With Oil Prices So High

Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on March 17, 2012

Obama can’t control the price of oil any more than a Republican president can. Oil prices are set by the oil cartels. So don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.

I’ve had it with oil. If we don’t get our act together quickly, we won’t be able to keep our country safe. It’s a matter of national security that we become energy self-reliant.

In an article published by the Milken Institute on March 15th, Joel Kurtzman writes:

Today, at plus-or-minus $110 a barrel, oil prices are roughly $77 a barrel higher than they were in 2003, when the war in Iraq began. Translate that into revenue and you see the world’s oil producing countries, of which Iran is number four, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, are earning something like $4 to $5 billion a day more than in 2003, when oil sold for $33 a barrel. Iran’s share of that loot is roughly $300 million a day. Creating tensions certainly has its rewards.

Transferring our infrastructure from oil to hydrogen (or some other energy source) might be “expensive” in the short run, but it is absolutely essential to our long-term goal of staying energy-rich and free of pollution. Most of all, it provides us a buffer against the manipulation of our energy supply such as we see in the Straits of Hormuz.

And who says it is cost prohibitive anyway? We currently spend one trillion dollars a year on petrol, and very little of that money benefits Americans when most of it is spent on obtaining crude from other countries, then paying for its transportation and refinery here. That trillion dollars could be spend giving Americans jobs building infrastructure, and production capability for hydrogen (or another energy) in the US. There would be no need to rely on other countries, and the money would stay within our borders.

But there is one even more important reason to stop using oil: its byproducts are toxic to refine, burn, or use in agriculture.

As Tom Whipple, a retired 30-year CIA analyst who has been following peak oil since 1999 explains:

“…we are likely to be devastated by repeated natural disasters stemming from climate change. Incidentally, it is interesting to note that federal disaster declarations, related to extreme weather events, totaled 15 in 1981, 43 in 1991, and 99 in 2011.”






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