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Former commerce secretary talks gas prices, other global affairs at UW-La Crosse



Why has the price of gas gone up so quickly in the last month? A former U.S. Secretary of Commerce has a theory–because the demand for oil around the world is so high.

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke served in Barack Obama’s cabinet. He spoke to an audience at UW-La Crosse about the record prices at the pump.

“There’s not going to be enough oil around the rest of the world, if we’re limiting what comes out of Russia,” Locke said. “So therefore, oil and natural gas is a more precious commodity worldwide, and if you happen to hold something that’s now more valuable around the world, you could charge more for it.”

Locke, a Chinese-American, who’s also a former ambassador to China, says the U.S. is exporting much of the oil it’s producing, but Europe is more dependent on the fuel produced by Russia.

He wonders how far the West is willing to go to punish Russia for its activity in Ukraine.

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke (left) speaks with UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow during a lecture Thursday at Graff Main Hall

Locke says relations between the U.S. and China are at an all-time low, and he thinks it’s important for China and the U.S. to find ways to cooperate on important issues.

“Because so many of the issues facing the entire world cannot be solved by either China or the United States alone, the world is looking for leadership from both China and the United States partnering together,” Locke said.

Locke argued that China and Russia are close right now, and that should concern our government.

UW-L brought Locke to Graff Main Hall as part of the lecture series sponsored by the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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