Friday, February 02, 2007

Bush oil imports policy fails basic economics test

I missed this a couple of weeks back, Bush oil imports policy fails basic economics test

"George Bush’s policy on reducing US oil imports would flunk an elementary economics test, experts at the University of Sussex Energy Group said today. The aim of reducing US oil usage by 20% over the next 10 years, as outlined in Bush’s State of the Union address, while a laudable and long-overdue goal, is highly unlikely to make much impression on oil imports. Here’s how: Oil is a commodity traded on price, and abundant Middle East oil means that it is cheap. In addition, the US will be unable to erect trade barriers due to world trade rules...

Sussex Energy Group experts made the following observations on Bush’s address:

• Reliance on Ethanol: fuel from ethanol may help to increase indigenous production of fuel for vehicles but this comes at a price: the intensively grown grain used to produce ethanol itself takes considerable amounts of energy to produce...

• Technology fantasies: Technology can undoubtedly help address environmental challenges, but Bush’s reliance on technology to solve his energy and environmental problems leaves untouched the question of consumer behaviour. This is the elephant in the room that no US politician seems willing to discuss yet lies at the core of the US citizen’s place at the top of the league table for energy use, emissions and consumption of other resources."

Thanks to Chris Blackmore for the pointer.

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