The Price of Oil

January 28, 2022

Just prior to President Biden’s arrival in. Pennsylvania this week, a bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh.
Yet another reminder of the long term costs in infrastructure, productivity and opportunities – of endless wars for oil and gas in recent decades.
Now we find ourselves on the precipice of yet another conflict, where oil and gas are key issues.

A major study in 2018 quantified the costs in dollars at nearly 6 trillion dollars, but the real costs are so, so, much more.

CNBC, 11/14/18:

  • The U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost American taxpayers $5.9 trillion since they began in 2001.
  • The figure reflects the cost across the U.S. federal government since the price of war is not borne by the Defense Department alone.
  • The report also finds that more than 480,000 people have died from the wars and more than 244,000 civilians have been killed as a result of fighting. Additionally, another 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.

The U.S. wars and military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan have cost American taxpayers $5.9 trillion since they began in 2001, according to a new study.

That total is almost $2 trillion more than all federal government spending during the recently completed 2017-18 fiscal year.

The report, from Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, also finds that more than 480,000 people have died as a direct result of fighting. Over 244,000 civilians have been killed. Another 10 million people have been displaced due to violence.

The $5.9 trillion figure reflects the cost across the U.S. federal government since the price of war is not borne by the Defense Department alone, according to Neta Crawford, the study’s author.

Below, I recorded John Fabian, a farmer in Rosebush Michigan, who rose at an Isabella County Planning Commission meeting in support of a local wind farm. His story reflects yet another level of suffering and sacrifice imposed on the American people in service of fossil fuel dependence, and his hope for how we might set ourselves free.

3 Responses to “The Price of Oil”

  1. ubrew12 Says:

    There’s a major economic advantage to any country that has a ‘reserve currency’. In the age of oil, that’s any country that has a currency that countries with oil will accept for their product. Iraq threatened to accept euro for their oil and, well, now it doesn’t. I think the almost constant presence of U.S. troops in the Middle East, usually on the side of Saudi Arabia, is something we ‘pay’ to maintain the dollar as a currency of value. Mostly, imho, so Wall Street can abuse that same dollar, through taking unconscionable risks on things like mortgage derivatives, without really paying the cost of those risks. We build fantasy palaces with fake dollars on this side of the Atlantic, and ‘someone’ still trades something of actual value, oil, for those same dollars, on the other side. Also, consider two countries that find themselves continually on America’s ‘next-to-invade’ list: Iran and Venezuela. These two countries allow their oil to be traded in currencies other than dollars.

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    The 1999 movie Three Kings has some memorable scenes of people from the Middle East embittered by the US interventions for oil that destroyed their lands and their lives. It suggests how the later 9/11/2001 attacks represented the US’ chickens coming home to roost.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: