Friday, December 7, 2007

Protecting America’s Far-Flung Oil Supply

by Allison Krant from The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (US: Washington DC)

The National Petroleum Council (NPC) report came two years after Defense Secretary Robert Gates, then president of Texas A&M University, led a team of former White House officials in an exercise to simulate a presidential cabinet that would deal with the expected economic and security consequences of an energy crisis. The event was called “Oil Shockwave” and in the report’s introduction, Gates wrote: “First, the economic and national security risks of our dependence on oil – and especially on foreign oil – have reached unprecedented levels. The threat is real and urgent, requiring immediate and sustained attention at the highest levels of government. Second, if we wait until a crisis occurs to act, the nation will have access to few, if any, effective short-term remedies.” In his July 17 Washington Times op-ed “U.S. energy options; New report doesn’t face some facts,” Maj. Daniel L. Davis, a U.S. Army officer who fought in Afghanistan in 2005, referenced Gates’ exhortation: “Despite these stark warnings regarding our country’s vulnerability to oil-supply reductions and [Gates’] clarion call to action, the government did nothing. Already two years have passed since his warning, resulting in no meaningful government or industry action. This may be our last chance.”

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