Joseph Agresti: Syria + Why We Need To Kick The Oil Habit
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Our infrastructure, rule of law and de facto status as the default currency of the world economy are the primary reasons for our countries relative dominance in all things since the Industrial Revolution. I would argue that we are currently winning the Internet Revolution, albeit by not as wide of a margin. I also believe we are still in the infant stages of the next revolution – renewable energy technology.
Fifty years from now do you see peace in the Middle East? Do you think oil prices are going to be higher or lower in 50 years?
If the price of oil can rise with news of conflict in Syria, a non-oil producing country in the Middle East, can you imagine the rise in a major oil producing country?
The price of oil can fluctuate daily based on many things; the whims of energy traders, the news and the daily mood of the Saudi King, but long-term the price of oil is based on one thing - the supply versus the demand for it. I believe the price of oil will continue to rise because eventually emerging economies in India, Africa and China will consume more of it. Big oil companies drill thousands of meters deep in the middle of the ocean to find more oil to feed our world’s insatiable appetite for it. The harder oil is to find, the more expensive it is to find - the higher the price we all pay for it. For an economy that is largely based on consumer spending (around 2/3), higher gas prices will only continue to be a thorn in our economies side until we find alternatives to it.
There are many arguments against a single alternative energy source like the sun; it’s intermittent and dependent on good weather. But if we take an all hands on deck approach to renewable energy, wind, solar, biofuel, geothermal and even deep-water wind we have a chance to stay ahead of the curve and protect our country from the volatile price swings in oil that are certain to continue. We cannot wait until gas is $5 or $6 a gallon at the pump to support these industries. Like our roads and our schools our renewable energy technology companies are part of the core infrastructure of our economy.