The laws of supply and demand have been obliterated by the forces of greed and the price of oil continues to increase every day setting new records driving the price of gas, diesel and aircraft fuel to record highs. Americans drive less, consume less, and spend less and still the price spirals out of control. So why are the people we entrust to lead us silent?
Why are we spending $500 billion to save Iraq in which they were going to repay yet we can’t get the revenue from the oil now being produced by Iraq? Did you know Iraq was producing 2.6 million barrels a day of oil before the American invasion? Just last February production reached 2.4 million barrels a day. In spite of the Bush military surge the oil production can range from 1-2.4 million barrels a day depending on the latest bombing targets by Al Qaeda.
The Bush boys tell us oil was not a factor in the war but did they also mention Iraq has 112 billion barrels of oil reserves, second in the world to Saudi Arabia? They also have 112 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. Economists expect Iraq to reach 6 million barrels a day in production in four years yet none of it seems reserved to repay the USA the $500 billion plus or supply some of the USA needs. In fact, if Clinton or Obama get their way and we pull out of Iraq China or Russia will step in and take control of the 2nd largest reserve of oil in the world.
If refining capacity is a problem, which it is, why aren’t we fast tracking new refineries? No new refineries have been built in America since 1976 when crude oil sold for $12.37 per barrel compared to $112 per barrel today. Based on our military and aircraft needs alone increased refinery capacity should be a matter of national security. Perhaps American oil companies should build refineries in secure friendly countries as well?
Reduce our plastic use in fast food containers, bags and the many other uses, all which are very detrimental to the environment, and oil use goes down. A dual benefit and no one seems to be calling for the change. Paper bags always worked well and hemp stands ready to fill many of our needs if the federal government ever realizes you can’t smoke the stuff.
Any oil producing country dependent on our food should be selling us oil at a discount and most countries of the world are dependent to a large degree on our food. Fact is food is the one commodity more important to world stability than oil as you can see from the current food riots around the globe.
Require one third of all cars sold in America achieve 50 miles per gallon in 3 years and a substantial drop in demand will be achieved. Current regulations concerning the average mileage for an auto manufacturer’s fleet are ludicrous with the truck and SUV exemptions. Forget the fleet averages, the economy and cost of fuel will dictate buying patterns.
Besides, let American consumers decide if they want to pay extra for gas, it is supposed to be a free society. If a high mileage car is available consumers will buy it. We know it can be done because I have a 1946 Austin (UK made) that got 50 miles per gallon. If we could make them 62 years ago we can make them today.
Encourage Americans to stay home and take local trips rather than long vacations, subsidize mass transit to reduce autos on the road, and increase train use for up to 500-mile trips. When it comes to intercity travel trains come out on top of all other transit modes other than walking or bicycles.
Extensive data and statistics are available which show that passenger trains consume just one-quarter to one-third of the energy which automobiles and airliners consume, a fact the DOE refuses to acknowledge. Buy more trains and subways, we already own the facilities and right-of-way, and save on energy use, emissions and road maintenance.
Oh yes, what about the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel? State taxes can range from 14 to 45 cents per gallon and combined with federal taxes that are 18 cents a gallon the government gets an average of 45.9 cents per gallon, with states typically ranging from 32.5 to 63.5 cents in taxes per gallon. How about suspending taxes and not just the federal like McCain said? Perhaps a tax credit or full deduction for gas taxes paid might help.
Now these are just a few of the things politicians could be saying to help our short and long-term energy needs. Why are they silent? They are the office holders or want to be our elected representatives. I guess even experience doesn’t help politicians solve problems.