Analysts Warn 'Arab Spring' May Trigger Oil Crisis

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WASHINGTON -- The so-called "Arab Spring" spreading through the Middle East could have unintended consequences that some fear the U.S. is ill prepared for.

Specifically, analysts are concerned the following scenarios could unfold in the not-so-distant future:

- A nuclear armed Iran dominating its neighbors. 

- Egypt controlled by the radical Muslim Brotherhood.

- Al Qaeda terrorists roaming free near Yemen's Aden coast, where 40 percent of the world's oil supplies pass through.

Edwin Black, author of the book British Petroleum and The Redline Agreement: The West's Secret Pact to Get Mideast Oil, warns the devastating effects of such occurrences could reach far beyond that troubled region.

"We are teetering on the brink of an oil interruption, and the United States has no plan for an oil interruption," Black told CBN News.

"If the oil is cut off and interrupted, as it is being threatened by Iran and its surrogates each and every hour of every day, we only have a month of two of a supply," he continued.

"The government has modeled this, and if we lose 10 percent of our oil -- not 20 percent but 10 percent -- for a protracted period of time, say 6 to 10 weeks, the country will devolve into chaos," Black predicted.

Al Qaeda has long threatened to attack oil tankers and facilities as a way to create economic chaos. There are also fears that Iran could provoke a global crisis by shutting down the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

"If oil is cut off at the Strait of Hormuz, immediately, 20 percent of American oil will be cut off, 20 percent of global oil will be cut off, and 20 percent of the seaborne oil will be cut off," Black said.

Oil prices jumped earlier this month after an OPEC meeting ended in disarray due to disagreements among the oil powers over production levels.

Ret. Marine Corps Gen. James Conway says events like this should encourage the U.S. to seek alternatives to oil. He supports an increase in the production of electric cars.

"If you look at the existing infrastructure throughout the country, it would simply be a more simplified shift through existing infrastructure via electrification than any other means--natural gas hydrogen, coal--some other means of powering or vehicles and our commercial fleets,' Conway told CBN News 

With many analysts forecasting a return to higher gas prices later this year and beyond, the hunt for viable alternatives to oil produced by rogue states is sure to continue.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.