Just as the economy is starting to move again, rising gas prices threaten to put on the brakes, AWB President Don Brunell writes in his weekly column.
AAA is reporting gasoline prices are at the highest point ever for this time of year and experts are predicting $4.25 per gallon by late April.
The rising gas prices lead to higher costs for virtually everything we buy because just about everything that's produced uses refined petroleum somewhere along its journey to market.
The spike is due to a host of factors, including the seasonal shut down of refineries so they can switch from their winter fuel blends to the more costly summer blends mandated by EPA.
In addition, several refineries have closed, the recent fire at BP's Cherry Point refinery further reduces supply, and Iran has cut off oil supplies to England and France.
There is no quick fix to any of these problems, but there are things that America can do to reduce the chance that this happens again.
Perhaps the most important thing, Brunell writes, is for political leaders from President Obama on down to understand the link between a stable energy supply and a strong economy.