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  • Morning Bell: War Games, An Energy Crisis, and the Iranian Threat

    A picture released by Fars News Agency on December 29, 2011, shows a U.S aircraft carrier spotted in an area of the Iranian navy ongoing maneuver zone on the Sea of Oman, near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. UPI/ Abdollah Arab Koohsar/Fars News

    The Strait of Hormuz lies between Iran and the United Arab Emirates, providing passage for some 15.5 million barrels of crude oil per day, amounting to one third of the world’s seaborne oil shipments. In a word, it is a 34-mile-wide chokepoint, making Iran’s threat this week to shut down the strait all the more serious for the global community.

    The Iranian regime’s provocative warnings came on Tuesday from Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi who threatened to close the strait if Iran faces sanctions for its nuclear ambitions. And Wednesday, Iran’s top naval commander Habibollah Sayyari said, ”Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran’s armed forces is really easy … or, as Iranians say, it will be easier than drinking a glass of water.”

    Iran’s closing of the strait — and its economic ramifications — is a scenario that has been contemplated before. From December 2006 to March 2007, Heritage Foundation scholars conducted a computer simula­tion and gaming exercise that examined the likely economic and policy consequences of a major oil disruption in the Persian Gulf. Specifically, the war game was based on a scenario in which Iran began blockading the Strait of Hormuz in January 2007.

    What did they find? Based on their modeling, if Iran succeeded in fully blockading the strait for up to one week, Americans would see a massive spike in oil prices, a one-quarter drop in GDP of $161 billion, the loss of one million jobs, and a drop of real disposable personal income costing more than $260 billion.

    With those threats at hand, the scholars recommended a series of steps to manage the theoretical blockade and its worldwide economic consequences:

    A focused but restrained use of military power oriented toward objectives that address vital national interests would demonstrate U.S. determination to uphold freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, help to calm global markets, and reassure American consumers, and measures liberalizing energy policies and rolling back regulatory restrictions would allow the marketplace to work to meet global energy needs.

    At the time this war game analysis was conducted, the scholars described why a potential blockage of the Strait of Hormuz would be such a significant threat. Their words ring true today. They looked back to the energy crises during the Arab oil embargo in 1973-1974 and the Iranian revolution in 1978-1979 — both of which led to fuel shortages, long gas lines, gasoline rationing, high inflation, and energy-related dam­age to the overall economy.

    In those instances, they wrote, America suffered not only as a result of the changes in global oil supply, but also because of policies emanating from Washington:

    At almost every turn, Washington policymakers exacerbated the already challenging energy situation with their own policy blunders. The federal government’s newly created maze of economic and environmental regulations and implementing agencies greatly hampered domestic energy supplies and limited the private sector’s ability to respond to events.

    In retrospect, the U.S. government probably caused at least as much harm as any foreign entity did. Much of the energy crisis was self-inflicted by bad decisions made in Washington. The errors of the 1970s should serve as a cautionary tale as Amer­ica again faces similar energy challenges.

    Today, Washington is throwing up similar roadblocks to energy independence. President Barack Obama has postponed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to refineries in Texas, and give a major boost to the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, his Administration has blocked access to shale resources and slowed down and even halted offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies 30 percent of domestic oil production. And the Environmental Protection Agency is imposing new, costly regulations on energy production. And all of this comes as Iran is threatening to cut off a quarter of the world’s energy supply.

    As Heritage’s war game analysis showed, there are things America can do to respond to such provocations from Tehran, but no actions can totally eliminate the economic consequences. However, there are things Washington can and should do today to help America become less dependent on the Middle East for its energy and soften the blow should Iran choose to lash out at the West. America’s security depends on it.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    60 Responses to Morning Bell: War Games, An Energy Crisis, and the Iranian Threat

    1. FlaJim says:

      The first two things that must be done as soon as possible are to open the ANWR to additional drilling and to rescind all energy policies and regulations put in place for the past three years. Next is to allow drilling in other areas of the US that are currently being blocked by the government.

      The US is sitting on proven oil reserves that would allow us to be self sustaining for at least 130 years. It's only lunacy preventing us from exploiting our own resources.

      • IronFind says:

        the thing is the US want to save those oil reserves so that in how ever many years it take for the rest of the world to dry out its oil then they will drill and "find" all this oil and sell it so that they make money.

    2. Lawrence Burnham says:

      The President cannot and will not approve any oil related projects for this country that would improve our oil reserves, create jobs, or boost the economy. You cannot have economic collapse with new sources of money coming in.

    3. Robert, TX says:

      Secondly, our oil prices would not see a massive spike, if not for the illegal speculation that was made legal by your own Phil Gramm with his infamous Enron loophole (that benefitted his wife who sat on Enron's "board") – and our complete lack of a coherent energy policy. When the executive branch so completely abdicates its responsibilities those tasks must be undertaken by Congress – and when Congress is in a coma – the states must assert themselves and fill the VOID. The "leadership" of the House is either utterly incompetent – or completely complicit – in these dastardly deeds.

    4. toledofan says:

      Well, as usual, you hit the nail on the head. Cheap fuel or energy is the key to economic growth and as long as we allow ourselves to be beholden to the middle east or other oil producers, we will always be in trouble. What is really sad is, that, in todays day and age, we have no comprhensive energy policy encompassing all of our available fossil fuels, including green energy like winds and the notion that we would puposely polute or degrade our land to get it. It really is absurd that we would allow a handful of enviromentalists to dictate the future of the country or some 3rd world country to hold us hostage.

    5. Dave Johnson says:

      All that 'stuff' that happens over there has grave consequences over here! Americans must get their heads out of the sand and pay attention to how Washington's Energy policies make an already tenuous situation even worse!

    6. Whicket Williams says:

      All the more reason to elect RON PAUL. He is the only one that will reduce the tangle if regulations that ARE CHOKING US.

    7. Whicket Williams says:

      If Iran starts this, we better go ahead and take them out of the game completely. But I doubt Obama has the necessary intestinal fortitude.

    8. steve says:

      "At almost every turn, Washington policymakers exacerbated the already challenging energy situation with their own policy blunders. The federal government’s newly created maze of economic and environmental regulations and implementing agencies greatly hampered domestic energy supplies and limited the private sector’s ability to respond to events."

      "In retrospect, the U.S. government probably caused at least as much harm as any foreign entity did. Much of the energy crisis was self-inflicted by bad decisions made in Washington. The errors of the 1970s should serve as a cautionary tale as Amer­ica again faces similar energy challenges."
      This says it all for me!

    9. Terry Stone says:

      When we've got our own worst enemy in the White House, we can't expect this government to act in our own interests.

    10. Sam Hardman says:

      We should be building the Pipeline from Canada TODAY. I understand we have plenty of oil out West in our own USA and I don't hear of any new drilling. I think we are letting the environmentals have to much power. We need power from all sources.

    11. Glenn says:

      Instead of remaining vulnerable to the mere threats and sabre rattling why not take action to defuse the potential? NOT with any preemptive military strike. How difficult would it be to dig a bypass canal east of the problem area through the UAE? A quick look at a map shows such a canal would be about 35 miles long. It would not have to have any locks unless one at each end was wanted for some reason. The sides could be sloped and protected from erosion by lining with large rocks or with precast concrete like warehouses are built with. Then Iran could flap their lips and rattle their sabres and the world could pretty much ignore them other than a wary eye.

      btw Does anybody at Heritage read these comments?

      • Howard Wolf says:

        That's a fascinating idea, but it won't solve the problem in time. But things aren't all that bleak. Even a cursory glance at the relative naval strength of Uncle Sam and the Iranian flotilla makes it obvious that the last place on earth the mullahs would want to challenge us on is the high seas. They may be insane, but they aren't stupid.

        What has encouraged them thus far is the fact that they have been involved in killing Americans since the 1970s and we have done nothing about it. We repeat the huge errors of the last century. Not standing up to threats invites aggression.

    12. inverbrass says:

      It is time America awoke from the entitlement dream, scuttled the EPA,and the Department of Education, as a start along with reducing the size of government by 25%. Even though Osama and Saddam are gone, Obama remains the biggest threat to our Nation. Hopefully November 2012 will remedy this mistake by the American People. This latest crisis surrounding the strait of Hormuz can be delt with on a military level as well as imposing economic sanctions, although I doubt that Obama has the fortitude to employ either. Second only to Obama's threat to our nation is Congress. The largest dysfunctional group of liars, cheats and thieves in our history. From insider trading, to kickbacks, to sleeping with lobbyists, they are dishonest to the core. Why does such a simple concept as energy independence escape our so called leaders. Why does politics always get in the way? Perhaps there is more truth to the old adage, "there is no honor among thieves" than we care to admit when dealing with Congress and the president.

    13. Dan says:

      Thank you afor articulating these points. I would add, if the Keystone XL pipeline project does not happen, Canada has already indicated they will build a pipeline to their Pacific coast and sell to China. Do the
      "environmentalists" not understand that this oil is going to be refined by someone? And do they not also understand that the US refineries will do a better job of safe guarding earth's environment than refinieries in China? As to pipeline leaks, more fear mongering. The Alsaka pipeline was built decades ago. Don't recall hearing about any environmental disasters related to that pipeline.

    14. Stacey says:

      We should stay out of it if Iran decides to close the strait and (maybe) suffer for a little. I am sure the Arab countries will take care or Iran when the money starts drying up.

    15. Jake Bender says:

      Do not imply that Obama's roadblocks, such as blocking the Keystone pipeline, are "blunders" and errors. They are a concerted effort, announced before his election, to make fossil fuels so expensive for Americans that we will be forced to use hyper-expensive alternate energy sources. As oil and gas become more and more plentiful, Obama has simply dug in regarding his misguided plan to force conversion to alternate fuels. This is not publicized adequately.

    16. Ardath Blauvelt says:

      In a true Grinch moment, I am sort of hoping that Iran will block the strait simply because it would help unseat this president and might, once and for all, force our self-serving government to return to energy policies that are based in common sense and not pie-in-the-sky hopes, changes that they are perhaps planning to be ground floor investors in? or go-along-get-along favorable press dreams. This country for decades could be, and should be, energy independent with jobs, energy, innovation and invention as a result; the same result that has set us apart for so long. Who invented the light bulb for instance? We could probably be a net energy exporter, let alone kowtowing to tyrants and turning our back on friendly sources like Canada. One has to seriously wonder what prompts the governors of a great nation to commit energy and economic suicide on behalf of those they "serve".

    17. Wayne Grievo says:

      Let's be pro-active. Let us not wait until we are trying to overcome what the enemy has done to us. Take action now. Let the Iranian "government" get a taste of some real power. Take out what ever assets they have in the area and hit their nuke building sights even if there is collatoral damage. It is called war. Hit them hard and you will have a friend in no time at all. "Si vis pacem, para bellum". (If you wish peace, prepare for war.

    18. JohnD says:

      No mention in the essay re: structure of the war game as it pertains to Iran itself……her only real port is Bandaar Abbas and closing the Hormuz Straits closes Bandaar Abbas……national suicide?

    19. Mary......WI says:

      Not signing on to the KeystoneXL pipeline is perhaps the most foolish blunder Obama and the Democrats have made as they continue the demise of the USA. Canada has been an excellent neighbor to the USA. What a slap in their face not to sign on…..foolish! And why? Because Obama and the dems are getting camapign money from the environmental whackos.The safety and prosperity of our country in exchange for money with which "they" will use to further control every aspect of Americans lives.

    20. PeterSmart says:

      Since a lot of this oil is going to states other than the United States, I'd like to know where the rest of the free world comes into play. Why must we always be the one power to jump in with both feet to secure the freedoms of every other state in the West. Don't get me wrong. Someone needs to act on this, but it doesn't have to be Th United States. We just continue to give and spend. It's got to stop.

    21. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      As Heritage has illustrated in previous writings, there are logical methods to approaching any crisis, unfortunately the operative word is logical. In the past 25 to 30 years, Republicans and Democrats have initiated self-serving policies, intended to fatten personal wealth and put our nation at risk. If politicians aren't pandering to some group attempting to save a spotted-toad, they then retire from Congress and become part of the Washington lobby society return to the halls of Congress and pander to their colleagues to provide money for their personal projects.

      Barry Obama seeks the destruction of our Core Values because he does not hold them to be self-evident, no surprise here, but for Congress, both parties to agree with such a disloyal philosophy, is treasonous.

    22. Opa says:

      The heck with "focused but restrained." If they block the straights, send in a combined carrier force (Probably 2 carriers) with supporting ships from allied nations, and simply destroy their navy and whatever airplanes they throw up. Get a declaration of war from Congress, and then destroy their nuclear facilities. THEN let them sue for peace. And tell them we will accept unconditional surrender. With the current administration, I'm not going to hold my breath. Blocking the Straits of Hormuz is an act of war.

    23. David Dunn says:

      Crisis? What crisis? Has something actually happened in the Persian Gulf that requires action by 'adults' that is not already being taken or contemplated?

      And who writes this crap? They make it sound like ONLY the U.S. has an interest in oil flowing freely out of the Persian Gulf. I guess the exporters just want to watch helplessly as their market is strangled by Iran???? The oil WILL continue to flow.

      The article alludes to (unspecified) U.S. policy errors in the 70's which (possibly) made that oil crisis worse but draws no direct comparison between then and now.

      Consequently, the vaccuum left by the intentional lack of factual information is rapidly filled by politically-motivated and meaningless oubursts.

      The article ends with 5 bullet points that have nothing to do with energy policy or anything that can be done to mitigate the effects of the Strait's blockage or any other event related to energy policy.

      This looks to me like the "we-distort-you-decide" method of (air-quotes) 'news' dissemination.

      • Wayne Peterkin says:

        The five bullet points at the end were not intended to relate to this article, only pointing to other issues. If you couldn't get that much, I question the basis of the rest of your comment.

    24. Guest says:

      So, does this mean the US should hoard their oil and beat up others to have what is theirs? Or that the US should not build a pipeline and purchase from Canada? Are we sure a nation of unintelligent and brutal people? Is the pen not mightier than the sword. Must we always be the world's bullies rather than negotiate or go elsewhere for our needs? I am just curious as the US Founders had this to say: Thomas Jefferson, "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none." and George Washington: "…conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations and to have with them as little political connection as possible." But no one is listening anymore because we have bigger guns and our pres can now knock off anyone in the world who has a descenting attitude.

    25. allen says:

      Whats wrong with this picture. Iran does not have a Refiener, when they cut the Straits off they will have a uprising within and out side and no Country can run both at the same time. Or am I wrong?

    26. F.D. O'Toole says:

      This is the problem. All countries will suffer if the straits are closed. But the world looks to the USA to take action to keep the oil flowing. The OECD countries have no real military forces. Their politicians defunded their militaries to feed their socialistic welfare states and get themselves reelected. If the US takes action, the Iranians will kill our troops with weapons supplied by Germany, Russia, China, etc. Are we patsies?
      What would a strong president do? There are no clear cut answers but when presented with problems like this, I ask, what would Newt do?

    27. mark says:

      Until we change our foreign policy these things will continue to happen no matter who is president. The fact that Obama has really become more militant or has let the the miltary industrial complex run foreign policy from the Pentagon shows the level of corruption our leadership ha taken on. The parties have really become one in the same, the rehtoric yes is different but actions show otherwise. What I fear most is another war like Iraq. people are tired of undeclared endless wars with no clear mission. what part of BROKE! do you not understand?

    28. Keith White says:

      I think the problem we have with Iran should have been taken care of when they took over the embassy and took hostage of all the personnel working there. We should have landed the Marines there and took the embassy back. This action would have taken care of Iran's president as he was one of the hostage takers. Now Obama won't sign the Keystone pipeline and has stopped drilling all over our country to make the price of oil skyrocket and get the pump price for all finished products, Gasoline, Diesel ect. so high it will force people to the (green) energy._Obama has an agenda and it does not have the best interests of the US in it. He will destroy our country for his ideological ideas. Any action between Iran and the rest of the world over the straits of Hormuz will skyrocket world oil prices and may start a major war. It is time for the US to get an energy policy and get back to drilling and producing our own oil and gas (this includes the XL pipeline) so we aren't as dependant on Opec and the middle east countries that don't like us .

    29. Chucke says:

      Iran just admitted to their nuclear ambitions. Now we know for sure it's time to do something about it.

    30. joseph hohmann says:

      This threat at the very least is a warning to reintroduce the Mantra of "Drill Baby, Drill" Approve the pipe line with Canada, eliminate the hold on drilling leases in Gulf and get of the regulations out of the way.

    31. theobserver says:

      It is the intention of the Obama administration to cause the price for a gallon of gas to rise to $5 – $6, maybe even higher. This has been amply demonstrated by his actions in curtailing oil drilling in the gulf, and his hinderance of the XL pipeline. He has turned the EPA loose on the domestic oil industry that all but shuts it down. Abolish the EPA, start drilling in the gulf again, and green light the XL pipeline.

    32. Jeanne Stotler says:

      It makes me sick when I know we have a POTUS who does not know how to defend us and underminds the military at every turn. As A Military brat I grew up with the idea and believe in it, We are only as strong as our defenses. BHO does not understand this, Nov. 2012 cannot come quick enough.

    33. Cyborg says:

      The real and disastrous threat for the World Economy, particularly our US Economy hides a larger
      and much graver threat due to the insane Energy as well as other economic policies of the Obama administration.

      To be certain closing the Straits of Hormutz would cause worldwide economic distress. There is also the unknown consequences of US interdicting an attempt by Iran to do so and the question of it leading to a much expanded war and a rabid, even perhaps suicidal reaction by Iran with it's soon to possess Nuclear Weapon capability.

      It not only seems, but it obviously apparent that the Obama administration is intentionally on every front, obstructing and sabotaging US Energy Independence to fulfill their agenda of Windmill and Solar fantasias.
      In actuality a strong valid argument can be made that Obama is covertly & overtly trying to aggressively destroy Capitalism and transform our nation into a Socialist Political System.
      Partial results of Obam's consistent anti-Energy policy of blocking access to shale resources, halting off shore drilling, blocking the Keystone pipeline, passing Obamacare and maniacal irresponsible spending / borrowing is already responsible for the malaise that envelops American Business and our Economy: all of which promise – no guarantee to leave horrific economic scars that will take a generation to correct.
      With Obama's far left ideologues running most Fed Depts., like the EPA, NLRB and other Depts., as well as his cadre of Marxist / Socialist Czars little is likely to change until he is thrown out of office.

    34. bassboat says:

      We have over 500 years of various types of energy beneath our feet. We continue to allow a minority called the environmentalists to holds up development by lawsuits and regulations. We need a closing of the Straight of Hormuz in order to wake up the American people to what is happening to them. We should be paying $1.25 a gallon for gas yet we sleep while America burns. Close it down and prices will come down.

    35. @drm0414 says:

      Not disputing your facts or logical thinking, but would BO or the US Navy allow Iran to do this? I guess if he were wrongheaded enough to block the Keystone Pipeline, he could…

    36. rmgdonnow says:

      It is a frightening thought, but I am more and more convinced that the manic, radical policies Of Obama are actually those of a segment of the Democratic Party which sought, recruited, and promoted ad nauseum this Barack Hussein Sotoroe/Obama little man from the men streets of Chicago, an apt student of Davis, Ayers/Doern, and probably of Cloward and Piven into the public square. With valuable, if not vital, aid from the "Media."
      To put it another way: If they had intended to destroy the economic, military, and global prestige of the United States of America, what would they have done differently??
      It is more satisfying for a power hungry person to be at or near the top of a nearly failed country, than to be the "little fish in a big pond" in a fairly successful one.
      Especially if the person has a long-time grudge against the successful country…….

    37. Dan S says:

      The United State's Navy should immediately take complete controll of the Iowa Class Battleship's that are now museaum's. The Iowa is in the process of being modified into a museaum as I write this post, I say get her ready for sea. The Wisconsin and Missouri and New Jersey are all in beautiful condition, they must be quickly reactivated, and sent on a WERE BACK DEPLOYMENT to the GULF Region, let them get there nose's wet and say hello and stay for the party. They are getting up there in age true enough, lack of service and mothball's kept them young in service year's. They should be in the far east barking right now.

    38. Larry White says:

      "At almost every turn, Washington policymakers exacerbated the already challenging energy situation with their own policy blunders. The federal government’s newly created maze of economic and environmental regulations and implementing agencies greatly hampered domestic energy supplies and limited the private sector’s ability to respond to events."_
      _ The error of the 70's was mostly incompetence , bureaucratic and adminstrative. Now, I fear this Adminstration may see this as "…a crisis too good to miss". _ __ It is truly outrageous for Obama to have so many easy steps to make our country energy independent and NOT TAKE ANY OF THEM!

    39. JKK says:

      Could someone tell me please, just who do we receive the our oil supply?
      Some say Canada and then the mid-east. Which is correct? Thank You.

    40. Mike, North Carolina says:

      Considering a method of operating rather tellingly revealed by Rohm Emmanuel when he said "Never let a crisis go to waste", expect Obama and his accomplices to continue acting ineffectively enough against Iran, including the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, and use as an excuse any consequences in travel and commerce which could be made very temporary and overcomable.
      Historically such "Progressive" ways empower tyrants and make it possible for "rogue states" of all sizes to "bully" and threaten their own and other people, and so also cause wars, including two world wars and today's war against Islamic extremists.
      Alas, "Progressives" such as Obama ignore and forget or even deny that lesson of history, which encourages tyrants and “rogue states” such as Iran to so threaten others countries, even the US, for their nuclear weapon seeking “Holy war” to subjugate.

    41. billy barney says:

      Who is kidding who here? The Carrier Fleet on site would completely elimenate the entire Iranian Navy before sundown and take out all of their Shore installations before lunch. That is of course if we had a few good men running the Government and the Military, instead of a bunch of political correct corrupt wimps.
      Quit sticking up for them and protecting their propaganda mill. Call them out for what they are. There always comes a time when protecting "cash flows" of traitors is not worth one young American Military Man. Not for all these corrupt cockroaches.

    42. Ellis Moses says:

      I say that we should blockade it and starve the Iranians of much needed refined petroleum (gasoline and diesel fuel). Accelerate the Keystone pipeline, open ANWAR to drilling and minimize the permitting process for exploration and development in the GOM.

    43. Cyborg says:

      The real and disastrous threat for the World Economy, particularly our US Economy hides a larger
      and much graver threat due to the insane Energy as well as other economic policies of the Obama administration.

      To be certain closing the Straits of Hormutz would cause worldwide economic distress. There is also the unknown consequences of US interdicting an attempt by Iran to do so and the question of it leading to a much expanded war and a rabid, even perhaps suicidal reaction by Iran with it's soon to possess Nuclear Weapon capability.

      It not only seems, but it obviously apparent that the Obama administration is intentionally on every front, obstructing and sabotaging US Energy Independence to fulfill their agenda of Windmill and Solar fantasias.
      In actuality a strong valid argument can be made that Obama is covertly & overtly trying to aggressively destroy Capitalism and transform our nation into a Socialist Political System.
      Partial results of Obam's consistent anti-Energy policy of blocking access to shale resources, halting off shore drilling, blocking the Keystone pipeline, passing Obamacare and maniacal irresponsible spending / borrowing is already responsible for the malaise that envelops American Business and our Economy: all of which promise – no guarantee to leave horrific economic scars that will take a generation to correct.
      With Obama's far left ideologues running most Fed Depts., like the EPA, NLRB and other Depts., as well as his cadre of Marxist / Socialist Czars little is likely to change until he is thrown out of office.

    44. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Last time I checked a map, most of Iran's a desert. They have to eat. So if they don't quit their nuke program,
      maybe we should cut off their food supply.

    45. Arvid Myhre says:

      I hope it doesn't take a severe energy crisis for the Congress and the President to wake up. Filling our energy needs with domestic production would be a huge financial blow to the Middle East and would dampen their "cockyness" and would reduce unemployement in the US. I think it is time for a "clean sweep" in Washington and replace these incompetents with a new President and a lot of new faces in Congress'

    46. Jim, CT says:

      "…there are things Washington can and should do today to help … soften the blow should Iran choose to lash out at the West."

      Um… huh? Iran didn't threaten to "lash out at the West." Iran threatened retaliation if the West lashed out at Iran.

      Closing the Straight of Hormuz would only happen if Iran came under attack. The self-inflicted economic damage to Iran would be even worse than the economic damage to the attacking country, but the hope is that it would be enough that the attacking country could no longer afford to continue. It's a last resort, self-preservation move, not an action Iran would use to initiate a confrontation.

    47. David Dunn says:

      Crisis? What crisis? Has something actually happened in the Persian Gulf that requires action that is not already being taken or contemplated?

      And who writes this stuff? They make it sound like ONLY the U.S. has an interest in oil flowing freely out of the Persian Gulf. I guess the exporters just want to watch helplessly as their market is strangled by Iran???? The oil WILL continue to flow.

      The article alludes to (unspecified) U.S. policy errors in the 70's which (possibly) made that oil crisis worse but draws no direct comparison between then and now.

      Consequently, the vaccuum left by the intentional lack of factual information is rapidly filled by politically-motivated and meaningless oubursts.

      The article ends with 5 bullet points that have nothing to do with energy policy or anything that can be done to mitigate the effects of the Strait's blockage or any other event related to energy policy.

      This looks to me like the "we-distort-you-decide" method of (air-quotes) 'news' dissemination.

    48. Charles Santagati says:

      How about we start an all-out national drive using all technological, financial resources at our disposal to develop non-fossil fuel, clean renewable energy sources to meet our energy needs? We then could really be independent of mid east oil and more importantly, U S oil companies who really control oil supplies and prices. It is they who are the real predators aided and and abetted by legislators in government who represent them.

    49. madog2 says:

      I have only one question. How long are we going to stand by and watch the outlaws in Washington ruin our lives and the future of this country? Something has to be done to rid ourselves of this american hating president and crooked congressional leaders. Americans, I mean REAL AMERICANS had better get their heads out of their hip pockets and start voting these things out of Washington

    50. Wayne Peterkin says:

      Very good article. The bottom line is that the U.S. has needed an intelligent energy policy for over 35 years now and instead of developing one, it has instead grown steadily worse! We could be energy independent today, but our government prefers we have a growing dependency on foreign energy sources while sending over $700 Billion a year to nations who generally hate us. We finance terrorism and dictatorships with our money instead of just doing what makes sense. The Keystone Pipeline is not only badly needed as soon as it could be built, it even makes environmental sense! Producing all of the domestic energy we possibly can is the first step to an intelligent energy policy, but I have little hope that our government will embrace that policy and no hope at all that this administration will. Tragic.

    51. Mutantone says:

      Stop exporting gasoline to Iran first, drill here second to take up the slack their oil would cause let the USA make some money from exports of oil. as for Iran let them eat oil as the old saying went block the sales of their oil any where outside their nation and see where that goes.

    52. RennyG says:

      It is fruitless to even discuss the matter while he is in office. He and his czars are going to do what they want to continue to cause chaos. We should have done something after the first year after he conquered us! Focus on how to get this guy and his czars out!!! On our KNEES PRAYING!!!!!!!

    53. S Rubicon says:

      Before I get wildly excited about Iran cutting off access to mid-east oil… I have a really serious question about supply & demand. I just read that this past year, America is now a net "exporter" of oil, gas, & related products. The first time in history we have accomplished this & in fact we may be the largest exporter of processed oil, gas, & related products. Our exports apparently are the largets export item on the list of items we export.

    54. S Rubicon says:

      So… "is there REALLY a shortage of oil"? If Iran cuts off the Strait of Hormuz pathway, will we REALLY experience a shortage of oil? Saudi Arabia, Baharain, & other mid-eastern nations have already publicly stated they would make up any difference. They can easily produce enough oil to match or exceed Iran's exports & they can export using means other than the Persian Gulf route.
      So…. "is this REALLY a crisis?" Should we REALLY be angry & preparing for war based on we need oil or based on we want waterways to remain unobstructed? Which is it??
      I am concerned. Why is oil such an issue in America, if we have resources to replace all international supplies and if we have alternative delivery means that make Iran's threats moot? Why are our companies shipping product out while our prices rise or remain as high as they are?? Are we being had by those seeking conflict for political reasons????
      Something stinks on this issue. I say, "export no product until our prices drop by 50% or more".

    55. bruno rex says:

      TIME TO REACH ENERGY INDEPENDENCE FOR ALL THE WEST . Time to give to those who are in teheran a big advise.

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