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Henry Hewitt

Henry Hewitt

Henry Hewitt is an investment strategist and portfolio manager with 36 years of experience in renewable energy. He is also a seasoned writer having published…

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How Oil Can Be Used To Defeat ISIS

How Oil Can Be Used To Defeat ISIS

In the aftermath of 9/11, I had expected to see George Bush appear before the cameras and say: 

“Of Course, You Know, This Means War.” Rather, he chose to resemble Yosemite Sam, running madly into the room, guns blazing, having no idea either where they would hit or where the enemy was. Ready, Fire, Aim.

Iraq was neither our enemy, nor the cause of the 9/11 attacks. But now, in the aftermath of the worst mistake in American history, the enemy has emerged, and its name is ISIS. So, if we decide, in fact, this is war, the time has come to ask the people at home to do something about it.

Related: $40 Billion LNG Project In Australia Cancelled Amid Low Prices

The first thing we should consider, therefore, is to stop, immediately, importing any and all oil from the Middle East. We are lucky it is so cheap right now, and we are also lucky that our fracking technology is so efficient that we can ramp up domestic production rather quickly.

(Click to enlarge)

As of the end of 2015, the U.S. imported 9 million barrels per day (mb/d). About 1.5 mb/d came from the Persian Gulf, and that would be a good place to start, or in this case, stop. (The figure rises close to 3 mb/d if you count all of OPEC.)

Would the price of gasoline rise? Probably. However, our parents and grandparents, who went to war against Hitler and Imperial Japan, would be astonished at us for thinking we could continue to drive to the mall on cheap gas and low tax rates while the fire in the Middle East was burning out of control.

Related: Is This The Most Intricate Oil Theft Operation Yet?

Furthermore, the mantra (unconscious and unexpressed) that it is desirable to have ‘Representation without Taxation’ is completely at odds with the impulse that led to the American Revolution. Franklin, Washington and Hamilton would be aghast, as would the Bostonians John and Sam Adams.

While we are at it, let’s also tack on a carbon tax. At $40 per ton of CO2, the price of gasoline would rise by another 40 cents. Neither of these things is going to happen, but both of them should, and they should happen now. The sooner we wean ourselves from oil, not just the Persian Gulf variety but oil in general, and the sooner we electrify transport, the sooner we can extricate ourselves from religious holy and civil wars that we do not understand and have no business getting involved in.

As luck would have it, both Tesla and GM are launching EVs that can go 200 miles per charge with a sticker price at or below the average new car price in the U.S. of $35,000. This has become possible, at scale, because the price for a lithium ion battery, per kilowatt-hour, has now fallen to around $250, on its way to $100. At that price, a 60-kWh battery, which will take you 200 miles on a charge, only costs $6,000. That leaves plenty of room in the budget for things like tires, seats and a steering wheel. Related: Oil Prices Fall Fast On Huge Inventory Build

If you want to defeat ISIS, buy an electric car. For now, though, we should be nice to our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, because that is where most of the oil we do not produce at home is going to come from until we transition from domestic fracking to electricity for transport – an infinitely scalable source of domestic energy, provided by multiple sources. One more thing, it will never run out. PV4EV rules (or soon will).

In his farewell address (June 10, 1963 at American University), President Kennedy, a war hero, concluded by stating that: “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.” Tragically, the world now knows he was mistaken. However, he did add this: “We shall be prepared if others wish it.”

And now they do, for we have awakened a nest of sleeping scorpions and filled them with a terrible resolve.

By Henry Hewitt of Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Bill on March 24 2016 said:
    i have no intention of weaning myself from oil , i spent my whole life working hard and no have retired and purchased a 500HP Dodge Challenger SRT8 , and i plan on driving it , ALOT !!! ,
  • Mike on March 24 2016 said:
    I'm curious where all this extra electricity will come from? The EV crowd always forgets about that part.
  • Brett on March 25 2016 said:
    Amen.
  • Joe on March 25 2016 said:
    When I see the first Testla Factory that is powered by solar panels and wind turbines and the first electric vehicle recharging station that is not connected to a generator powered by clean burning natural gas coming from wells that "evil" hydraulic fracturing, I will then be convinced.
  • David Hrivnak on March 25 2016 said:
    I fully agree and now have rooftop solar and two plug-in cars. I now produce over 90% of the electricity for the house and two cars. And the Tesla will easily beat that 500 hp Charger you have ;)
  • Gene Ivie on March 28 2016 said:
    I disagree that going into Iraq was "the worst mistake in American history." Iraq had WMDs in the 80s, they used them against Iran, and WE gave them to them. Saddam BRAGGED in the 90s that he was gassing the Kurds with leftover WMDs from the Iran war, and that he still had some left.

    As far as the worst mistake in American history, it's a tie between not getting involved in WWI sooner, and not helping Great Britian and France stop Hitler and Mussolini in the late 30s, before they were too big to intimidate.
  • SmarterthanU on March 29 2016 said:
    What a terrible article. Truly written from the POV of an English major turned journalist. Tries to press the usual "buttons" regarding high gas prices...how "evil" oil from the "persian gulf" is...holy wars and yadda yadda.

    This author CLEARLY does not understand the realities of the oil market, nor the free market, and all of the complexities that factor into its current state.

    This guy mentions our WWII fighting grandparents...HAH!

    electric cars...charged on an outdated American grid that's likely powered by natural gas.

    hopefully no one is considering this due diligence for any investments.

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