It's a complex issue, this business of oil. With stock markets and unemployment numbers taking their lumps, civilian unrest at oil and food prices, and politicians weighing in with all manner of cures and pronouncements, the Group of Eight nations got together to try and figure something out. The result: they want oil producing companies to produce more oil while they work on creating oil-independent fuel sources.

It's the equivalent of Wimpy saying to Popeye, "For a hamburger today I will gladly pay you on Tuesday." The G8 nations, including the U.S., want more of the black stuff to see them through this rough spot. In the mean time, all countries but Germany pledged to begin exploring nuclear power and building reactors, and examining technology like carbon capture and storage. Think of carbon storage as a sealed, underground landfill for coal plant emissions. If they can get it to work -- and find the space -- they can use more coal without creating more emissions.

An OPEC representative said there would be no decision on any production change until it convenes its next meeting in Vienna on September 9. In the mean time, the retail price of oil has passed $4 nationwide in the U.S. for the first time ever, and you can probably expect to pay more for gas as each week of summer passes.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]