Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Oil Interruption Contingency Plan...

...or, better stated, lack thereof:
However, if one, two or all of three vital chokepoints are hit by terrorists flying hijacked 747s or Iranian military action - the Abqaiq processing plant, the Ras Tanura terminal in Saudi Arabia, or the two-mile per sea lane Strait of Hormuz - as much as 40% of all seaborne oil will be stopped, as much as 18% of all global supply will be interrupted, and from 12 to 20% of the US supply will be cut off. Estimates are the US shortfall could be even higher. Repeat attacks could prolong the crisis for many months, which is exactly what either al-Qaida or Iranian terrorists have promised. Yet there is no plan.

THE BEST experts predict that if we suffer as much as 10% for any period of time, let alone 20%, it will be a neighbor-against-neighbor "Mad Max" scenario as food shortages swell and a storm of economic collapse surges across the country. Indeed, experts have been warning about this looming calamity for years. But the government and presidential candidates refuse to even consider the possibility or develop a contingency plan.

Yet our allies have developed oil contingency legislation and other administrative plans that will permit their nations to survive a stoppage. These measures include severe vehicle traffic reductions, enabling fast alternative fuel production and mass vehicle retrofitting, as well as rush public transit enhancement, and mandated changes in driving habits. Unquestionably, for America to survive such a catastrophe will require a very painful, multilayered program of immediate-term, short-term, mid-term and long-term fixes that will change our society and transform it off oil. The nation has no real alternative fuel or retrofitting infrastructure. But every lawmaker, mayor, governor and every candidate must develop such a plan - and now.
Read the entire JPost op-ed here.