May 23, 2004

Protecting Oil Infrastructure

There is an awful lot of oil infrastructure out there in the world and a great deal of it (as insurgents in Iraq prove frequently) that can be destroyed at acceptable risk. There are two ways of protecting the infrastructure. One is the brute force approach, station a man with a gun to guard every 25 yards of pipeline and oil refinery in the world. That's not practical. Another way is to make sure that there aren't any pieces of infrastructure that are high value targets. Sure, you can take out some oil port facilities, and that will reduce the amount of oil that the US can import but such a disruption only matters if our strategic oil reserves can't make up the difference and the reserves will run out before the repairs can be finished.

This is the real reason why Kerry's election year calls to drop gasoline prices by tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) are so fundamentally irresponsible. The more the SPR is filled, the fewer attacks on oil importation facilities make sense. The emptier it is, the more tempting the facilities are and the more likely we will have our oil import terminals bombed. The economic and environmental catastrophe that would ensue is bad enough no matter the level of the SPR. If you live near such a facility, you might quietly ask your local police and fire officials about how bad it could get. Be prepared to be shocked by the answer.

A few cents on the price of a gallon of gas are a small price to pay to keep such vulnerable targets low value for the jihad brigade.

Posted by TMLutas at May 23, 2004 10:13 AM