When the price of oil soars, the first hit usually comes at the gas pump. But that may be just the beginning. Some experts predict that our available stocks of crude will start to decline as early as 2006. And while the situation is not as dire as it seems-a barrel of oil is in fact US$20 cheaper now than in 1980, once inflation is taken into account— this could be just the first phase of a longerterm oil-price surge. If that happens, the effect will in time trickle down to many other goods.
Medical products: Everything from heart valves to bandages is made with petroleum. Pesticides: Oil is usually their main ingredient. And if pesticide cost goes up, so will the price of food.
Clothing: Polyester shirts and shoes with artificial-rubber soles will no longer be a steal. Beauty products: Most make-up is petroleumbased, as are laundry detergents. Maple syrup: Oil is used to boil away water in the process that turns sap to syrup. Plastics: Petroleum is in everything from film to CDs to garbage bags-even gas station price signs.
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