No. of Recommendations: 6
Remember Saudi Arabia's Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani? The guy who was so much a part of our consciousness through the gas crunch in the 1970s? He stepped down as Saudi oil minister 14 years ago. But in retirement, now 70, Yamani has become a Lion in Winter. His most recent outburst, over the madness of $30-plus-per-barrel oil and his fellow OPEC leaders' shortsightedness and self-destructiveness, came out late last week.

"OPEC has a very short memory. It will pay a heavy price for not acting in 1999 to control oil prices. Now it is too late," he told Reuters' Richard Mably. "The Stone Age came to an end not for a lack of stones and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil.”

Yamani's thesis is that $30-plus oil has already driven the West down an irreversible path toward using high tech to reduce, and probably eliminate, our reliance on imported oil. Yamani again: "Technology is a real enemy for OPEC. Technology will reduce consumption and increase production from areas outside OPEC. The real victims will be countries like Saudi Arabia with huge reserves which they can do nothing with -- the oil will stay in the ground forever."

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