What if our supply of foreign crude oil was suddenly interrupted?
That possibility has been bothering me for some time. With the tenuous situation that now exists on the world stage, our supply of crude oil could be interrupted at any moment. It doesn't matter if this was the result of a terrorist attack, or a natural disaster, such as a hurricane. In any event, I haven't heard one government official from the President on down, or for that matter any of the presidential candidates, mention a contingency plan.
Granted, in 1975, the government passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. That legislation led to the establishment of the strategic oil reserves. However, those reserves, combined with our existing private sector inventory, would still only offer an estimated 115 days of imports. A protracted interruption could conceivably last much longer.
Our government has contingency plans for other potential disasters, such as hurricanes, anthrax or terrorist attacks. However, I'm not aware of a contingency plan to handle a protracted interruption in our supply of foreign oil. That gives new meaning to one of John McCain's favorite phrases, "drill, baby, drill."
Increasing our domestic supply of crude oil would definitely ease the seriousness of a protracted interruption of foreign oil.
We are presently dependent on the world market for the majority of our crude oil. That is what concerns me. We are at the mercy of countries like Venezuela, the OPEC cartel, as well as other countries that don't particularly like us. If worse came to worst, with proper planning, we could survive a protracted interruption in our supply of foreign oil, but first we would have to have a plan to retrofit existing gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles to either electric or natural gas.
However, I'm still not sold on using natural gas to power motor vehicles, primarily because of what happened to the cost of natural gas for heating our homes. Granted, we have abundant supplies of natural gas, but as soon as the demand increases, the price goes up. That is what concerns me about powering our motor vehicles with natural gas.