January 30, 2013

U.S., Saudis Headed for Divorce?

Thomas Lippman, Montreal Review

AP Photo

Here in a nutshell is Saudi Arabia's problem: now a developed country, it consumes vast amounts of electricity, for air conditioning, household use, industry and the immense desalination plants that provide almost all drinking water. Because electricity and gasoline are virtually given away as part of the ruling family's effort to keep the disenfranchised citizens happy, there is no incentive to conserve. The country has committed billions to solar technology but useful production is years away. Limited supplies of natural gas have restricted the kingdom's ability to shift oil-fired power plants to this alternative fuel. The kingdom plans to build as many as sixteen nuclear power plants, but those are a decade or more in the future. As a result, the Saudis are burning more and more of...

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TAGGED: oil, Saudi Arabia, United States

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