An excellent op-ed in the NYT today by Stephen Kelly, “Oil Under Our Noses.”
He points out that we’re now importing less than half of our oil, and of the imported oil, less than 20% comes from the Persian Gulf. So when we talk about Iran threatening our oil supply, let’s remember that we’re talking about less than 10% of what we use. Yes, prices would go up, but we could get what we need.
For other countries, it’s a bigger deal. Kelly points out that 77% of Japan’s imported oil is from the Persian Gulf, while South Korea gets 74% and China 43%. So let them do more to protect their sources.
“[W]e should review the estimated $50 billion a year we now spend to maintain a military presence in the Persian Gulf, not counting the cost of the wars we’ve been fighting in the region.
“[A]s we reassess what we can afford to do militarily in the world, countries that depend more directly on Persian Gulf oil should pay a larger share of the burden for keeping the region stable.”
This country too often does too much about things that really aren’t our problem, or should be somebody else’s problem as much as or more than it is ours. Maybe it was our problem before (as when we got a lot more oil from the Persian Gulf), but we need to recognize and respond to changes in the world.