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The Price of Democracy: About $1,810 a Year at the Pump

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"There are great fears that oil facilities come under attacks in governments too stubborn to change," analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover tells the New York Post. "But if insurgents do win, there's worry that a new government could become something like the Iranian model that would turn oil into a very dangerous political weapon."

The paper reports that a 25-cent increase at the pump would translate into an extra $1,810 a year for drivers--and with off-market trading sending crude up $5.68 yesterday, translating into a wholesale price increase of 13.5 cents a gallon, it's not at all out of the realm of possibility.

Unrest in Libya, which has the largest oil reserves in Africa and accounts for about 1.7% of world crude output, has decreased output by 50,000 barrels a day.

"Traders are concerned about potential loss of supply," Andy Lebow, oil analyst at MF Global in New York, tells the Wall Street Journal. "We can ill afford the loss of Libyan production."

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.