Monday, February 12, 2007

Iran, Energy & War: Oil, Nuclear Power & Nukes

Iran currently produces about 4 million barrels of oil per day and exports 2.5 million barrels per day. The U.S. has 300 million people and uses 20 million barrels of oil every day (more than half of that imported). Iran, a nation of 70 million people, holds 11 percent of global oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia. Iran's oil exports produced income of $47 billion in 2006, accounting for half the government’s revenue.

Currently 97 percent of Iran's electricity is produced from so-called fossil fuels (oil and natural gas). We prefer the term hydrocarbon fuels to fossil fuels. About 3 percent comes from hydro. None is currently produced by nuclear power.

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president he initiated a more aggressive program to develop nuclear power (and nuclear weapons). Israel and the West want to provent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) would provide a way for Iran to utilize nuclear power without producing nuclear weapons. Any nuclear weapons production facility constructed in Iran will be destroyed. GNEP provides nuclear technology and fuel and would calm the nerves of the West. Of course, Ahmadinejad sees our position as arrogant, consistently stating publicly that, "The U.S. has no authority to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons." He threatens to attack the U.S. if Iran is attacked. Such a standoff is unfortunate for global warming.

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