Spoke with someone today who used to own a small oil company. We were talking about the current situation in the Middle East, and the price of oil. He told me about a study that was done back in the late 80's to determine the real cost of oil. The study looked at not only the cost per barrel, but the cost of financial aid and military costs defending that oil in the middle east. With all the cost of foreign aid to middle east countries (including Israel of course) and the cost of keeping a military to protect our interests in that region, the real cost of oil was close to 100 a barrel, and at the time of the study, oil was trading below 20 bucks a barrel. One can only imagine with the billions being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus what we are paying for the oil itself, what the real cost of a barrel of oil is to the USA... Just think that if we had acted in the 70's following the oil embargo to get independent of Middle East oil, how much better off we would be right now... Of course, the military industrial complex and the oil companies weren't really interested in that kind of independence, now were they?