University of California Energy Institute


Cost, Conflict and Climate:
U.S. Challenges in the World Oil Market

Severin Borenstein

Dramatic increases in the price of crude oil since mid-2007 have ratcheted up attention on energy policy, but cost is only one of the three oil challenges that confront the U.S. In this short essay, I discuss the recent increases in oil prices and attempts to clarify how the challenge from high oil costs interacts with, but is distinct from, the geopolitical and climate change challenges that oil use also creates. Central to addressing these challenges successfully is recognizing that policy responses need to be evaluated in the context of the worldwide oil market.