The title is imprecise. We know that the answer (in 25 words or less) is [bigvoice enhancement=echo]”The Law of Supply and Demand.” [/bigvoice] The real question is “Why are we so beholden to the Saudis and unable to reduce our dependence on oil?”
In an uncharacteristically lengthy (but characteristically lucid) post, the Instapundit enlightens us. Glenn Reynolds references a story that sheds light on the topic – the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was modified at the last minute to ensure that cheaper alternatives to Saudi oil would not reach our gas tanks. Quoting the Arab News: “In an interesting tussle, a virtually unnoticed clause was added almost at the least moment to a US energy bill that bars the government, in particular the Department of Defense, from using Alberta crude because it is deemed unconventional and too dirty.” We prohibited ourselves from using Canadian oil in what looks to be a secret deal? Now who would do such a thing? “California Democrat Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Republican Tom Davis added the clause.”
Gee. I was going to blame George Bush, myself. Not. He goes on:
But I’m sure it’s just a sincere concern for the environment. I had missed this story, and I suspect most people did. Via Jerry Pournelle, who observes:
The easy way to make ethanol is to import sugar from Brazil and use that. Of course we don’t and won’t do that.
The easy way to bring oil prices down is to drill offshore and on the North Slope. Of course we don’t do that.
The easy way to bring electricity prices down (you can make fertilizer with electricity) is to build nuclear power plants, expensive but cheap compared to wars. Of course we won’t do that.
And why won’t we?
UPDATE: Environmentalists are indefatigably trying to block this new source of energy:
I seen the enemy, and it is us.