Global Agenda: Don't Worry About Oil

Energy efficiency--and a global slump--help hold down energy prices

Americans have learned through bitter experience to associate trouble in the Middle East and the Muslim world with pain at the gas pump--from the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and oil embargo to the 1979 oil shock after the Iranian revolution and the price jump that followed Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

This time it's different.

Following a brief spike in the oil markets after Sept. 11, the benchmark price of Brent crude has slipped from around $29 per bbl. to between $21 and $23. Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a leading source of industry analysis, is forecasting a fourth-quarter average price of $23.75....

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