Brace for $5 gas, Shell exec warns U.S.

Dec. 28, 2010 at 6:47 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Gasoline rationing and $5 pump prices are predicted by 2012 for consumers if U.S. politicians don't get their act together, a former Shell executive said.

The average price for regular unleaded gasoline for U.S. consumers topped $3 per gallon during the holiday season. John Hofmeister, a former president at Shell Oil, told the Platts news service that energy shortages and record-high gasoline prices were on the horizon because of high demand and ineffective governing.

"The politically driven choices that are being made, which are non-choices, essentially frittering at the edges of renewable energy, stifling production in hydrocarbon energy -- that's a sure path for not enough energy for American consumers," Hofmeister told the news service.

He said 2012 might create "panic time" for U.S. lawmakers who are "suddenly" going to be pressed to rethink U.S. energy strategies.

"When American consumers are short or prices are so high -- $5 a gallon for gasoline, for example, by 2012 -- that's going to set a new tone," he added.

He said Republican control over the House of Representatives in 2011 could create political stalemates that lock the U.S. energy market closely to hydrocarbons rather than moving toward a 21st-century green future.

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