May 6th, 2008
10:42 AM ET

Rising Gas Prices: A perfect storm

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/06/risingpowersshrinkingplanetbook292.320.jpg caption="Michael Klare is the author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy" width=292 height=320]

Michael Klare
Professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College

It is natural to seek the culprits for today’s high oil prices so they can be roundly punished – and maybe, in the process, we can see some relief at the gas pump.

The big oil companies are obvious candidates, given the colossal profits they’ve been reporting over the past few days. On Thursday, Exxon Mobil posted first-quarter earnings of $10.9 billion, its highest ever except for the fourth quarter of 2007, when it raked in $11.7 billion. But while the oil giants are certainly amassing vast fortunes at our expense, the rise in gasoline prices is the product of many factors – some building for many years – not the greed of oil companies alone.

Two underlying conditions are at the root of our current dilemma: FULL POST

Filed under: Michael Klare • Oil