As armed conflict with Iran becomes more and more of a possibility in the near future many Americans, heck make that many citizens of the world, are worried about what such a conflict could mean for our countries. Especially our economies as they relate to oil.
If Iran’s oil were to come off the market gas prices here in America would jump, which would have a very negative impact on our economy. It is true that America does not purchase any oil from Iran, but in terms of market impact that fact just isn’t relevant. Other countries do buy their oil from Iran. If China, for instance, suddenly had to look elsewhere for oil – whether it be due to Iran turning off the spigot or something like UN sanctions – global prices would go up as the reduction in oil supply would soon have China competing with America and other countries for oil supplies even more than they already are.
If gas prices go up here in America the prices of just about everything else goes up with it. Shipping merchandise would get more expensive as the shipping companies would have to compensate for increased gas prices. Stores would then have to compensate by raising their own prices to offset the increased cost of keeping their shelves stocked. With products and services costing more Americans would buy less. That’s not a good situation for our country to be in. Not a devastating situation in that we could survive it, but it certainly isn’t a place we want to go.
But putting all that aside for a moment, a question I think we need to ask ourselves right now is this: Why are we in this situation?
My answer is this: We are in this situation, at least in part, because certain interests here in America have prevented our country from developing our domestic supplies of oil.
Our country could very easily be less dependent on foreign oil if the staunch opponents to domestic oil drilling and petroleum infrastructure development had been a little less successful in getting their way in recent decades. If we were significantly less dependent on foreign oil it is safe to say that the looming potential for war with Iran would be a little less threatening. At least from an economic standpoint.
So how do we gain our energy independence? We could stop using so much oil, obviously. Yet that is problematic, at least in the short term. Conservation would work to a point, but that would only take us so far. Some alternative energy technologies aren’t perfected yet and probably can’t supply us with all the energy we need, and even the alternatives that do work to some degree have met opposition from certain factions. After all, everybody likes to say that they support America using less oil yet nobody wants a big ugly windmill or nuclear power plant in their back yard.
Like it or not, in the foreseeable future America will need oil. It would be nice if we could use our own oil instead of depending on the oil supplied to us from international places. That dependence is making our economy less stable and our citizens less safe. So the next time some legislation comes up to allow for domestic oil exploration (e.g. drilling in ANWR) I think it is in our best interest to tell our political leaders that we not only want it passed, we need it passed.
You can read more from Rob Port at SayAnythingBlog.com