La guerra por el petróleo

Durante décadas, a través de administraciones demócratas y republicanas, Estados Unidos ha buscado una serie de objetivos claros de política energética: mantener los precios mundiales del petróleo tan estables como sea posible; reducir el consumo interno de hidrocarburos de la manera menos dolorosa; reducir la dependencia de las importaciones siempre que sea posible; y diversificar las fuentes de petróleo importado. A pesar de las apariencias, ninguno de esos objetivos ha cambiado bajo la administración Bush.

Muchos observadores creen que Bush ha establecido un rumbo nuevo porque la invasión de Iraq aparentemente va en contra de esos objetivos. Un aumento importante en la producción de petróleo iraquí probablemente incrementaría la dependencia de los EU hacia el petróleo, en relación con otras fuentes de energía, puesto que los precios mundiales del petróleo tal vez caerían como respuesta al aumento en la oferta. Esto a su vez significaría un incremento en la dependencia de los EU hacia el petróleo importado, particularmente del Medio Oriente.

Sin embargo, la ironía es que los EU ejercían un mayor control sobre el sector petrolero iraquí bajo el programa "Petróleo por alimentos" de la ONU, en vigor antes de la guerra (en el que esa organización, no Saddam Hussein, determinaba el nivel de ventas de petróleo iraquí al exterior), del que tendrán bajo un Iraq democrático en el futuro. Si la administración Bush hubiera estado buscando fuentes de petróleo estables, seguras, diversificadas y baratas, sencillamente podría haber levantado los embargos contra Libia, Irán, Iraq y Sudán, para permitir que el petróleo fluyera.

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