by Larry Smith
There's good news and bad news on the energy front these days. The bad news? Prices are up. The good news? Prices are up. Analysts are forecasting $200-a-barrel oil, which could put a gallon of gas close to $10 for Bahamians.
Goldman Sachs, the New York investment bank, says a barrel of oil will "spike” at $200 next year, with prices remaining above $100 for the medium term. The underlying assumption is that, unlike the oil shocks of the 1970’s, today's prices are demand driven by the huge emerging economies of China and India, with supplies threatened by geopolitical instability in producing countries.
Skeptics say that Goldman Sachs is part of a speculative frenzy that is driving prices up, but the Paris-based International Energy Agency, which advises 27 rich countries on energy policy, has a more fundamentalist view. Here is what the IEA's chief economist had to say this month:
"I expect that for the next years to come, we will have a high price trajectory. There may be zigzags, but I would be very surprised if prices go down to the levels we saw three or four years ago, in the long term."
So what's to like about high oil prices? Well, here are six of the best reasons.