Today, Venezuelans go to the polls to decide their next President.
If it turns out to be the same guy as before, Americans will almost certainly end up paying more for gas, according to analysts.
“If President Chavez gets reelected, I expect that we will see lower crude oil sales to the U.S. as Venezuela and the U.S. move further apart, and that’s going to cost the consumer more money for their gasoline,” Andy Lipow, a Houston-based oil industry expert, told NBC News.
The reason is that Chavez has allowed oil output to fall through lack of investment and maintenance, despite the country having the largest estimated recoverable reserves in the world.
Venezuela is the fourth-largest oil supplier to the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal reports Chavez’s challenger, Henrique Capriles, has said he would be more welcoming to private and foreign oil companies.