of energy is controlled by the economics of supply and demand.
Usually as the demand goes up or the supply goes down, the
price goes up. And even if you can afford to pay the higher
price, that extra money spent on energy means that you don't
have that money to spend on something else.
of the countries that have the largest oil supplies or reserves
have formed into a group called OPEC, the Organization of
Oil Exporting Countries. OPEC meets regularly and controls
the amount of oil that they will export or sell to other countries.
In this way, they can influence or set the price they get
for the oil that they sell. OPEC shut off the flow of oil
significantly in the 1970s, which led to the so called "energy
crisis" or "oil crisis." During this period,
gasoline prices soared and there were long lines at the gasoline
pumps. At one point gasoline was being rationed, where some
people could only buy on odd numbered days and the rest on
even numbered days.
amount of the world oil reserves reside in Arab countries
in the Middle East. Political situations could arise in the
future where they might refuse to sell their oil to us at
any price, leading to another "energy crisis." Cutting
off the oil would not only affect our ability to drive our
cars, but would have a significant effect on our entire economy,
throwing the country into a recession or even a depression.