Oil started the new year Monday trading above $81 a barrel, almost double what it fetched at the beginning of 2009 even though the U.S. is using much less.
Prices, which have been propped up by a weak dollar, will get even more support as winter weather chills the country. The U.S. may be using less crude, but China and other developing nations are using more to fuel their burgeoning manufacturing industries, and that can push prices higher in the U.S. as well.
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