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Fungible Oil

This from an Economist story on oil is so well written and so succinctly put that I have to repeat it here:

Thanks to the spectacular rise of futures trading, oil has become a fungible global commodity. The conventional notion that stakes in oil fields add up to energy security no longer holds up: if there is an oil shock, then the market price of every barrel of oil in the world will shoot up past $100 a barrel. [I]n America... Congress is trying to boost "energy independence". It is now considering an energy bill that would allow oil drilling in pristine parts of Alaska and would dole out billions in subsidies for the oil and gas business. This is mad. America has so little oil, and guzzles so much, that it will never again be energy-independent while relying on oil. America's best hopes for energy security lie in the resilience of global oil markets, in conservation and in alternative energy sources.
Exactly. We can drill in ANWR all we want, but the companies who find oil there will still sell it to the highest bidder. Drilling in ANWR -- or anywhere else in the US, for that matter -- won't make us any more independent when it comes to energy.


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