Instability in a country like Egypt can quickly spread across the region, Clark said.
“The contagion effect is very powerful,” Clark said. “So stability in the region is more or less indivisible. What shakes one state shakes other states, as we’ve seen with the instability jumping from Tunisia to Egypt and now Jordan and Yemen.”
Clark is the latest public official to raise concerns about the how the protests in Egypt might affect U.S. reliance on foreign oil. But that concern has lead to very different conclusion. Perhaps not surprisingly, drill-state lawmakers have called for more drilling, environmentalists have called for moving away from oil, and now the ethanol industry is calling for expanded reliance on ethanol.
Egypt is not a major oil-producing state, but officials are concerned that unrest in the country could affect the Suez Canal, a major oil-trade route controlled by Egypt.
Here’s more on those concerns.