Prices at the Pump & American Freedom
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
May 27, 2004
Once we get beyond the shock of paying considerably more for a gallon of gas, we should take time to look at the big picture of what is actually happening to our country. Before advancing one of many opportunities however, it is appropriate to review just some of the energy security facts as found by the Rocky Mountain Institute to be the case as of the year 2000. Consider the following:
- "The U.S. has 4.6% of the world's population, produces 21% of Gross World Product and uses 26%, produces 9%, but owns only 2-3% of world oil.
- Half of U.S. oil is imported. One-fourth of oil usage comes from OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
- Of the 15% of net oil imports coming from Saudi Arabia, two-thirds relies on a single processing plant and two terminals, all vulnerable to long-lasting sabotage or attack.
- OPEC's cartel power to keep oil prices above competitive levels is estimated to have cost the U.S. economy about $4-14 trillion over the past 30 years---roughly a year's Gross Domestic Product."
Curb the Cartel of OPEC
Perhaps no country is better suited to reining in the excesses of OPEC than the U.S. Take note of the following further facts based upon research of the Rocky Mountain Institute: "Overall energy savings, worth about $365 billion in 2000 alone, are effectively the nation's biggest and fastest-growing major energy source---two-thirds bigger than total oil use, and equivalent to 3 times oil imports… . When we last paid attention, during 1977-85, GDP rose 27%, oil use fell 17%, net oil imports fell 42%, and imports from the Persian Gulf fell 87%. OPEC lost half its market, destroying its pricing power for a decade. If we'd repeated that 5.2% annual gain in oil productivity starting in 1/2000, Persian Gulf imports could have been gone by 5/2002."
Here's the kicker: "The key to the huge 1977-85 oil saving was Detroit's 7.6 m.p.g.-better cars, but then light vehicle efficiency stagnated through the 1990's. Displacing 2000 Persian Gulf imports would take only another 3.25 m.p.g. if saving gasoline saved as much crude oil as is used to make it. Two decades ago, we gained 3.25 m.p.g. every 21 months while improving safety, peppiness, and emissions. If 25% of cars in 2000 were the popular 48-49 m.p.g. hybrid-electric models, or 15% were ultra light hybrid SUV's , they could displace Gulf imports."
I could go on with other similar statistics, but will share with you the reality that in addition to the energy efficiency being pursued by the big auto manufacturers, San Antonio and Bexar County has an opportunity to develop a solar (completely nonhybrid) electric vehicle. A prototype developed by Kent Farmer of the Power Store at 930 Broadway, it has zero emissions, zero noise and infinite miles per gallon! And while its speed is presently limited, the technology to take it to 70 miles per hour is present today. It recharges in four hours and the timeframe for this recharge will shorten in the very near future.
On Monday, May 31, 2004, we celebrate Memorial Day and the many sacrifices of our armed forces necessary to secure the liberty of this country. Everyday we should be thankful for their efforts. As we appreciate their noble work for our country, let us also resolve to do whatever is necessary as citizens to be free from the clutches of foreign entities that threaten our freedom here at home and around the globe!