Thursday, October 18, 2007

The other energy story

The recent jump in oil prices into record territory has hogged the energy headlines. At the same time, many are wondering why sky high oil hasn't caused more economic damage. I believe part of the answer has to do with natural gas prices, which have held fairly steady for the past three years (as have coal prices). According to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, oil represents 40% of U.S. primary energy consumption, with gas at 24%. While I'm not certain, I would guess that natural gas may actually have a higher indirect inflationary impact than oil prices.