Silver lining to oil crisis |

Silver lining to oil crisis

How high can gas prices go? Looks like we’ll see, thanks to a hurricane in a key refinery area, our failure to build new refineries, the Chinese, Pat Robertson’s good friend Mr. Chavez and the Middle Eastern robber princes.Yes, it’s terrible. Just terrible. What’s amazing, though, is how our economy has somehow trucked right along despite the price of fuel doubling in what, a year? Business in the Vail Valley this past summer was great overall, perhaps thanks to the high cost of filling up. Maybe more folks along the Front Range chose Vail over Vegas. But we couldn’t help but notice no shortage of the usual plates from Texas and California.Still, America’s Achilles’ heel in New Orleans reveals our weaknesses when it comes to refineries. How high will it go in the wake of Katrina?When will we learn the lesson about the need to build new refineries and perhaps to settle on one standard for refinement instead of dozens? We’re killing ourselves here as much as suffering at the hands of the Chinese boomtimes and predictable thirst for oil.Here’s a silver lining: The higher the price of oil rises, the closer America is to tapping the vast oil shale reservoir just to the west of Eagle County. There’s multiple times more oil in there than the whole Middle East. It just costs so much now. Still, if we go in and figure out how to eventually lower the costs of extraction, we’ll be that much closer to oil independence. That’s a good thing. Vail, Colorado

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