Monday, February 20, 2006

I Beg To Disagree

It is no secret to readers of this blog that I support, by and large, the policies of the president, especially as they relate to the War on Terror. My readers also know that I have not been afraid to voice my disagreement when the situation warrants. With that in mind, I'd like to draw your attention to this excerpt from an AP article today:

MILWAUKEE - Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would "startle" most Americans,
President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil.

Less than half the crude oil used by refineries is produced in the United States, while 60 percent comes from foreign nations, Bush said during the first stop on a two-day trip to talk about energy.

Some of these foreign suppliers have "unstable" governments that have fundamental differences with America, he said.

"It creates a national security issue and we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us," Bush said.

While I support the idea of developing alternative sources of energy, I have a problem with the last statement in particular. It has been repeated so often by Democrats and Republicans alike, that it has become a catch phrase and an excuse for what is a government created problem.

The government to which I am referring is not a foreign government, it is our own. We are not being held hostage for energy by foreign nations, but by the willingness of our own government to cave in to the wishes of extremists.

The simple fact is we don't have to depend on foreign sources of energy, we can produce everything we need right here. We have the technology, the expertise, and the supply under our soil and along our coastlines to power this nation without outside assistance for the foreseeable future. What we don't have are politicians with the backbone to tell agenda driven environmentalists to take a hike.

We can produce, refine, and burn fuel more cleanly and more efficiently and with less environmental impact than ever before and we should be taking advantage of the technology available right now to do just that.

Of all the problems frequently discussed regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the one most frequently ignored is one of the most crucial: We have put ourselves in a situation where a severe blow from just one major hurricane can effectively cripple the entire nation's fuel supply. That is not a position in which a great nation should ever find itself in. It is, in fact, inexcusable.

The obvious solution is to spread our refining and drilling capacity throughout the country, not confine it to a particular region. Yet, that is exactly what politicians have done to appease environmentalists and buy votes. Few seem to question the science behind the doomsday scenarios predicted by these extremists, yet when is the last time you saw one of them walk from New York to San Francisco or from Miami to Seattle to attend the conferences in which they preach these views? The answer is never. They depend on energy just as much as the rest of us do, and their opinions and agendas should carry no more weight.

So, the problem I have is not exploring alternative sources of energy. I believe it should be done because we are a nation born of exploration. We are a nation from its inception that has been in constant search of a better way of doing things. We have always found a better way and we will continue to do so. We will find alternative sources of energy and these sources will be readily available when they are needed. America is not in the failure business, it is in the solution business.

The real problem is the excuse. The excuse that we can't do better with what we have now when we could do better if we were allowed to. The excuse that we are too dependent on foreign oil when we are actually too dependent on special interest groups to eliminate the need for foreign oil. The excuse that we must explore alternative sources of fuel out of fear instead of progress.

The American people drive this economy, an economy fueled by our toil, our sweat, and our innovation. Given that, is it really asking too much to expect our elected officials, regardless of political stripe, to stand up and admit the true reason for our dependence on foreign oil instead of offering the same old excuse that shifts the blame on us? I don't think it is and I think we should.

Tags: , , , ,

Technorati talk bubble
Locations of visitors to this page