Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

Currently: 69° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Time for America to play by OPEC’s rules

If the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can openly flout the free market to manipulate oil prices, why can’t the United States do the same?

What the U.S. needs is a second Strategic Petroleum Reserve used specifically to manipulate oil prices.

Every consumer knows that the price of oil is highly cyclical. Every winter the price drops, as driving demand lowers, and in warm winters the prices fall even more, as demand for home heating oil decreases. As Americans take to the roads for vacation every summer, the price of oil shoots up.

It is simple economics: Buy low and sell high.

The U.S. has a reserve of 722 million barrels of oil, used as an insurance policy against any oil embargoes. We need a second reserve of 600 million barrels to be used when oil prices spike. The oil would be stockpiled in the winter when prices are comparatively low. The U.S. could then release about 6 million barrels a day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, meeting about 30 percent of U.S. daily demand.

A realistically low $10 profit per barrel would net $6 billion, allowing the government to invest in oil consumption-reducing programs such as converting homes in the Northeast from oil-heating to wood pellet stoves, changing the government vehicle fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles, and investing in infrastructure and technology for electric and hydrogen vehicles.

Yes, we are a free-market capitalistic society. But if others don’t play by the rules, why should we?

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.