Friday, January 27, 2006

Ready for $262/barrel oil? : CNN Money (this caught my attention!)

CNN Money, click here


Although there are long-term answers like ethanol, what's needed is a crash conservation effort in the United States. This doesn't have to be command-and-control style. Moral suasion counts for a lot, and if the president suggested staying home with family every other Sunday or otherwise cutting back on unnecessary drives, he could please the family values crowd while also changing the psychology of the oil market by showing that the U.S. government is serious about easing any potential bottlenecks.

Similarly, he could finally get the government to tighten fuel-efficiency standards and encourage both Detroit and drivers to end decades of steadily increasing gas consumption. These kinds of steps would create a little headroom until new supplies do become available or threats like Iran's current leadership or the Iraqi insurgency fade.

It's been done it before. For all the cracks about Jimmy Carter in a cardigan and his malaise speech, America did reduce its use of oil following the price shocks of the 1970s, and laid the groundwork for low energy prices in the 1980s and 1990s. But it would require spending political capital, and offending traditional White House allies, and that's something this president doesn't seem to want to do.

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