Chinese impact on oil prices?

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It’s well worth thinking about this post from Keith Johnson of the WSJ’s “Environmental Capital” blog:

Chinese demand for oil seems to be recovering rapidly. Bloomberg reports that Chinese crude imports surged 28% in November. For the year, oil imports are up 11% compared with last year—already a high-water mark for China’s oil appetite.

Resurgent demand in China—on the back of a strong manufacturing rebound–is the main reason the International Energy Agency is revising upward its forecast for 2010 global oil demand. The IEA increased its global demand forecasts by 130,000 barrels a day—with almost 100,000 barrels coming just from China, the WSJ reports.

Read the whole post.  And remember that increasingly oil prices won’t be driven by the U.S. demand.   And U.S. supply–even with offshore drilling and drilling in ANWR–would have a very minor impact.   Oil is hovering at around $70/barrel right now.  But the U.S. can’t control energy costs.  However, we certainly can do a much better job improving efficiency and controlling how much energy we need–and protect ourselves from big impacts due to energy prices.  That’s smart.

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