WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- One of the primary reasons for the U.S. military intervention in Libya is because of the dependence on foreign oil, a Democratic lawmaker charged.
A U.S. fighter jet crashed in Libya while on a mission that was part of an international effort to put pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The U.N. Security Council last week passed a resolution that allowed for military intervention in Libya to protect the civilian population.
U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., the former chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, told MSNBC, however, that a primary reason for intervention was oil.
"We're in Libya because of oil," he said. "And I think both Japan and the nuclear technology and Libya and this dependence that we have upon imported oil have both once again highlighted the need for the United States to have a renewable energy agenda going forward."
Markey earlier said U.S. President Barack Obama was right to back the Security Council resolution permitting the use of force in Libya. This, he said, was consistent with U.S. commitments to helping the people meet their political aspirations.
"But it all goes back to the 5 million barrels of oil that we import from (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) on a daily basis," he told MSNBC.
The International Energy Agency said it could be "many months" before Libyan crude returns to the market. Libya before the war was responsible for slightly more than 4 percent of the OPEC's output.