Sunday, September 19, 2004

Oil Myths

In this election year, there have been many ill-informed cliches uttered about "sending our children to die for oil", and "dependence on the Saudi royal family". Fortunately, in an article for the September 1 issue of In the National Interest, S. Fred Singer takes on some of the major myths regarding America and foreign oil:

-"First, in the United States, the principal use of petroleum is for transportation, not for electrical generation."

-"Second, to claim that U.S. military action subsidizes the petroleum industry by insuring secure sources is dubious at best. After the first Gulf War, we returned the captured oil fields to Kuwait. We are returning the oil fields in Iraq to that government. According to the EIA, in 2002 less than 12 percent of total U.S. petroleum consumption came from the Persian Gulf states. These sources are more important to Europe and the Far East than to the United States."

-"Third, the sources of the petroleum are not important because there is a world market for oil in which the U.S. is a major component, but not the defining factor."

-"Fourth, we do not need the military to secure stable sources."

-"Finally, an interruption in world oil supplies -- for whatever reason and no matter where it occurs – will raise the world price to all oil consumers and damage the national economies of importers, like China and – of course – poor nations that depend greatly on oil. In this respect, the United States is less vulnerable."

It's a brief article, but highly informative. Please read it all:

Clearing the Record on Oil


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