German Economy Minister Wolfgang Clement reiterated concern Monday about the negative economic effects of the latest surge in oil prices. "I view with great concern the rise in crude oil prices," Clement said in Berlin as oil prices surged above the key psychological level of $70 (57 euros) per barrel. At the weekend, Clement said in a newspaper interview that "the strong rise in oil and energy prices... endangers growth, which was just getting back on track." He blamed part of the price rise on speculators and said the more market transparency was needed. Oil climbed to its new record high as the worst hurricane in the US in 13 years, Katrina, approached the coasts of Louisiana and Alabama. Several refineries and the biggest oil port in the US have been closed because of the storm.