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E-M:/ The Cost of Oil
- Subject: E-M:/ The Cost of Oil
- From: David Holtz <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 07:33:31 -0500
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- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: David Holtz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Enviro-Mich message from David Holtz <email@example.com>
A retired school teacher in nothern Macomb County, Richard Lorey,
crafted this opinion column on energy for a local paper, The Voice, this
week:. A well-written piece from Michigan's heartland:
A huge Hummer carrying a single person down I-94 flew past me recently,
its back door emblazoned with large American flags and patriotic
ribbons. The irony is that the more gas we burn the less secure we are.
There is only so much oil under the United States. Oil production in the
U.S. peaked in 1970, so we pump less of what we use every year. Even if
they drill in the fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge it would only
supply 4% of our needs for a while, an amount easily exceeded by better
conservation. The plain truth is, no matter what we do in the United
States, most of our oil will be imported.
There is only so much oil in the world too, and the peak of worldwide
oil production will occur in the next decade or so. After that, supplies
will decline worldwide. Wouldn’t the prudent course of action be
conservation and a search for alternative energy? After all, burning of
fossil fuel is also the main cause of global warming and air pollution.
So why are we are concentrating on pumping more and blowing off any
effort toward conservation? Perhaps it is because our current energy
policy was written by the same energy industries that make their profit
from oil consumption. I believe we now have the first Secretary of State
with an oil tanker named after her. (see note below)
When we purchase oil from other countries those dollars fuel _their_
economies, providing jobs and economic growth over there, not here.
Almost a third of our balance of trade deficit is used to buy crude oil.
That is money that we send to other countries that is not used to buy
stuff that provides jobs here. That money has been drained from our economy.
Since the Middle East is so politically unstable, we have to maintain a
considerable military force there just to guarantee our access to its
oil. Even before the Iraq war, we were spending $50 billion per year on
our forces in the region. If you add the military cost to the oil, you
essentially have a taxpayer subsidy of about $60 per barrel! If you were
to assume that even part of the reason we invaded Iraq was because of
its oil, the taxpayer subsidy of oil is much, much higher.
The intolerant Wahhabi variation of Islam that is dominant in Saudi
Arabia is gaining influence worldwide thanks to abundant funding from
oil money. Their schools justify armed jihad to the young. The Saudis
already own six or seven percent of our country because of oil profits
they have invested back here. Should they decide to pull that out, it
would be devastating to our economy. Will that be our next wake-up call?
Money is power, and we are empowering some frightening people with our
So when you see a gas-guzzling Hummer on the road, imagine it carrying
the flag of your favorite Persian Gulf country and a bumper sticker that
says: SUPPORT A TERRORIST, DRIVE A HUMMER.
©2005 Richard Lorey
note: Chevron named an oil tanker /Condoleezza Rice/ after her but later quietly renamed it /Altair Voyager/.
Rice explained on Fox News Sunday that Chevron had a policy of naming
tankers after its Directors. Rice was a Director of Chevron from 1991
to 2001. "We made the change to eliminate the unnecessary attention
caused by the vessel's original name," Chevron's spokesman, Fred
Gorell, told the /San Francisco Chronicle/. <http://www.publicintegrity.org/dtaweb/downloads/June2001newsletter.pdf>
Clean Water Action
Clean Water Fund
517-203-0754 East Lansing
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