I might not need to ask Spanish truck drivers and French fishermen to know their answer, but there’s a fierce debate surrounding the fuel prices that are affecting everyone’s live. There are protests all over the world. Here are some of the arguments being made.
1. High fuel prices are tough in the short-term but they will force people to change their lifestyles and the level of their fuel consumption. This is essential if the world is to wean itself off oil and if we’re to protect our environment.
2. Free-market capitalism is punishing the ordinary man and woman. The current price surge has nothing to do with there not being enough oil, and everything to do with venture capitalists seeing good money to be made. If governments can’t directly intervene, they should help ease at least the impact this has on the people they serve by lowering fuel tax or paying subsidies.
3. OPEC has plenty more oil and it’s just not releasing it. You can see this as OPEC planning in the long-term and making sure we manage our resources carefully. This is more important for all us than the short-term problems of high prices. Or you can see it as OPEC doing nothing to help people around the world who are feeling the pinch.
4. We shouldn’t try and lower fuel prices, not for the environment, but because the world is capitalist and we should let the market play this out. Prices may well drop.
Where do you stand on this?
Why the high prices? This does a good job of explaining.