Suckers 'Til the Last Drop
Webster defines a sucker as "a person easily cheated or deceived; a person irresistibly attracted to something specified". So by definition, we the American people - and our unceasing dependence on foreign oil - are complete suckers.
Last week the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, affectionately known as OPEC, agreed to cut global oil production by 1 million barrels per day. The cut is meant to increase the price of oil.
Did you get that? Should I say that again? THEY THINK YOUR GAS AND HOME-HEATING OIL ARE GETTING TOO CHEAP SO THEY DECIDED YOU ARE GOING TO PAY MORE...BECAUSE THEY COULD! In July, when a barrel of oil was going for more than $78, OPEC was helpless to stop the price explosion, but now that its fallen to under $59, they are quite capable of fixing things to their liking.
And where is the outrage here in the U.S.? Where is the disgust that we are allowing ourselves to be beholden to the whims of OPEC? Apparently, with gas at about $2.50 a gallon, no one cares anymore - until next time.
The 11 nations that makeup OPEC provide some 40% of the world's current oil supply and control almost 80% of the world's proven oil reserves. With such dominance of such a vital natural resource, these few countries routinely (and artificially) limit supply, as there actions this week prove once again, to drive up demand and, of course, price.
On the list of OPEC member nations - Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE & Venezuela - we will find countries that are sworn enemies of the United States, support terrorism, support the Islamic Extremism that breeds terrorism, are pursuing weapons of mass destruction, and countries for which U.S. soldiers have been killed trying to protect.
And each time OPEC manipulates oil prices, it is the American people who pay these countries. And pay them dearly.
But have we learned a thing yet? Apparently not.
Instead of working to break our dependence on foreign oil, U.S. oil consumption grows year after year. Currently, we consume more than 20 million barrels of oil a day. For a nation that makes up less than 5% of the world's population, we account for almost 25% of the world's oil consumption. In 1973, OPEC supplied us with 17% of our oil. Today, OPEC accounts for almost 28% of our oil supply. So after the 1973 Oil Embargo, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the rise of Islamic Extremism and anti-Americanism in the Middle East, and sky-rocketing oil prices, our response has been to almost double our dependence on OPEC!
Our dependence on foreign oil, especially from OPEC, is a matter of national security and an economic disaster waiting to happen. Americans need to look beyond the latest price at the pumps and get serious about developing - and actually using - alternative energy sources. Domestic drilling for oil, clean coal, hydrogen-based fuel, nuclear, wind, solar and rail transit are all solutions that should be pursued aggressively.
But a primary focus should be on Ethanol. There are already millions of cars on the road that can use Ethanol, yet only about 1,000 (out of 170,000) service stations sell it. Notwithstanding, the technology for both use and distribution already exists today. And more importantly, it's already been done! Brazil - the largest country in Latin America - has already replaced almost 50% of its domestic passenger vehicle fuel demand with Ethanol. In fact, Brazil no longer needs to import oil, saving the country $69 billion per year.
Let me repeat that - Brazil no longer needs to import foreign oil!
If we could put a man on the moon, it is possible that we could do with Ethanol what Brazil has done.
Unless we enjoy being suckers, that is.