03 February 2006
In and out...
It's a fact, what goes up must come down, aside from my hairline. The flows of petroleum through the United States and Canada are staggering. The United States alone consumes (uses up) 19.66 million barrels per DAY! This is a whopping 1 billion gallons every day.
The lion's share of this insatiable appetite is found in our transportation sector. More than 2/3 of our oil is used for gasoline.
Forget the arguments for reinstating nuclear power (although I think it a valid pursuit), the resultant reduction in oil usage would be a pittance. Converting dense population areas to all electric powered transit, supplied by nuke plants would have a huge impact!
But that's not all of the problem, we source our oil from all over the world, a substantial amount from the mideast, but not all. Could we function as an economy without the mideast input?
Yes, but not very well.
Remember the oil embargo of the 70s? We were consuming a third of the oil at the time, but still in the same ratios from various geographies.
So, the left's mantra about no blood for oil is actually true. Our reliance on Iraq for oil is negligible. Thus we have actually shed no blood for oil. Oil moves regionally and Iraq is much more closely tied to Europe and Africa.
Now blood to prevent zealots from killing us...I will shed for that.
So what should we do? Change our dependence upon petroleum for transportation. This means technology and automakers who understand that the product they sell must meet the needs of the consumer. While oil is still plentiful, and it is, no one is going to give up their gasoline car for a limping electric powered coupe which costs twice as much and maybe three times as much to maintain.
Where to start? Start with fleets. Any freight or centrally managed fleet can be converted to alternate fuels and not become crippled by a lack of refueling infrastructure. Many city bus systems have a large natural gas fleet, and yet this is at its heart still part of the petroleum chain.
The United States is the most innovative nation on the planet. If we can design a palm sized device which can recieve videos from anywhere in the globe, we can build a non-petroleum fueled automobile.