World oil and gasoline prices have soared recently, in part because Moammar Gadhafi, the despotic ruler of the big North African oil-producing country of Libya, is locked in battle with Libyan rebels.
Most of Libya's oil goes to Europe, not the United States. But with Libyan oil disrupted, price reverberations have spread throughout the world.
Oil disruption - and supply anxiety - anywhere dips into the pockets of us all.
While most of our oil is produced domestically or comes from countries other than Libya, we have nonetheless seen Chattanooga gasoline prices rise in some cases above the $3.50-per-gallon mark. On Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in the city was $3.41.
We Americans depend upon our cars - and the gasoline it takes to operate them. High prices at the pump remind us that our high-powered engines don't provide as many miles per gallon as we would like.
Many Americans don't have (or want or like) little cars that can provide more miles per gallon than luxurious, larger cars do.
And most of us, for years to come, will remain victims of oil-supply disruptions in parts of the world that many of us might have difficulty finding on a map.
At a minimum, we will continue to be victims until we decide to do something about that dependence by no longer putting a great deal of our domestic oil off limits to exploration and production.