U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman has warned that high oil prices will wreck economies especially in the developing world. In remarks before the annual conference of the Middle East Institute, Secretary Bodman said worldwide demand for energy is expected to increase over 70 per cent over the next quarter-century, with devastating consequences.

“It is not an understatement to say that high oil prices can literally wreck economies. They can restrict development in a way that stifles business growth and, more notably, inhibits improvements in the health and well-being of so many around the world.”

The secretary of energy is urging oil-producing countries not to cut production in an attempt to boost prices. “In the very short term, right now, we certainly must stop doing the things that we know will not help. For example, we know that purposeful market distortions, such as rationing supply, cutting production, or creating price floors or ceilings, do not work. I can’t stress this enough, the global oil market must be allowed to function in a predictable and a transparent way.”

The energy secretary says governments around the world must fund more research into alternate energy sources, such as ethanol, solar and wind.

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