It's Still Too Early To Panic At The Pump

Oil may have reached $30 a barrel, but few in the industry think it will stay that high for long

Oil prices are on the front burner in the U.S. for the first time in a decade. In the Northeast, domestic heating-oil prices rose 40% in a month. Gasoline prices are the highest since the Persian Gulf War, and analysts say they'll be even higher by the summer driving season if world production doesn't rise soon. With the industry benchmark--light sweet crude--exceeding $30 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the first time since 1991, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson is embarking on visits to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Mexico in hopes of persuading them to put more of their oil on the market.

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