Independence from Foreign Oil
Letter To The Editor:
The most recent perspectives from the U.S. On alternative energy seem to come from a sense of feeling that they are at the mercy of foreign (read: Arab/Terrorist) sources of crude oil. Some sentiment is that they don’t care to be giving money to people who hate them, while others are more pragmatic, and simply see no sense in sending away 700 billion dollars per year when that money could stay right there in their own country, if they weren’t depending upon foreign oil sources. Whether the basis is accurate or not is debatable, since US companies like Exxon are reporting huge earnings while oil prices are high, but the bigger question is: Will they remain interested in alternative energy if oil becomes cheap again?
The wise move on the part of OPEC would be to bring the prices down, to accept a far smaller margin of profit, and hope that this will cause the United States’ citizens to put aside their concerns about developing alternative energy sources. The profits are still huge at much smaller per-barrel prices on crude. Once the world develops alternatives to crude oil, though, it will be very much a buyer’s market for the product. Plastics will still be in demand, but alternatives to plastic may be the next Green movement.
The smartest thing for OPEC and the other oil producing nations to do at this juncture would be to bring per-barrel prices VERY low. This would appease some of the anti-Arab sentiment, and cast a clarifying light upon the real culprits of high gas prices. Meanwhile, a lesser percent of profit is far better than none at all.