THE NEED OF AN ENERGY POLICY FOR THE U.S.A. - WHY?
by Thomas M. Jones Sr.
* Desert Storm. The name conjures up many things: Scudj;;, Patriots, 293
dead U.S. patriots, a thousand fire-lights over Bagdad, a black and gold
endless horizon of oil wells burning out of control, CNN pictures of
captured U.S. airmen, blood for oil, uncertainty...
This conflict marked the third time in less than twenty years that turmoil
in the Middle East has caused wild flucuations in world oil markets. It's
understandable then, that the war has set off an intense debate over U.S.
reliance on oil from that region. This debate has materialized in Washington
with the release last spring of President Bush's National Energy Strategy and
several Democratic congressional energy bills.
Yes, it's time we had a debate on U.S. energy policy, only a rational
and realistic one. The President's strategy is pro-growth in nature, focussing on increased domestic oil and natural gas production, coupled with
accelerated development of safe inexpensive nuclear power to cope with expected
future demand increases. The congressional approach relies upon conservation
and mandating increased fuel economy by automobile manufacturers. It's
business verses the environmentalists, a special-interest stalemate that has
been locking horns and retarding domestic energy growth for years. But the
President's initiative makes more sense because it is the result of a two year
Department Of Energy study which incorporates ideas from a wide range of
experts and the general public.
But the debate on energy policy ought to be part of an even larger debate
over the role of energy in our society. Energy has a pervasive influence on
our lives, our economy, and our standard of living. It's time we paid
attention to the important role of energy, because until the Gulf War, we A^^nf
that recently. For many years now we've drifted, allowing the
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