The Big Truth About Big Oil

Oil, once perceived to be the boundless lifeblood of the planet, powering everything from plastic to Hummers, has reached an all-time high of nearly $140 a barrel (as of press time). With gas prices topping $4 a gallon, Americans’ hunger for the juice that powers our lifestyles has turned into a panic that the well is going dry. With a hotly contested presidential election fast approaching, the fuel crisis has turned political and all eyes are focused on Florida and its juicy 25 electoral votes. Potential lawmakers have descended on the state like so many circling sharks, with the Republicans feeding into the fear that all our gas dollars are going to fund terrorism and the Democrats claiming that drilling off of our shores will result in environmental disaster. For an assignment for The Sand Paper this week, I decided to cut through all the rhetoric and find the facts: What actually sets the price of oil?; Will the lifting of the drilling moratorium lower fuel prices or have any effect at all?; How safe are our shores with today’s drilling technology? By speaking with people on both sides of this controversial issue, I set out to find the truth.