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Monday, March 7, 2011

A Suggestion: Stop Oil From Driving Our Foreign Policy

In July 2008, oil traded at $145 / barrel - the record to date. In August of that year, President Bush lifted a moratorium on drilling which among other factors (including a pipeline deal between Russia and Ukraine and an incredibly deep world-wide recession) helped drop the trading price of oil. By January 2009, the month President Obama took office, oil was trading as low as $37.00 / barrel. The lift on the moratorium was not the only factor in dropping the price of oil but it was a factor.

In 2001, Congress, which was controlled by Democrats, refused to lift drilling bans in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the western US using the logic that it would take "ten years or more to bring the oil to market." Gas at the pump was $1.59 / gallon. For the next ten years US energy policy mumbled on like a drunken college student about green and alternative energy. Gas is now selling at the pump for $3.59 / gallon, so all we got from Congress' myopic decision was higher food prices as we diverted food stock corn into automobile fuel, high unemployment, and higher fuel prices. Fuel prices are also being driven today by futures traders who are scared to death of what is happening in the Middle East. Economics 101: Money likes stability.

The Middle East is in the midst of turmoil brought on in part by the short-sighted and xenophobic policies of the West since the end of World War II. And as a result, the US is now judged solely on our oil policy and it's our own fault. Unfortunately, all the current Administration is able to get its head around is green and alternative energies, even though they don't exist on a broad scale yet. I won't accuse the Administration of living in a pipe-dream, but you probably should.

My suggestion is we absolutely begin to use alternative energy to free ourselves from the economic slavery we have willingly entered in to.

The alternative? American oil.

I know it sounds so simple its stupid, and I guess that's my whole point here. If we have the intelligence and backbone to follow them, just three simple points would free us from the shackles of our ignorant foreign policy and at the same time release more capital than needed to develop green and alternative energies. We just have to decide to be adults about it and get it done.
1. Lift the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico
2. Release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to stabilize prices thereby helping us avoid nose-diving into a deeper recession
3. Allow drilling in Federal lands in Alaska (ANWR) and other western states
Mr. President, do not squander more blood and treasure on a fight that is not ours. Support the people who are fighting dictators in the Middle East, but do it from the position of strength that is uniquely American: our success with freedom and liberty. Don't enjoin a No Fly Zone, don't enter into backroom deals with dictators. Put America first and make us independent again, thereby freeing America to regain a position to really help. Your legacy awaits.

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