BP Shuts Down Major Pipeline, Crude Oil Tops $76 Barrel

A severely corroded pipeline has forced BP to “shut shipments from the nation’s biggest oilfield, removing about 8 percent of daily U.S. crude production.” The annoucement pushed prices for U.S. crude oil over $76 a barrel, a near record. With two wars raging in the Middle East, how long until oil hits $100 a barrel?

Soaring oil prices create severe political problem for President Bush in an election year. Moments ago, Fox News reported that the Bush administration has indicated it “will supply emergency oil [from the Strategic Petroleum Oil Reserve] to refiners if they request it.”

Tommorow marks the one year anniversary of the Energy Policy Act, legislation that gave away billions to big oil but made little investment in alternative fuels. President Bush promised that bill would “take pressure off price for American consumers.”