Poll Sees Future US-China Conflict Over Oil
China recently became the world's largest consumer nation in virtually every commodity category except one: oil. Here it is second only to the United States in its thirst for petroleum and it is that appetite that a five-to-one majority in a recent Internet poll believe will eventually bring it into conflict with the World's only super-power.
China's demand for oil has seen it scouring the planet from Russia, where it has sought a stake in Yukos-controlled oil fields, to Canadian tar sands, to Venezuelan crude, to reserves in Somalia, to cutting lucrative deals Iran, which has earmarked nearly 15 percent of its oil production for China. And it is gradually beefing up its naval and maritime presence along the vital oil tanker routes that thread strategic Far East choke points.
And while China is aggressively seeking to encourage greater use of renewable energy and conservation technologies, its booming economy continues to strain the world's ability to produce enough oil to meet global demand, driving up prices into the +$50 a barrel range; and potentially setting the stage for a future economic, diplomatic and/or possible military conflict.
So, during the month of February 2005, EV World, the Internet's leading web portal for news and information about sustainable transportation technologies, asked its readers, "Do you believe that China's growing appetite for oil will eventually bring it into conflict with the United States?"
A total of 670 readers took part in the poll. Of those 77 percent (517) responded "Yes"; 15 percent (100) responded "No"; and 8 percent (53) replied "Unsure". That's a five-to-one margin of those who see potential conflict between two of the world's largest consuming nations.
"This is obviously a troubling finding," stated EV World publisher Bill Moore. "It clearly suggests a pervasive pessimism about how successful either nation will be in reducing its dependence on imported oil. These findings, while not scientific, should be a wake-up call to the leaders of both nations that we must find a way to work peacefully and constructively towards sustainable energy solutions that don't pit nation-against-nation in the competition for resources."
About EV World
Published weekly on-line since 1998, EV World features original content on a wide range of topics related to advanced, alternative fuel technologies from the latest in battery, hybrid-electric and fuel cell vehicles to renewable energy progress and policy. The publication has interviewed such notables as General Wesley Clark, former CIA director James Woolsey and "The Hype About Hydrogen" author Joseph Romm. Interviews are available in text and MP3 audio format. EV refers to "electric vehicle."
While premium content is available to subscribers only, much of the site, including daily news updates and archived interviews and feature stories, are available free to all readers. EV World conducts reader polls each month, with this month's question being, "Since hybrids use less gasoline, should states switch from taxing motor fuel sales to taxing vehicle owners on the miles they drive each year?"'
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