12/20/04 — Wake up: How long must we rely on foreign oil?

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Wake up: How long must we rely on foreign oil?

OPEC agreed on Dec. 10 to reduce oil production “to stave off declines in world prices.” Energy ministers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were quoted as expressing concerns over an oil glut and collapsing prices.

Although the reductions are not expected until February, don’t be surprised if the price of fuel at your neighborhood pump hasn’t already started up.

And many motorists and folks depending on kerosene for home heating must be trying to reconcile this year’s record high fuel prices at home with some “over-production” problem abroad.

In our country, despite decades of being victimized by the whims of greedy oil-rich sheiks, we continue to be inexcusably dependent on foreign countries for energy.

This is despite the fact that we must lead the world in nuclear energy technology and have vast deposits of oil on land and offshore that remain untapped.

Some environmental puritans become apoplectic at visions of nuclear plant meltdowns, “despoiling” wildernesses or posing threats to our waters and insist that the energy needs can be met with solar and wind power.

Present extraction of oil from the Alaskan wilderness has demonstrated clearly that it can be done without compromising wildlife habitat. Our nuclear power plants have a proven record of safety and effectiveness.

While wind and solar energy can be supplemental sources of power, they clearly are simply that — supplemental.

Unless the nation becomes willing to bite the bullet and aggressively tap into its own energy resources, we will remain at the mercy of OPEC. And the oil producing nations have shown they are without mercy and without gratitude.

Published in Editorials on December 20, 2004 9:54 AM