Opec will this week seek assurances from some of the world’s biggest oil consumers that they will maintain their demand as the members of the oil cartel come under intense pressure to boost investment in production capacity.
So basically, with the price of crude oil at over $90 a barrel, OPEC is threatening to tighten petroleum output if high-energy-consumping countries go too far with this whole "alternative energy" mumbo jumbo. As though diminishing global demand for oil is really a concern, the cartel is saying it wants some sort of guarantee (from who, is exactly, is unclear) that wealthy countries will not allow alternative fuels or improved energy efficiency to cut into their demand for oil.
Anyone with a grasp of basic economics knows how hilarious this is. "Buy more - or we'll raise prices!!"
Yeah, but what happens when the price of something goes up? Well, eventually, people will buy less of it. And buy more of alternative products! So OPEC is in a Polish standoff here - they have a gun pointed at their own head, and they're angrily shouting, "Stop! Or I'll shoot!!"
Let me know how that works out for you, guys... ;]