Awareness of oil decline grows

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Beaver Country Tribune/Alleghaney Tribune (Pennsylvania) on-line edition editorializes on the dangers of the U.S. commitment to oil:

Americans are going to rue their collective decision to opt for cheap oil instead of pursuing energy conservation and alternative energy sources in the '80s and '90s.

Take a look around the world.

If Iran gets hit with international sanctions, it could very well retaliate by cutting off its oil. While that would cripple its economy, it also would impact the world economy as well.

Iraqi oil production is nowhere near what it was prior to its invasion and occupation by the Bush administration and still has a long way to go. Saudi Arabia could be ground zero when it comes to Muslim extremists gaining power, which would in turn threaten other oil-producing nations in the Gulf region.

In Nigeria, the fifth biggest source of U.S. oil imports, militants are targeting oil installations. And down Venezuela way, President Hugo Chavez could shut off oil exports to the United States because, well, just because.

In the midst of all this uncertainly, China and India are gobbling up energy at a pace that is putting enormous pressure on world markets where supply is definitely not keeping up with demand.

The United States would have been in a better position to deal with these uncertainties if it had conserved and innovated in the '80s and '90s. Instead, it opted for cheap oil. The day of reckoning might be much sooner than many people expect.