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OPEC's woes and US

Your Feb. 1 editorial is right in cautioning your readers not to be complacent about OPEC's current troubles [``No complacency about OPEC's troubles'']. And you are right -- as far as you went -- in advocating conservation and alternative energy sources as long-term solutions. But by focusing only on long-term answers, you overlooked the importance of increased domestic oil and natural gas production to meet needs for the rest of this century and beyond. Three-fourths of the domestic oil we will need to produce by the year 2000 is yet to be found. Most of that undiscovered petroleum is estimated to lie under government-owned lands. Yet, the federal government has severely restricted energy exploration on public lands.

We certainly need to develop alternative energy sources. And conservation is clearly sound policy. But, despite years of counting on conservation as the main key to solving our nation's energy problems, US demand rose by about 5 percent in 1984. The increased demand was met primarily by increased oil imports -- up some 8 percent, compared with 1983.

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We thus ended 1984 with higher consumption and higher imports, but with no increase in domestic production of oil. In fact, during the 1970s, US reserves of crude oil -- from lands available for exploration -- declined by nearly one-third.

Oil imports now account for one-third of our oil supplies. To help reduce dependence on foreign oil, our government must encourage domestic production of conventional energy. Harry H. Hardy American Petroleum Institute Washington

In 1945, I was teaching at the American Kiz Koleji, on a hill high above the Bosporus in Turkey. One day, we all knew something was up, as we could see many ships steaming up the Bosporus to the Black Sea. Some of us had access to a publication which came weekly from our embassy, but there was no explanation there. In a few weeks, we learned about the Yalta Conference, and although we hardly knew of the vast consequences, we realized it was very important. Cornelia M. Roberts Grayslake, Ill.

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