Oil: Critical and Political

Unless OPEC relents, expect a $2-a-gal. summer

If only Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan could talk oil prices down the way he does stock prices. A lot of folks are getting edgy about the possibility that sky-high oil prices could soon head into the stratosphere.

"It's obvious the Federal Government was not prepared," said a chagrined Energy Secretary Bill Richardson last week at a hastily arranged emergency "Energy Summit" in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall. "We were caught napping." Richardson, like most oil experts, didn't think the 11-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could close ranks enough to limit supplies. Yet since 1998 OPEC has taken 4.3 million...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!