by Larry Smith
Perhaps coincidentally, the government panel looking into fuel supplies will be reporting soon – just as rising prices are about to bite Bahamian consumers in the butt.
Oil prices surged past $75 a barrel last week, and analysts are forecasting $100-plus prices before the end of the year – up from just $20-30 per barrel a couple of years ago.
Experts say high oil prices are here to stay, due to soaring demand from fast-growing economies like China and India in the face of production limits. Our political leaders haven’t said so yet, but the clear message is that we will all have to find ways to adjust. The only question is whether the adjustment will be short and painful, or longer and easier.
It’s hard to say whether the Fuel Usage Committee’s report will be of any real help in this process. Odds are that it will simply repeat the tired old refrain of more government controls and an expanded public sector – after all, that’s what makes politicians happy. And even if some useful suggestions are made, we will still have to wait for our savvy politicians to act – which is a lot like getting your phone repaired by BTC.