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Fw: U.S. needs an independent energy policy

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  • Marjorie N Wood
    FYI. Marge ... From: brucedp@iname.com To: AEL Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 16:53:30 -0500 (EST) Subject: U.S. needs an independent energy
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2000
      FYI. Marge

      --------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: brucedp@...
      To: AEL <ae@...>
      Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 16:53:30 -0500 (EST)
      Subject: U.S. needs an independent energy policy
      Message-ID: <001119165330HC.00023@...>

      U.S. needs an independent energy policy
      ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY 11/16/2000 South Florida Sun-Sentinel Broward
      Metro 30A (Copyright 2000 by the Sun-Sentinel)

      Don't look to OPEC for relief from high oil prices anytime soon. The
      11-nation cartel has little sympathy for Western countries still
      complaining about production levels and their effects on prices.

      If anything, the cartel may even cut production early next year,
      likely sending prices even higher. And it has appointed a tough new
      leader, Ali Rodriguez of Venezuela, a "price hawk" who is to take
      office as secretary-general on Jan. 1. Rodriguez says the
      Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which produces 40
      percent of the world's oil, has already done its part to help the
      Western economies by raising its official target production by 3.7
      million barrels a day. He says that's quite enough, and he is serving
      notice that he intends to make the cartel as cohesive and powerful as
      it was during the days of the oil embargo in the 1970s.

      Great. Just great. Oh, well, who needs OPEC anyway?
      We do. That's our problem.

      The United States has no comprehensive energy policy. The past three
      presidential administrations, through a combination of complacency and
      lack of political consensus, have failed to develop one. Once the oil
      embargo passed into history, the sense of urgency passed with it. We
      thus remain vulnerable to foreign manipulation of our economy, our
      politics and our national mood. (Remember Jimmy Carter lamenting our
      "national malaise"?)

      Whatever happened to solar energy? The electric car? Wind power? What
      about non-petroleum-based fuels such as ethanol? No one talks much
      about those things anymore, so they remain mere options waiting to be
      developed. Someday.

      What about now? Why wait until OPEC again has us over a barrel?

      There's another option even for those who still prefer to get their
      energy from oil. The United States has some. Maybe a lot. It's just
      waiting to be developed.

      There's the rub. It's not just lying around waiting to be pumped into
      our homes and cars. It has to be refined. Before that, it has to be
      extracted from the earth, possibly in environmentally sensitive areas
      like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. That makes a lot
      of people nervous, but new technologies may make it possible to drill
      in sensitive areas without causing significant harm to the
      environment. Isn't the idea at least worth serious study?

      The United States needs an independent energy policy. It needs to
      break out of the grip of OPEC, which after all is a business
      organization dedicated to advancing the financial interests of its
      members. More ominously, it's also a political organization dominated
      by Middle Eastern countries, some of whom make no secret of their
      contempt for the United States. Should another war break out in that
      region, with the United States supporting its friend Israel, it's
      pretty predictable what would happen to oil supplies.

      It's an avoidable disaster. The next president should make it a top
      priority to put U.S. energy policy beyond the reach of OPEC. If he
      does, he will be showing a degree of foresight that has largely been
      lacking in Washington.

      It might even make him worthy to be called a leader, electoral mandate
      or not.

      % RE for your EV % BruceDP@... http://eaaev.org/brucedp
      ____ EV List Editor http://crest.org/ev-list-archive
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