War Over Oil
"The war in Iraq is being fought over oil."
You’ve heard this charge by the left over and over and then there are some feeble denials by conservatives that’s it is really about the spread of freedom and democracy.
Well they are wrong.
It is about oil and it is a very worthwhile venture we undertook to insure the free flow of energy to the world.
If it were not about oil then we would care no more about Iraq and Iran than we care about Sudan or Somalia.
The cold hard truth is that the western world needs vast quantities of energy to maintain our standard of living and health and security. Without oil our nation, as we know it would cease to exist. Your job, you car, your house, groceries, utilities, everything depends on oil. However, we don’t take the oil, we only ask to buy it at free market prices from the rightful owners of the land it sits on. We therefore cannot allow a minority of military dictators or religious hit squads to take it through intimidation from the rightful owners and hold it ransom to the rest of the world for the empowerment of themselves.
During a recent altercation with Iran at the straits of Hormuz, I heard a lot of Americans ask, “why are we getting involved over there?”
Why?....Because 60% of the worlds oil supply comes through the straits of Hormuz from countries such as Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, etc. Iran would love to control this oil. The United States is the only power with the ability and will to stop them from seizing the assets of these countries.
Yes, it is about the oil and it will continue to be until we ease our dependence on foreign oil and use technology to find better energy sources. But this will take decades and with the growing economies of several other countries like India and China, we will need oil for a long time to come.
With our current foreign oil dependence at more than 60%, we could do a lot to find and develop more oil on our own lands. But since we subscribe to a free market economy this oil would simply go into the world oil inventories and ease any spot shortage we have.
That is why a large part of the oil we pump out of the North Slope of Alaska is sold to Japan. It is shorter, easier, and quicker to send it to Japan than to ship it south to Southern California. Then we buy crude from Mexico or Central America the same way. If we were to keep all Alaska oil for our use then Japan would have to ship from Mexico, or Central America driving up transportation costs and the net result would be higher costs for all.
One of the best things that has happened in recent years was the increase of oil to $100/barrel and $3 /gal gas. This resulted in increased conservation and a huge increase in domestic oil and gas exploration. Our government needs to help in opening up more lands for oil development and ease back on regulation restrictions of oil companies.
Many people were appalled when it was announced that Exxon/Mobile made $40 billion in profit for 2007. What wasn’t reported is that they in turn paid $30 billion in Federal Income Tax. Of the remaining $10 billion, it was paid out to stockholders who reinvested it in the company so they could go out and explore for more oil and gas. Who are the stockholders? People like you and me. If you have money in a 401K, Mutual fund etc. Firemen, teachers, whose retirement funds go to these stocks. Over recent years, Exxon/Mobile has had a profit margin of about 15%, which is a normal rate of return for a stock investment.
Yes, like it or not, we are addicted to oil.
The good news; there still is plenty of oil around and with a little conservation and technology; we could have an easy transition into an energy alternative.
But, we cannot allow the free world to be taken hostage by renegade third world dictators who see oil revenues as a road to world dominance.