Gov. Rick Perry said today that the price of a barrel of oil could jump as high as $300 if conditions in countries in the Middle East continue to deteriorate.
Perry is in Washington, D.C. speaking at events including a National Governors Association meeting. At a briefing that included some bloggers, Perry was asked about the price of oil hitting $100 a barrel this week, according to Shopfloor, a blog run by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Perry took the opportunity to criticize the Obama administration for blocking drilling in the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill. He then spoke about where the price of oil might be headed:
You said hundred-plus-dollar-a-barrel oil. Yes. That’s today. It certainly could go to $200 or even $300 a barrel if the situations in the Middle East – which are Libya, into Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen all of those countries – if we’re to see continued deterioration of peaceful conducting of business in the drilling and transportation of oil...I don’t think it’s out of the reach of possibility to see oil even twice or three times what it is today –- devastating to the world economy.
Forecasts of oil someday reaching $200 a barrel have come before but predictions of $300 are more rare. Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, said whether the price of oil spikes in the near future will depend on whether Saudi Arabia remains stable.
"Oil prediction crsytal balls are hazy," Bullock said. "When you throw in revolutions, they become more hazy."
Bullock said $200 a barrel for oil is "possible but not likely." Oil reaching $300 a barrel is not realistic, he said.
"I don't necessarily see that within the realm of possibility because at some point you've got a demand effect," Bullock said. "People stop driving. The economy slows down and the price goes down."
Also in the interview, Perry talked up other energy sources including wind and nuclear but repeated his disdain for corn-based ethanol.
"I am an all-of-the-above energy advocate with the notable exceptions of corn-based ethanol, one of the great political scams, economic scams, of the 20th century," Perry said, according to audio posted on Shopfloor.org.