Reliance on Foreign Oil is a National Security Threat – We Can’t Become Energy Independent Soon Enough
The Arab oil embargo in 1973 was a wakeup call for America to become energy independent. Unfortunately, relatively little has been done since then. Today, 35 years later, the U.S. is more energy dependent on foreign oil than ever. We are paying some $2 billion/day on foreign oil. We can’t afford it…many individuals can’t afford the price of gas and as a nation, we can’t afford current gas prices. Our reliance on foreign oil is threatening our economic future. If the price of oil spikes higher, possibly to $200/barrel or higher, we will see much higher unemployment, an escalating national debt over already extreme levels, increasing inflation, a deep recession and an out-of-control balance of payments.
A problem that needs major action within days, weeks and months…not years!
This past Monday John McCain announced his support for off-shore drilling for oil. He is still against drilling at the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR). Today President Bush also announced that he is now for off-shore drilling. He was against it until now. It turns out there has been a moratorium against off-shore drilling since his father put it in place. Congress also passed a law against off-shore drilling years ago. Barack Obama and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed are against off-shore drilling.
High Energy Costs are Hurting our Economy and Causing Pain for Many People
Due to the downturn in the economy after 9-11, United, Delta and Northwest Airlines went bankrupt. During the past two years these three airlines exited bankruptcy due to an improved economy, $60/barrel oil, reduced debt as a result of bankruptcy, operational improvements they made and salary concessions from employees/labor unions. $140/barrel oil is now threatening these and other airlines including American, Continental and others.
CNN’s “We’re Out of Gas” is an hour-long special on the oil crisis and the threats that are coming. Read their “Behind the Scenes: Powering the Planet” summary of the program. It is a wake-up call for action on a global scale. Make sure to watch the brief video. It provides a good overview of some of the things that are and are not being done to address the energy crisis.
· Documentary explores U.S. dependence on oil, vulnerability of world supply
· Frank Sesno: U.S. totally dependent on oil, almost no place we won’t go to get it
· Brazil nearing independence on foreign oil, 40 percent of fuel used is ethanol
· Ethanol represents only 3 percent of the fuel burned in America
Reduce gasoline costs – Tips from the FTC
Will politics allow for a sane policy with a vision for a long-term energy solution that values the environment?
The President and Congress needs to create a long overdue National Energy Policy that fully recognizes the severity of the energy and global warming crises facing the US and the world. The National Energy Policy must include funding for energy research and development. We need to spend money, lot’s of money….possibly $2 – $3 trillion in Government, private and corporate money over the next ten years, and possibly more. That said, we should not spend money for the sake of spending money. We need a realistic plan for solving short and long-term energy needs. A non-partisan commission should be established to create the National Energy Plan and monitor its ongoing progress. The commission should include Government, industrial, academic and military members.
Contact information for Government Officials – Send them your opinions about the Energy Crisis and Global Warming
President – contact the President or Vice President
U.S. Senators – search for your Senators and visit their websites
U.S. Representatives – contact your U.S. Representative
State Governors – contact information for your Governor
State Legislators – State Legislators by U.S. states and territories
Can we afford not to drill off shore?
The “not in my back yard” attitude regarding drilling for oil off-shore and at other environmentally sensitive areas is hurting our ability to move forward. The same is true for Wind Farms and Nuclear Power Plants:
And What McCain and Obama Say About Energy
The United States consumes more oil than any other nation in the world, and about 60 percent of it is imported. Record-high oil prices and growing frustrations over U.S. foreign policy’s being driven by oil interests have reignited a years-old debate over whether the United States should be relying on foreign oil. Meanwhile, 2008 presidential candidates, left and right, promise voters “energy independence.”
The United States consumes 21 million barrels of oil per day, more than any other nation — this amounts to about 25 percent of the world’s total consumption. Yet the United States has only 3 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. That 3 percent yields about 5 million barrels per day, and if production were to remain at the same level, the reserves would last 11 or 12 years.
The US Government is caught sleeping
In February, 2007 the United Arab Emirates contracted with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to support their renewable energy initiative. Wouldn’t it be great to see MIT and 50 – 75 other leading US research universities working on major energy research and development projects right here in the US, in collaboration with US Government National Laboratories and corporations.
Might this research lead to opportunities for exporting alternative energy generating equipment?
Energy is the single most important challenge facing humanity today.
—Nobel Laureate Rick Smalley, April 2004, Testimony to U.S. Senate
Energy Sites – Renewable energy, energy conservation, energy research
Some interesting energy and global warming research is being done at Universities and US Government National Laboratories, but the funding is very limited and the efforts need a coordinated national effort. The brains are out there in the Universities, National Labs and in corporations. Unfortunately, the brains are not yet activated in Washington. The war in Iraq is costing the US Government (and taxpayers) $150 billion/year. Imagine the payback if we would spend only $3 – $5 billion/year for energy research at our leading research universities? These websites provide an idea of the research underway at several universities and US Government National Labs: