Stop oil dependence, period

August 11, 2008

by Kristen Miller

There is no doubt oil and energy independence will be a vital component in the upcoming election.

Presidential hopefuls and Congress are currently mulling over ways to reduce gas prices and reduce foreign oil imports.

With all the potential solutions suggested, it’s been hard to determine what is the best one.

It all became clear to me while listening to Anne Korin, co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) on C-SPAN.

I found her to be an absolute genius and enlightening on the subject of energy, oil, and even terrorism.

Korin was speaking on foreign oil dependence and energy security at the National Conservative Student Conference in DC Aug. 8.

Listening to her, I was in awe of her knowledge of Organization of the Petroleum Exploring Countries (OPEC), foreign oil dependence, the fueling of terrorism through Middle East oil reserves, and increasing production of flexible fuel vehicles as well as using domestic sources for alternative fuel.

It became blatantly clear that the US dependence on foreign oil as well as India and China (the two countries with the highest rate of growth in oil), are fueling terrorism, and the answers to independence isn’t drilling more oil, but not depending on it at all.

According to the IAGS, 85 percent of OPEC’s oil reserves are in the Middle East and 22 percent “of the world’s oil are in the hands of state sponsors of terrorism and under US/UN sanctions.”

Middle East countries apart of OPEC include Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

Korin also said that terrorist regimes have reported saying there is more strategic impact in destroying one oil pipeline than 10 Americans.

According to the IAGS web site, “America’s best weapon against terrorism is to decrease its dependency on foreign oil by increasing its fuel efficiency and introducing next generation fuels.”

Korin explained making a policy for vehicle manufacturers to produce more flexible fuel vehicles would allow for a platform to create more alternative fuels, as well as provide competition for oil.

Genius, right? She explained it as the chicken and the egg theory. Why would people produce a product (ethanol, methanol), if there is no demand for it.

She used the example of Brazil having 70 percent flexible fuel vehicles with a majority of them having been produced by US manufacturers.

By producing flexible fuel vehicles with battery-operated hybrid technology, they would obtain optimal miles per gallon and eventually eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles entirely.

Of course this would take awhile, but IAGS also points out that “every industrial and technological revolution in history brought with it an economic boom,” which we all know we could use.

Some say the solution to high gas prices and our dependence on foreign oil is off-shore drilling and drilling in Alaska.

Korin said that this is not the solution and OPEC would only decrease their drilling (supply and demand) if drilling was increased elsewhere.

Recently I’ve been hearing more about OPEC and how it should be disbanded though was uncertain why. Then, Korin OPEC as operating similar to a cartel and it became quite clear to me that this is a organization the US should not be working with.

I never thought of it that way before, but it makes so much sense especially after Korin said OPEC is “deliberately constraining supply” which doesn’t help gas prices.

To summarize, America needs to invest in the production of alternative fuels in order to “strip oil of its strategic value,” as Korin said.

Our objective shouldn’t be to produce more oil. Instead, our country’s objective should be to not need oil at all.

To learn more about IAGS and eliminating US foreign dependence on oil, check out www.iags.org. It’s a very informative web site which reiterates what Korin spoke about in more detail than I could ever write in a column’s length.