How to Weaken the Power of Foreign Oil – NYTimes.com

How to Weaken the Power of Foreign Oil – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Contributors

How to Weaken the Power of Foreign Oil

OUR country has just gone through a sober national retrospective on the 9/11 attacks. Apart from the heartfelt honoring of those lost — on that day and since — what seemed most striking is our seeming passivity and indifference toward the well from which our enemies draw their political strength and financial power: the strategic importance of oil, which provides the wherewithal for a generational war against us, as we mutter diplomatic niceties.

Oil’s strategic importance stems from its virtual monopoly as a transportation fuel. Today, 97 percent of all air, sea and land transportation systems in the United States have only one option: petroleum-based products.

[…]

While OPEC sits on 79 percent of the world’s conventional oil reserves, it accounts for only one-third of global oil supply. There is, however, a way out of this crisis. Ultimately, electric cars may become the norm, but for the near and middle term, the solution lies in opening the transportation fuel market to competition from sources other than petroleum.

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Read the full story here: The New York Times

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1 Comment

Filed under alternative fuels, ecology & environment, oil, traffic, USA

One response to “How to Weaken the Power of Foreign Oil – NYTimes.com

  1. Pit

    There are a few remarks I’d like to make:
    (1) First and most important: I am still appalled by the atrocities of 9/11, but saying, as Robert C. McFarlane does, that “We owe it [i.e. stripping oil of its strategic status] to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in its aftermath, and to those whose fate still hangs in the balance” is not logical reasoning, but an emotional appeal and thus – in this context – nonsense. What we owe to the victims and the heroes of that horrible day is to honour them, to never forget, and to prevent such an atrocious deed from ever occurring again.
    (2) Notwithstanding the fact that oil is limited, that demand is steadily increasing and therefor the price will go up, I can’t see why today OPEC, with just providing 30% of the world’s supply, should be able to dictate prices.
    (3) Which present enemies of the US “draw their political strength and financial power [from] the strategic importance of oil”? Some day in the future, it might – just might – be the case, but not now.
    (4) Ethanol, e.g., is no solution. On the one hand, it cannot be produced in high enough quantities and on the other hand, the world cannot afford to squander, e.g., corn, that needs to be used as food, to produce ethanol. I know there are different sources, but corn is an important one for ethanol.
    (5) Flex fuels are no long-term solution as they don’t encourage to build more fuel efficient cars nor switching from cars to different means of transport.
    (6) The overall energy balance needs to be taken into the equation as – at present at least – oil is being used to produce flex fuels.

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