Just Say No to Foreign Oil – Do We Believe It?

There are a lot of different agendas and politico-socio-economico viewpoints out there when you go to an alternative fuel/vehicle conference. Maybe your company is pushing biofuels, or maybe there are benefits to natural gas that don’t even have much to do with global warming and pollution. Or you’re a fleet manager dealing with tricky state regulations. Wherever you come from, you probably agree – Let’s get away from importing foreign oil. That is mentioned by government agencies, environmental groups, trade associations, fuel suppliers, etc. I see the point to it and agree with the benefits, but sometimes it raises questions in my mind. Such as: A lot of our oil is now imported from Canada and Mexico, our NAFTA partners. Is that foreign oil evil? What countries do we specifically want to include in our foreign oil embargo? What about offshore oil, whether drilled for by a foreign company (BP) or domestic? Is offshore better than importing foreign oil? We’ve had a ton of domestic offshore oil spills in the last 40 years – way more than Santa Barbara, Exxon Valdez, and Gulf of Mexico. Shouldn’t we get away from offshore oil? And a final question – What do people really want in place of foreign oil? Is there one alternative fuel or energy source that would win that race?

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