chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, warned April 27 of a “dramatic” rise
of oil and gas futures that could represent “an economic event that can
significantly affect the long-term path of the U.S. economy,” Reuters
news service reported.
Greenspan said the rise in six-year
oil and gas futures was “almost
surely going to affect the growth of oil and gas consumption in the United
States and the nature of the capital stock investments currently under contemplation.”
On April 27, benchmark Brent crude futures hit their highest level since the
Iraq War, when they reached $34.33 a barrel. As the price of crude rises, so
does the price of diesel fuel.
Addressing the Center for Strategic
and International Studies in Washington, DC, Greenspan said the strength
of crude oil prices reflected “fears
of long-term supply disruptions in the Middle East that have resulted in an
increase in risk premiums.”
The United States, he
added, should increase its capacity to import liquefied natural gas to reduce
volatility. Imports of liquefied natural gas accounted
for 2 percent of U.S. gas supply in 2003.