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The Search for Solutions to US Oil Dependence

The front page article "In Aftermath of Gulf War, Oil Prices Remain Stable," April 1, contains information which I find surprising in its candor and what it reveals about reasons for continued dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Explaining a quote by an international oil analyst, which says that the Saudi government is accepting oil prices "at less than the market can bear," the author tells us this means that "today's world oil price, maintained by Saudi production restraint, is presently lower than necessary [in order] to prevent" three economic forces from coming into play: "a surge in new non-OPEC oil production, a burst of greater efficiency in the use of oil, or massive substitution of other energy sources." Aren't these exactly some of the solutions to dependency which have been part of the national debate?

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Another analyst is quoted earlier in the article as saying: "The energy strategy of the US, to the extent it exists, is to defend access to the reserves of the Middle East." One question would seem to be: Why does the US prefer a military "solution" to developing alternative energy sources? Joan Sanders, Flossmoor, Ill.

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