Friday, September 30, 2011

Many problems strike on Japan

Japan still struggles to recover from the earthquake and its disastrous impacts. Moreover, it is in a recession. Starting in 1990, Japan has had long-term deflation, and things have been getting worse year after year. In the coming month, because Japan’s finances are in bad shape, people who have lost their job as a result of disaster will not get any more unemployment allowance. Yusuke Takahashi, who is seeking a PhD degree in chemistry at Ole Miss, said, “Japanese recession affects our mind to think. Because the poor become poorer and the rich become richer, economic reconstruction is primary subject. Japan is facing with lot of problem.” 
In Fukushima, where on Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was located, a large number of inhabitants cannot get back home because of pollution. Therefore, they stay in temporary house or city hall. Furthermore, there are still many missing people.
The poisoning of nuclear pollution has spread throughout the nation and other countries. Therefore, it is not possible to eat rice, fruits, vegetables, and beef of affected by nuclear pollution.
According to the Radiation Risk in Mississippi, “The Environmental Protection Agency has detected only very low levels of radioactive material in the United States resulting from damaged nuclear reactors in Japan. These low levels were expected and are far below levels of public health concern.” Therefore, there is nothing to worry about the pollution problem around here, but it was the truth that nuclear pollution damaged not only Japan but also all over the countries.
 Japan is very industrialized, so the Japanese don’t know how to live without electricity like most of the citizens in developing countries. When the lights were gone off on some region, they got into the panic. Even after the disaster they knew exactly time the lights gone off for saving electricity, they became panic, and some people died because of no signals on the traffic. Unfortunately, then, they realized they needed Fukushima nuclear plant.
 “The citizens definitely disagree about the nuclear plants, but how to supply the demands of electricity is the problem,” Yusuke said.
The increasing oil cost limits the thermal power generation, and the restricted small land makes it impossible for hydropower generation. Wind generation is not good to the environment. The 70 percents of geothermal generator is made by the Japanese companies, and Japan comes to alternate the thermal power generation to solar power and geothermal power generation. However, these devices are very costly, so we have to wait to use these generators. Recently, some houses were installed with solar panels to provide electricity, but they are too few to cover all the demand.  That’s why the Japanese still need nuclear power to sustain their living.
“The only thing we can do to generate the electricity is making a new nuclear plant; otherwise, the shortage of the supplies will continue to affect the economy of Japan. I really want to say we should apply the lessons from the past for making new nuclear plant. In that point, the nuclear plant must be built with resistance to tsunami and earthquake,” Yusuke said.
 France is the number one county that has many nuclear plants. How they receive this problem? The situation of France is different from Japan, but still it is better to observe the action. The United States also has many nuclear plants, and here in the Mississippi has one of them. If Japan could manage this problem and construct the manual, all countries could follow it.
Japan’s experience with the A-bomb attacks on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki has affected the Japanese way of thinking and sense of crisis. Citizens visit these cities so as not to forget the incidents, and never to repeat history again.
Former Prime Minister Kan Naoto, who resigned as prime minister recently, said he wanted no more nuclear plants in Japan.  Next Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko, who is Democratic Party of Japan, proposed that any politicians elected by the citizens should talk about nuclear policy in the parliament and help decide on what as nation should do.
Yusuke said “The Japanese government changed a lot these days. It weakens the power of diplomacy, and affects our credibility. Even Japanese have the distrust toward the government, how other countries feel it was really what I want to know. Because I become to think about Japan more often in the U.S. than in Japan, I was very worried about the situation.
Moreover, “Prime Minister Noda is supported by many citizens, but some Japanese do not tend to have good eyesight to see future, so they change their opinion easily,” Ookubo Yoshito, who teaches international politics at Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, said. 
The economy is worse than last year, and gradually meritocracy has become prevalent in our society. Our own problem is the persons, who for a better living without any effort, but our country’s budget is so tightened drop out of a race of meritocracy and are suffered from the disaster. They ask the government that the measurements are limited and no fail is permitted. Furthermore, the suffered lost their jobs, and find no opportunity to get their new job because of the deflation.  That negative chain affects Japanese economic and their motivation to recover from the disaster. Japanese should rethink about the administrative discretion and nuclear problem. If the government could not take any good measure for the problems, the Japan will lose the way it goes. Therefore, the citizens definitely need secure government that has strong power to lead Japan.
“Now, in here, I can do make countermeasures against natural disasters and the manual like how to run away when the earthquake was happened. Most Japanese bought goods for emergency situation. Likewise, even if around here is very safety from the earthquake and tsunami, it is better for taking measure and prepare for emergency because there is a nuclear plant in near to the Jackson. ” Yusuke said.

Martin Fackler, The New York Times, Prime Minister’s Departure Underscores Japan’s Search for Leadership,

The New York Times, Japan — Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Crisis (2011),
Asahi shinbun, Special Edition of Fukushima Nuclear, 8 September 2011,
Anti nuclear Picture, Robert Dujarric, Foreign Policy, Hot Air Zone, 14 July 2011,
Radiation Risk in Mississippi, Mississippi State Department of Health, April 12, 2011,,0,195,523,html

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ole Miss Junior, Liane Lachiewicz, said this country's largest problem is "the financial crisis." Her parents will now have to retire later than planned because majority of their money is tied up in a stock market that is declining. Each and every American has been individually affected in some way or another by our country's economic issues, but are people in The United States aware that countries all over the globe are suffering from the same issues?

In Europe, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Denmark have all suffered from continuous economic decline, the technical definition of a recession. The UK economy has greatly shrank, and is expected to continue to contract. Surprisingly, Japan joined this list as well.

Now in 2011, nearly four years after the downturn began, the economic crisis is beginning to show signs in countries that were previously not affected at all. Germany is the world’s fifth largest economy and the largest economy in Europe, accounting for about one-fifth of the European Union’s GDP. Germany is also the largest European trade and investment partner of the United States. However, since the beginning in the mid-1990s, the German economy has been on a downward growth path, averaging about 1.5% of GDP per year.

Unemployment is also steadily rising. These trends, which are accompanied by a steep 5% decline in German GDP growth in 2009, have begun to raise questions about the long-term strength of the German economy. German exchange student, Nina Waschkowitz, said the bad economy has effected her. "I have had to cut back on spending. My family back in Germany has too. I know that is more difficult for my parents to afford all the things I want so I only buy what I need."

There are several countries that have not been greatly affected by the financial crisis, Brazil being among them. Latin American economies have prospered over the past few years. Brazil, unlike some of its neighbors, stabilized its domestic economy, while attempting to put itself in a position for increased foreign investment.

The United States is currently Brazil’s biggest trading partner. Brazilian exchange student, Alessandra Baldino said of her stay here in The United States, "Brazil and The U.S. are very different. In The U.S. I can buy things so cheap. Here, Nike shoes are only $50, but in Brazil they would be hundreds," she said, "I think the U.S. can't make prices so high because they need people to spend, or Brazil has to make the price high because of shipping costs."

The countries that currently have the most debt are The United States, The United Kingdom, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Canada, and Austria. The international financial crisis is effecting our lifestyles, government, and much more.


London Riots Close To Home

OXFORD-Alexander Low, a British exchange student at Ole Miss, was present when the riots occurred between August 6 and August 10 several boroughs of London city

“The grassroots violence that took place in the London riots showed the disillusionment with the countries youth with the conservative government. It also showed the collapsed values of society, previously un-highlighted on such a level”.

“I feel hurt by what happened and find it a sad way for the rest of the world to envision the youth of London” Alex Low said. The riots were a response to the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by Metropolitan Police Service officers on August 4. Following the peaceful march of August 6 London became the epicenter of rampant looting and arson attacks, which began to spread across cities of the United Kingdom within days.

Though police and their lack of efficiency to maintain order were blamed, the riots have been linked socio-economic causes, social media, gang culture and criminal opportunism. According to Mark Frezzo, a sociologist at the University of Mississippi, there are “structural factors—poverty, unemployment, marginalization according to race, and a legacy of maltreatment by the police—that contributed to the eruption”.

Frezzo said that one needs to pose a number of questions to assess the situation in London and the phenomenon of so-called flash mobs, which has recently been witnessed in the United States. “Under what conditions did the events take place? How did the actors conceptualize their undertakings?”. Frezzo said most of the youth involved come from the most deprived and poorest places of the city.

Hurricane Irene: The Aftermath

Kirsti Jackson
Jour 400

Hurricane Irene: The Aftermath
Hurricane Irene was a wave of destruction and for Northwest Community College student Maygan Kelly it really hit home.
Hurricane Irene wound up by most estimates as one of the 10 most destructive and deadly hurricanes to hit the United States since 1980. While ultimately not as powerful as many had predicted, the storm still killed at least 27 people along the path from the Caribbean to the eastern seaboard. Transportation was shut down all along the East Coast. Stranding residents and tourists in shelters, airports, and train stations. More that 5.8 million customers lost electricity, thousands of flights were cancelled, flooding washed out the roads and destroyed homes, and evacuation orders were issued for hundreds of thousands. Irene hit the states that had not been tampered with by the likes of a hurricane in years. New Jersey had not had a hurricane hit landfall since 1903. Irene left the east coast with nothing but remnants of life in its wake.
It is estimated that damage caused by the hurricane has already reached $4.5 billion, with the states of North Carolina and Vermont suffering the most. “My parents live in North Carolina,” said Kelly. “I was scared for their lives and I wasn't sure if they would make it.” Her parents live on the outer parts of North Carolina . They had built a basement intended for a playroom for Kelly and her friends but it ended up being a key element in their survival. They were able to stay in the basement with their life jackets by their side in case the hurricane shot through their house and their only option was to try to survive elsewhere. After Irene they are now trying to pick up the pieces of their home one piece at a time. Fortunately they were lucky enough to only have minimal damage to their home and their lives.
After the hurricane over 2.5 million people stretching from North Carolina to Maine were without electricity three days after the hurricane struck. Not only was electricity unavailable, but some of the worst caused destruction occurred inland. Vermont Governor Peter Shumilin called it the worst flooding in a century in his words. Throughout the region, hundreds of roads were flooded or had fallen trees in the roads, which made crossing these roads impossible and therefore left a lot of people stranded. At least three towns in New York were cut off by flooded roads and bridges. In a town called Newfane, the storm was a devastation to most. One hundred fifty people were unable to drive to their homes and 30 were stranded in theirs. Two homes were knocked from their foundations by the flooding, and seven bridges were washed out completely.
Hurrican Irene Expected to Boost Insurance Sales
The Big Picture
Airlifts Planned to Supply Cut-off Vt. Towns

Terrorism in America

Terrorism in America

            When the word al-Qaeda is spoken or heard in the news, most people want to know what horrific act the terrorist group has committed in order to gain recognition.  Images of lifeless bodies and fallen towers come to mind.  Fear is an emotion that can be felt when remembering the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.  Terrorism is often viewed as a problem that affects countries in the Middle East, but the United States has come to know the agenda of these suicidal fanatics all too well.

To understand terrorism on a local level, people must educate themselves.  Chester Quarles, a retired professor who taught at Ole Miss has been researching terrorist groups for over 40 years.  Quarles said, “I have traveled with a group called the CCI (Crisis Consulting International). Through this organization, I saw the Bin Laden office in Peshawar, Pakistan.  Right down the street from some major missionary organization offices”.  Clearly, terrorists want to blend in with their surroundings.  Quarles states that even though al-Qaeda lost bin Laden, “most terrorist organizations recover after major losses, but usually this takes some time.  Whether they still have the financial backing will remain to be seen.  “Al-Qaeda has branches in over 100 countries, so the chance of regrouping is very high.  

One of the main problems that terrorists have is with U.S. presence in their countries.  “Islamic terrorism would slow down tremendously if we left Iraq and left Afghanistan.”  But the United States must not leave the people without a stable internal structure.  Otherwise, radicals could take over and cause many problems in the future. 

Not much has been revealed about possible future attacks on the United States, but Quarles believes that “al-Qaeda has planned bigger attacks than 9/11.  Some of the largest west coast buildings associated with our government and our economy are likely targets.  Attacks against our infrastructure are possible.  A huge explosion along an earthquake fault could create multi-state havoc.  Simultaneous attacks on multiple Mississippi River bridges could bring east-west commerce to a halt.  The most fearsome would be nuclear power plant attacks of any type.  Meltdowns would cripple our economy and instill panic through a region.”

            On August 22, 2001, news stations all over the world reported that al-Qaeda had received another blow to its organization.  After losing Osama bin Laden on May 2, the group lost his successor, a man named Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.  Al-Rahman was al-Qaeda’s chief operational planner under bin Laden.  The terrorist group had high hopes for him because he was young, experienced, and dedicated to carrying out attacks against al-Qaeda’s enemies.  Fortunately, al-Rahman was never successful at carrying out any attacks on U.S. soil.  His short term as leader of one of the most hated groups in the world came to an end when he was killed by a drone that was operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.   

            Even though there is one less terrorist leader in the world, people should not assume that terrorism is something that the United States should no longer worry about.  On the eve of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, many people in the United States were concerned about a possible attack from al-Qaeda.  The day began and ended with dedications, memorial services, and stories from families, friends, and citizens who relieved the horrific sequence of events that will never be forgotten. The leaders and members of U.S. national security must remain aware of terrorist activities and affiliations in order to ensure future protection against enemy groups.

The United States is a very different place since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Quarles believes that 9/11 could have been prevented if the state of New York would have looked more closely at documents that were seized during previous arrests of al-Qaeda members.  “If the documents had been translated and analyzed, 9/11 would have been predicted, if not prevented.” 






Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ole Miss Tennis: From An International Viewpoint

Oxford, Miss.-- The Ole Miss Men’s tennis team is a prime example of a major school that recruits top foreign talent year after year with great success. Marcel and Christoph Thiemann, twin brothers from Hannover, Germany are seniors on the Ole Miss Men’s tennis team, both had very successful seasons last year for the team and have been training to lead the Rebels for the 2011-2012 season, which begins in the spring semester. While these two are key players on the team assistant coach Toby Hansson explains the International perspective in its full spectrum.

Ole Miss Men’s tennis team currently has seven International players on its roster of nine players total. “ The language barrier is tough, it is a large hurdle to overcome but they are all amazed at how easily they get used to the language here,” said Hanson.

“ Tennis is a worldwide sport and it is a great opportunity here, athletics and Universities go together as one by representing the University here, they have a feeling of importance, like they are representing something other than themselves. The university benefits as well, both sides gain from international experience.”

Having International players on an officially recognized NCAA sports team (as opposed to a club team/Intramural team) is something unique to college tennis in particular. Major college sports like football, basketball and baseball are usually made up of entirely American athletes. Tennis on the other hand, for Ole Miss and many of the nation’s top programs consists of teams rosters loaded with skilled foreign talent and experience.

“Playing a high level of competition back home has made us tougher mentally and physically for the upcoming college season here for Ole Miss,” said Marcel.

International players aren’t preferred by Ole Miss on all accounts but diversifying and competing with other teams requires seeking talent globally.

“We do seek out American talent but many of the top young players are in Europe right now and competing with the top teams is something you have to think about when looking at these players outside of the United States,” said Hanson.

Hanson explained that the scholarships were different in various countries that these players come from.

“Many players come because they have the chance to continue their tennis careers but realize that they need new experiences and an education to fall back on.”

The Thiemann’s came to Ole Miss for experience and the chance to continue both their tennis and education careers.

“ Here (Ole Miss) we receive significant scholarships and get experience from playing against some of the best competition at our age in America that we couldn’t get back home,” said Marcel.

During the fall school semester the team will be playing tournaments all around the nation to keep in match form before SEC play begins in the spring.

“Playing competitive matches in the fall is important to the growth process of the team because we play opponents of different styles and abilities that we have yet to see,” said Christoph.

Many players like the Thiemann’s adjust to life at Ole Miss rather quickly but this isn’t an easy transition by any means.

“I think that since they are members of a team and the fact they all come from different places makes things difficult in the beginning but they begin to have that natural feel like they belong here. People in Oxford are giving of their time and embrace the us,” (the team) said Hanson.

The brothers said that they are excited about the team they have this year and they expect to do big things.

“Marcel and Chris will once again be key figures on the team this year; as much of the teams success is based on their play and leadership. But really it’s the new guys as well; everyone plays a part once they get settled into the team and new season,” said Hanson.

Both are expected to play singles as well as doubles again this season.

The 2011-2012 Ole Miss Men’s tennis season begins in January at the SEC Indoor Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia.


Oxford Going Green

Oxford- Can the intensity of hurricanes be lowered by making Oxford more environmentally friendly? It can be if we start at a local level and take small steps.

Cathy Grace, a geology instructor here at Ole Miss, says hurricanes are affected by the temperature of the oceans.

"Given that hurricanes are fueled by the energy they draw from sea surface temperatures, it stands to reason that if global atmospheric temperatures rise, this will lead to a rise in sea surface temperatures, thus leading to an increase in the intensity of some storms."

Even though Oxford is situated far away from any foreseeable danger from a hurricane, the city is still finding ways to make the overall environment better.

"We need to try to cut back on our greenhouse gas emissions. Don't crank that car, ride a bike when we can or depend more on our bus system and encourage our friends to do the same. Try to use less electricity which will result in less coal consumption for power generation. Recycle more."

An increase in car-pool websites, Oxford University Transit riders, and bicyclists can be seen throughout the city. Canteen fillers have also been installed on campus to cut down on plastic usage and to encourage recycling.

A new 72-unit apartment complex off Molly Barr Road was just approved by the city's planning commission and is being built around bike paths in the area to promote their use. Bike racks and new pathways are being planned to be developed along with the complex.

Chairman of the city's Pathways Commission, Mike Mossing, says despite improvements in the city, there is still a long way to go.

"We need to get the city, university, and school district to plan roads and developments to make cars less necessary for the short trips everyone makes every day."

Sophomore Biology major, Daniel Loftus takes Grace's advice to heart. He commutes to North West Community College from Anderson Road on bike and then bikes to work on the Square five days a week.

"It takes a little longer than driving but it is definitely worth it. I feel it keeps me more in shape and there is no hassle parking, which is a major plus."

Loftus, who is from the Gulf Coast, was greatly affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"I like to think I'm doing a small part to decrease the level of global warming, but it's obviously hard to see. If more people stop driving everywhere every day, I'm sure some proof of a decrease will totally show eventually."

Loftus and many others like him are taking what Grace calls, "tiny, baby-steps on local levels," to make our environment a little better every day. These steps can eventually lower sea surface temperatures and, in theory, lower the intensity of hurricanes around the world.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Doan Viet Hoat

Doan Viet Hoat is the well known as the Sakharov of Vietnam. He acted as leader of the democratic movement, and resisted the South Vietnamese government’s suppression to Buddhists. He was poisoned for long time because of his activities.  After releasing from jail, he published Freedom Forum. However, he was poisoned again for trying to overthrow the government. Now, he is exiled from Vietnam, and lives in U.S, but still he fights with the government for human rights and democracy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

London Riots Close To Home

OXFORD-Between August 6th until August 10th several boroughs of London city suffered through a multitude of riots. Essentially, it was seen as a response to the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan by Metropolitan Police Service officers on August 4th, 2011. Following the peaceful march of August 6th London became the epicenter of rampant looting and arson attacks, which began to spread across cities of the United Kingdom within days.

Every year the University of Mississippi welcomes a number of foreign exchange students to their campus. Amongst these are large numbers of British students. With the recent acts of violence in the London city area the question remains how it has affected them and especially considering the aftermath being so far away from home. Alexander Low is one such student who was present when the riots occurred. He says “[t]he grassroots violence that took place in the London riots showed the disillusionment with the countries youth with the conservative government”. He later continues to state “it also showed the collapsed values of society, previously un-highlighted on such a level”. As him being part of the youth of the London city he says “I feel hurt by what happened and find it a sad way for the rest of the world to envision the youth of London”.

Though police was blamed for the initial riots and their lack of efficiency to maintain order, the riots have no been linked to other contributing factors such as socio-economic causes, social media, gang culture and criminal opportunism. According to Dr. Mark Frezzo, a sociologist at the University of Mississippi, states that there are “structural factors—poverty, unemployment, marginalization according to race, and a legacy of maltreatment by the police—that contributed to the eruption”. Keeping this in mind one may assume that the UK riots of 2011 were more then just a reaction to a shooting.

Dr. Frezzo continues to suggest that one needs to pose a number of questions to assess the situation in London and the phenomenon of Flash mobs, which has recently been witnessed in the United States. One might take into consideration “Under what conditions did the events take place?” and “How did the actors conceptualize their undertakings?” says Dr. Mark Frezzo. These questions must guide one into a deeper understanding of the sociological aspects, which have been suggested by many, and contribute to certain theories, which have evolved from this.

The recent circumstances in the United Kingdom has brought about the scare of flash mobs, or generated violence, which has now also reach the United States. Often the crimes, which are involved with flash mobs, are committed by youths who often commit violence against innocent bystanders. When looking at the figures associated with the flashmobs, especially considering the London riots, there are a number of elements, which are especially important. Dr. Mark Frezzo who stated that the socio-economic status of most of the youth involved would be of the most deprived and poorest places of the city also previously suggested these elements. Taking this into consideration one would question if it essentially society’s duty to tackle this problem by locking down on criminality or turning a blind eye?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Anna Hazare pushes for change in India

photo taken from

Senior biology major and former president of the Indian Student Association, Manasi Desai, said that corruption has been a problem in India since the country won its independence 75 years ago.

“The corruption in India as we know it has happened for the last 22 years," she said."Instead of fighting the corruption the majority of people who have ability to fight it do nothing. They are more concerned with what is going on in their lives.”

Yet Anna Hazare, a major social activist in India, went on a hunger strike for two weeks in August to combat official government corruption in India.

He questioned members of the Congress Party’s failure to address different instances of corruption and scandal in the government.

“What Hazare is doing is getting the youth involved. He is organizing people,” Desai said.

Hazare garnered widespread acclaim for his work in the rural Indian village of Ralegan Siddhi where he introduced water conservation, and made the village a flagship method of developing the impoverished regions of India.

The Indian government implemented an Inquiry Commission after Hazare accused two government officials of taking in more money than they were earning. The Inquiry Commission found both of the ministers guilty but then another government commission overruled the guilty verdict that was reached.

Hazare gained rapid support from Indian citizens and staged protests and demonstrations. The government was surprised by the public support that Hazare had.

According to Hazare, “A peaceful war has been waged against corruption and unless it is eliminated, the country will not be free in its true sense.”

On August 16, he started his hunger strike, which led him to be thrown in jail along with 1,200 of his supporters for having their gathering in a Delhi park that was off limits. Hazare was released from jail on August 19.

This isn’t the first time Hazare has been arrested. In 1999 Hazare accused the Social Welfare Minister at the time of corruption. The minister filed a defamation suit against Hazare, and Hazare was found guilty. He was sentenced to three months in prison but did not serve the whole term due to outside pressures.

Hazare has been compared to Mahatma Gandhi for his similar tactics in government confrontation. He implements Gandhi’s method of civil disobedience in the form of hunger strikes and peaceful demonstrations, to push for change.

Desai thinks the comparison is accurate. “I definitely think of Hazare as the modern age Gandhi, he is just gathering people to believe what he believed- just like Gandhi did."

Hazare’s protests and hunger strikes haven’t really gained much attention here in Oxford. Junior social work major Newman Evans had not heard about Anna Hazare or what was going on in Indian politics.

“I may not be familiar with Hazare,” Evans said, “but I do agree with most social uprisings, not necessarily the use of violence, though. I think it is good he is out there trying to make a change. I believe that this is important and more people should know about it.”

Most Americans may not know is going on in over India, but Indians around the world are now challenging the government to step in. The majority of those who are doing the rallying are the youth. There have been gatherings in Jackson and at MSU and all over the United States, Desai said.

“The way things have been going in the past five years -we have seen the youth get

more involved in politics," she said, "In the future I see it getting better.”

Revolution in Libya: How Will it Affect Prices At The Pump?

Revolution in Libya: How Will It Affect Prices At The Pump?

On August 21st, it became clear that Colonel Qaddafi’s power was disintegrating when the Libyan rebels swelled into the city of Tripoli taking control of Libya’s capital. Over the past month the pulse of Colonel Qaddafi’s power has grown increasingly more faint. On September 5 a convoy of Libyan Army vehicles was reported to have crossed the country’s border into Niger signaling a possible change in power.

It is no secret that Libya is one of the leading countries in oil production; supplying 1.7 million of the world’s barrels a day. Since the conflict in Libya began in February, oil prices have raised $20 a barrel. Gas prices have risen by 50 cents, bringing the price per gallon well over $4 this summer. Now that Qaddafi’s rule seems to be over, many wonder how gas prices will be affected.

“ I’m sure we will see some lower gas prices. Conflict in the middle east is what has made our gas prices so high in the first place,” said Raymond Nalty, from Jackson, MS.

The U.S. imports 71 percent of its oil from foreign countries. In 1995 the U.S. used just under 50 percent, and by 2005 the U.S. imported almost 65 percent of its oil came from foreign countries.

“I can tell you that US not only relies primarily on foreign oil- it relies almost totally on foreign oil,” said Ole Miss Engineering Professor Louis G. Zachos

Although the U.S. does import most of its oil from foreign countries, Libya is not the main supplier. Libya supplies The U.S. with just 44,000 barrels of oil a day. That is less than 1 percent of the country’s total oil imported. Last year Libya produced 1.6 million barrels a day; only 1.8% of the world’s oil used daily. In comparison Saudi Arabia produces almost 8.4 million barrels of oil per day. The U.S. imports 9.3 percent of its oil from Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. does not rely heavily on Libyan crude oil but prices were still affected by the conflict in Libya due to its quality. The oil produced in Libya is very easy to refine, and many European countries rely heavily on it. Many refineries found in Europe do not have the technology to refine Saudi Arabian oil due to its thickness and sulfur content. The conflict in Libya caused panic among oil refineries in Europe, causing the price of Libyan crude oil to skyrocket.

Now that the conflict in Libya seems to be residing, it will be interesting to see how U.S. gas prices will be affected. Due to the U.S. low usage of Libyan oil, the effects will most likely go undetected. The low consumption of gasoline caused by high gas prices, should bring the price down over time. If not, there are steps being taken to assure that prices will not escalate further. The U.S. and Europe have lots of gasoline in reserve.
However, changes in U.S. gas prices due to the conflict in Libya are most likely not a possibility. The U.S. could completely replace Libya as a source for imported oil if it were necessary. Saudi Arabia is taking steps to produce more crude oil, increasing production by six hundred thousand barrels a day.

“If there are major changes in oil prices because of the issues in Libya, it won’t be here in the United States,” said an anonymous Vanderbilt Economics Professor.