Keenan Singleton Audrey Warren
Alternative fuels available
President Bush announced Tuesday that he would take advantage of lower
oil prices to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The United States created the reserve as an emergency source of oil
in case of war or another oil embargo by oil-producing nations like the
embargo imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in
1973, but the reserve has never been filled.
A slumping global economy has forced oil prices down and created an
oil glut in the world marketplace. It's natural, especially with the climate
in the world today, to focus America's attention on securing enough reserves
to last through an emergency.
Bush said America would add up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day to the
reserve to replenish supplies that were used last year when the United
States tried to expand supplies to push prices below $30 a barrel. Oil
dropped below $20 a barrel after Sept. 11.
On Wednesday in Brussels, Belgium, OPEC warned that the global oil market
could face a dangerous price war unless rival producers, namely Russia
and Mexico, helped to cut oil output to shore up sagging prices.
At an emergency meeting in Vienna, the cartel decided to cut production
by 1.5 million barrels a day in January, but only if non-OPEC members cut
production by 500,000 barrels a day.
Russia, Mexico and Norway have refused to cut production, theorizing
that cheap oil will induce a global economic recovery.
Whether the oil producers cut production or not, it's a wise decision
by the United States to fill its reserves at any price.
An even better move for the United States would be toward increased
use of and research on alternative fuel sources.
As long as the United States is subject to the mercurial whims of OPEC,
this nation will live under the threat of an oil embargo. American consumers
and businesses will be at the mercy of nations whose allegiance lasts only
as long as their pockets are lined with American dollars.
Viable alternative fuels are available right now. If Bush wants to get
America's fuel supply sources in order, he should instruct Congress to
provide the funds to increase production of and research on alternative
fuels and energy-saving vehicles, not simply to buy cheap oil when it's