In an article on the Saudi reaction to President Obama’s call for Energy Independence Jad Mouawad of the New York Times “Green Inc.” notes the ever-present dynamics of the geopolitics of oil. (“Saudi Blasts American Energy Policy.”)
The Saudis are as sensitive to the cross currents of energy policy change as anyone. In “In a short and strongly-worded essay in Foreign Policy magazine, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to the United States and a nephew to King Abdullah” critiques the broad statements of the Obama Administration. His point recalls Sheik Yamani’s famous line about the stone age.
What this thought points to is the question of how soon green technology is going to replace the oil economy. While it makes the stream of articles on China’s development of solar panels and electric vehicles all the more interesting, it does recognize that no one can imagine a technology that is going to radically shift the energy balance in the next five years.
In the meantime, OPEC looks quite different today than it did in 1973. The difference is not in the names of the countries that are the sources of oil but in their leadership and their relationship to the U.S. Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and Nigeria could not be more different today than they were in 1973 when Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon first launched the policy of “energy independence.”