An editorial in Texas says the United States needs a national energy policy that includes federally-sponsored research and development of alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on foreign oil.WACO, Texas, US, 2001-10-26 [SolarAccess.com] “Cost-effective photovoltaic cell technology could quickly reduce demand from traditional electricity suppliers,” writes Rowland Nethaway, senior editor at the Waco Tribune-Herald. A national energy policy should emphasize conservation and energy-efficient appliances, homes and businesses. “As long as America’s economic survival depends on foreign oil, our nation will not be in control of its own future,” he writes. “Until the United States is energy-independent, our foreign policy will be dictated by the need to import oil from nations we cannot predictably control.” “America’s continued dependence on foreign oil, and the actions we will have to take to ensure that nothing interrupts its flow, leaves the nation vulnerable to the sort of hostility that can be exploited by terrorist recruiters,” it continues. “The United States needs an energy policy that balances supply and demand.” The Texas newspaper claims that U.S. involvement in the middle east has been based on the need for oil, and commentators link this demand for oil and gas with the current regional conflicts. “Largely unexplored and almost completely unexploited, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, all formerly components of the Soviet Union but now independent, are known to possess vast oil and gas reserves,” he adds. “As supplies from the Persian Gulf begin to peter out next century, these will become highly significant.” To transport oil from land-locked countries in central Asia, it must flow through Russia, Iran, Georgia or Afghanistan. The cost would be billions of dollars.