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Editorial: Gas prices

Monday, March 7, 2011

Few topics get folks as fired up as high gas prices. And with the current unrest in the Middle East, among other factors, driving oil to record highs, many are asking for answers.

According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices in Missouri have increased about $0.36 over the past month and about $0.82 over the past year.

With much of the country's oil coming from imports, U.S. energy costs are relatively volatile. Proof of this is the turmoil in Libya. While Libya only produces about 2 percent of the world's oil supplies, the unrest has had a significant effect on gas prices. It's this dependence on foreign sources of oil that have many people saying we need more domestic drilling as well as more refineries.

This week the federal government approved its first new domestic drilling permit since the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was lifted last October. Although that's a start, it's far from where the country needs to be with regard to oil production.

While we certainly need to move toward alternative sources of energy, the fact remains that oil is a major component of our economy. Banking on foreign sources of this commodity will only exacerbate the pain at the pump.

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