The first few months of 2011 have become overwhelmed with revolution in the Mid East. Currents of unrest cascaded first upon Egypt and spread to Libya as wave after wave broke on unsuspecting regimes. But as with any revolution comes dire consequences not only for the countries involved but for all those who in one way or another depend on commerce generated by affecting countries. It just so happens that Libya is a major oil producing nation whose leader has used the profits generated by the exportation of oil not for the betterment of the citizens but for self gratification. In 30 or more years in power is how today, Moammar Gadhafi has garnished an estimated net worth of over 50 billion dollars. It was only a matter of time that the people in Libya revolted because of the continuing deplorable conditions that have been evident for far too long.
What makes this revolt much more devastating than the one in Egypt is the exportation of crude oil from Libya. Today, their oil production is almost shut down. Nations like Saudi Arabia who continues to be the ranking oil exporter has indicated that oil production will remain constant what ever the outcome in Libya. There is always a catch! That catch is the price of crude oil has risen and will undoubtedly continue to escalate to well over $110 per barrel. Already the United States is feeling the effects of rising prices not only in the rising cost of gas but all the other byproducts that are associated with oil. With the economy still limping along any disruption like rising energy costs only will push the United States economy back almost to the point that recovery is all but impossible.
Every American is now being faced with ever increasing energy costs in a time of economic instability. This is just another realization that the governmental policies since the first oil crisis of 1974 haven’t changed all that much. Any distribution in any oil producing nation regardless of whether the United States imports oil from those countries or not causes the American citizen to suffer financially.
Today the United States continues to import more oil than ever before. With the amount of oil being imported at a rate of over 700 billion dollars annually from the tax paying public and the escalating costs incurred by all Americans in every thing we purchase is directly proportional to the costs of imported oil. If there wasn’t a better time to reform our energy policies now is about the best time to start.
To continue to drain every American’s pocketbooks with our outdated energy programs will only exasperate the ongoing deepening economic conditions that are ravaging a nation. If we delay the prognosis is that gas prices will reach again over $4.00 per gallon by mid summer if not sooner. A repeat of gas hikes of the 2008 but this time the price of gas like everything else will only continue to rise. Compounding this scenario is the fact that those who are still employed and those who are slowly entering the workforce will be subjected to wages that will not even come close to offset the escalating cost of living. Now that the realization of what is at stake is so apparent our government must come to a consensus on what to do to remedy this ongoing crisis.
The United States is so fortunate in that this country has enough natural resources to be totally energy independent. A major stumbling block is that our elected officials in Washington are so reluctant to alter their rationale’ in regards to an energy policy that actually reduces costs to the average American. Another road block is that oil companies continue to rake in billions of profit every quarter. A prime example is that after the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and after most of the payment of claims and cleanup costs still managed to reap huge profits in each quarter afterwards. It is too bad that with all that revenue coming back to the likes of Exxon Mobil and Chevron haven’t yet produced alternate fuel sources at a lower cost for the American consumer. Sure, their is some research and development going on within these companies but most of their profits are returned to their stock holders.
The Pickens Energy Plan was first proposed more than two years ago but so far our illustrious legislature either ignored it or thought it wasn’t in “their” best interest. If the government had acted sooner in putting forth an energy policy even remotely similar to the Pickens plan this country would now be more secure. Time is running out for the United States to act. An energy policy for the 21st century is more that apparent. We have the technology, the resources, but the resolve is still questionable. The sooner we act the sooner the American public will be able to reap the financial and economic rewards that have continued to be so elusive.