Monday, August 15, 2005

Will America be ready when oil supply peaks? -


"The energy bill makes available $14.6 billion in subsidies and tax credits, but $9.2 billion goes toward electricity generation, where only 3 percent of oil is used, and another $2.6 billion goes to oil and gas companies. Very little goes to decreasing oil consumption in transportation or creating and employing alternative energies.

Second, we must publicize the possibility that the United States and the world economy are woefully unprepared for peak oil. This is vital because Americans, in particular, still see oil as an entitlement. America uses 25 percent of the world's energy and has only 5 percent of its population.

Third, we need to establish a set of norms that can help great powers - and civilizations, for that matter - avoid conflicts over oil. Otherwise, we will increasingly see oil as a zero-sum game as we anticipate dwindling supplies. The United States and China do have a bilateral working group on energy at lower governmental levels, but it deserves higher-level attention and needs to be expanded to include other countries.

Technology may still save us from our oil addiction. But just as we buy insurance to protect our lives, we should have an insurance policy to protect the energy security of future generations."

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