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The Next U.S. President and the Middle East

October 20, 2008

By Patrick Seale
The Middle East Times

PARIS — The Arabs should be aware that pressure is mounting in the United States to reduce dependence on Middle East oil – in other words to reduce oil imports. Whoever wins next month’s U.S. presidential election, whether it is Barack Obama or John McCain, is bound to want to shape a new national policy, less dependent on imported oil, for energy and climate change. Both candidates have vowed to do so.

At the  same time, several major car manufacturers – Nissan, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Chevrolet, Renault – have announced plans to launch electric cars in the coming two or three years in response to increasing world-wide concern about carbon emissions. Pre-production models of electric cars are the talk of the current Paris motor show.

The Arabs  same time, several major car manufacturers – Nissan, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Chevrolet, Renault – have announced plans to launch electric cars in the coming two or three years in response to increasing world-wide concern about carbon emissions. Pre-production models of electric cars are the talk of the current Paris motor show.

The Arabs should heed these early warnings that their current oil bonanza will not last forever – perhaps, at best, for another decade or two. Already, the expectation that the oil price would soar to $200 a barrel has turned into a mirage. Oil prices have dropped 55 percent since July, demonstrating the extreme volatility of the market.

What seems clear is that the Arabs – and indeed other oil producers – cannot hope to benefit indefinitely from the colossal wealth transfer of recent years. They should spend the coming years preparing for the day when oil may not be in such great demand.

Read the rest:
http://www.metimes.com/Op
inion/2008/10/20/the_next_us_
president_and_the_middle_east/2264/