February 25, 2004

Why we really need to get off oil II

To keep pace with an ever growing world economy, oil producing countries have to always increase production just to keep pace. The New York Times has a story about the impending failure of Saudi Arabia to do just that. Saudi Arabia is more than just another oil producing country. It's been the center of a decades long strategy of keeping the Middle East producing the energy the world needs.

If Saudi Arabia becomes just another middle tier producer in tomorrow's energy picture, not only will the energy picture change but the world's geopolitical strategy for the Middle East will change. Right now it's early enough in the process that we should be having a bipartisan political discussion of what to do, where will we find new sources of energy, how will this affect the compromises that we've been forced to make in the past regarding Saudi Arabia, and other ancillary issues.

Do you hear it? That's the sound of that conversation not taking place.

Here's a few topics that should be covered during the 2004 campaign and beyond:

1. When do we get to stop ignoring the fact that radical Wahhabism is being pushed by Saudi Arabia's oil money into US mosques?
2. How high are energy prices going to rise before the next energy giant emerges?
3. Will this giant be in the Middle East or will it be a high priced producer like Canada?
4. If the Middle East drops in strategic importance are we going to use that as an opportunity to stop pussyfooting around about reforming them into normal countries or are we going to let them sink into an extension of sub-saharan Africa, poor, and ignored?
5. Which alternative energy sources are going to become price competitive to oil at the new long-term equilibrium after the collapse of Saudi production?
6. Will alternatives to oil remain competitors with their own full energy stream or will the 'hydrogen economy' absorb them all to become the replacement competitor to oil?

These are just a few of the points we should be discussing instead of TANG attendance slips and Swift boats. It's a shame that our mainstream media isn't up to making this sort of thing the centerpiece of our national political conversation.

Posted by TMLutas at February 25, 2004 08:42 AM