Although you might not get this impression from the press or politicians excoriating oil company executives, the United States benefits from energy costs that are relatively low compared to other countries.

Key Energy Statistics
Key Energy Statistics

I recommend to readers the free, 82-page PDF file, published by the International Energy Agency on this subject. This attractive document is packed with graphs and tables that compare production, consumption, and costs for all types of energy, throughout the world.

(See: “Key World Energy Statistics 2005“, International Energy Agency)

This booklet shows that the cost of U.S. household electricity compared as follows with countries in Europe in 2005 (US$ per kWh):

Household Electricity Costs: US$ per kWh
United States

These numbers suggest that an increase in the cost of oil, rather than plunging the U.S. into recession, is more likely to remove political constraints that impede development of resources.

If Europeans, often burdened with costly energy manage to get by, Americans should survive higher gas prices, especially if this leads to better use of the existing coal and nuclear potential.


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