. Many of our rural communities are already struggling to get to and from work and our farmers have seen their input costs shoot through the roof.

Fortunately, Arkansas is doing its part to help increase our ground transportation fuel supply. Eastman in Batesville opened the state's first biodiesel production facility last year, converting soybeans into a fuel source for automobiles. On Friday, Patriot Biofuels will also open its doors in Stuttgart to become the first biodiesel plant in Arkansas County.