Oil Crisis 'Taming' Not so Simple

Regarding "The Oil Crisis 20 Years Later: The World's Petroleum Tiger Has Been Tamed--for Now" (Nov. 14): Any calculation of the comparative costs of electrical power generation must take into account the costs of dealing with the harmful environmental effects of burning fossil fuels.

These costs may be deferred in the short run, but they will have to eventually be recognized as part of the equation.

Until the costs of eliminating harmful emissions is added, comparing gas-oil burning methods to solar, wind and hydroelectric is like comparing apples to oranges.


Los Angeles


Times staff writer Michael Parrish telling us that "the world's petroleum tiger has been tamed" is the kind of Orwellian propaganda we can certainly do without. Parrish's scenario--that inflation has caught up with higher energy prices, making the price of a gallon of gas relatively lower today than in the mid-1970s--is the kind of reporting we should maybe look for in an oil industry prospectus, but not in a leading newspaper!

The oil crisis began after President Nixon closed the gold window in August of 1972--one of the most disastrous moves ever made by a U.S. President. The Saudis, seeing their wealth turn to paper, took revenge the only way they could: They upped oil prices and used all that cash to buy U.S. Treasury notes and any real estate that wasn't nailed down, and even some that was. The result of the increase in oil prices was an upward inflationary pressure on the economy, spurring manufacturing and wage increases which, together with outrageous government spending and easy credit, caused the biggest monetary distention in U.S. history. This is "taming the petroleum tiger"?


Simi Valley

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