I don’t know if I should be comforted by Herbert Stein‘s law (If Something Can’t Go On Forever, it will stop) or disturbed. The New York Times has an article today about how rising oil prices aren’t leading to either a growth in supply or a drop in consumption:

Countries that are not members of OPEC have been the main source of production growth in the last three decades, as new fields were discovered in Alaska, the North Sea or West Africa. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, new opportunities emerged in Russia and the Caspian Sea.

Analysts at Barclays Capital said last week that non-OPEC supplies were “seemingly dead in the water.” . . .

. . . World consumption is projected to rise 35 percent, to around 115 million barrels a day, in the next two decades. Most of the growth will come from China, India and oil-producing countries in the Middle East, where retail fuel prices are subsidized, encouraging wasteful consumption.

“What is disturbing here is that things seem to get worse, not better,” an analyst at Goldman Sachs, David Greely, said. “These high prices are not attracting meaningful new supplies.”

. . .Oil prices might reach more than $200 by 2012, he said, a level that would probably mean $7-a-gallon gasoline in the United States.

Something to consider before getting that Escalade.