SAUDI ARABIA OR VENEZUELA? …. Even if alternative-energy production is greatly expanded, and even if prices for, say, ethanol fuels become truly competitive, would that necessarily mean a reduction in oil imports from the Middle East? If Venezuelan or Mexican or Canadian oil remains more expensive to extract than Saudi Arabian oil, we would simply import less from those countries.

As Department of Energy analyst Anthony Radich told Reuter?s Tom Doggett, because the Middle East generally produces oil more cheaply than other regions ?barring some (government) policy that explicitly discourages oil imports, even if we do find cheaper ways to produce cellulose ethanol, the imports from the Middle East are among the last to go.?

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Christina Larson

Christina Larson is a Washington Monthly contributing editor and an award-winning science and environment journalist who has reported from five continents.