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TheStreet Open House

Mr. President, Time to Embrace Nat Gas

There are more greenhouse gases now then in 1997 when Kyoto came into being. There are also 1.3 billion more people in the world today. Canada has dropped out of Kyoto because it wants to keep its jobs. Australia is going forward with a carbon tax, and its government does not care if its aluminum industry goes to China where the electric grid is mostly coal based. India is the same way with using coal.

Here are a few problems that could affect our energy supplies and are already influencing the price of our gasoline at the pump:

  • Libya, while getting better, is still not up to prewar levels of production and there is no real central government in place.
  • Nigeria may blow up at any time.
  • Venezuela is very close to Iran and has a leader who regularly confiscates private property.
  • After it takes power, the Islamist government in Egypt may close the Suez Canal during a crisis and support war with Israel.
  • Iran is already a seething problem that could blow up into a major crisis.
  • High oil prices now may cut world growth.
  • Mexico could have unrest that could curtail oil production.
  • A large portion of Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti oil could be locked in if the Iranians go to war in the Gulf.
  • What would Muslim oil exporters do if another Muslim country such as Iran were attacked by Israel or the U.S.?
  • Bahrain is having its problems too with Shiites as well as disturbances by Shiites in the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia, who are sympathetic to Iran. A lot of Saudi Arabia's oil is in its eastern provinces.
  • Syria is destabilized and could bring in Turkey and Iran and Iraq to name a few.
  • Iraq is trying to increase its oil production, but it is unstable, too.
  • If we do not voluntarily switch to natural gas now with all of the above problems facing us, then we will most likely switch when we have no other choice.
  • Matt Horween is a certified public accountant and served as a commissioned U.S. foreign service officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development from March 1981 to March 1998. He served in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Egypt, Honduras and Barbados, spending about 15 years overseas. He ended his career stationed in Washington, D.C. as the financial controller for the bureau that controlled the foreign aid program for Europe, including all of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and its former satellite countries. Horween also worked as an auditor for Price Waterhouse & Company in New York City and held various financial management positions for several publically listed corporations. Early in his career, he served as a radio intercept analyst for the U.S. Air Force Security Service and was stationed in Greece.
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