James L. Lambert, who resides in San Diego, California, is a frequent contributor to AgapePress. He is the author of Porn in America (Huntington House), which can be purchased through the American Family Association; and a licensed loan sales agent who offers all types of real-estate mortgage loans. He can be reached via his website or by calling 1-800-656-8603.
(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)
It is absolutely amazing to see the political haranguing around America when it comes to the politics of oil and energy. In this election year, we hear of elaborate media conferences arranged by high-profile politicians who are complaining about increases in gas prices in an attempt to get political mileage out of this issue. Like any consumer out there, I am annoyed with the steep price of gas at the pump (presently $2.35-$2.50 a gallon here in Southern California). The cost of gas is seriously squeezing most Americans financially.
The impact of this cost goes even further. Some economists and politicians voice their concern for the U.S. trade imbalance (hovering around $44 billion in recent months). Yet, by far, the single most contributing factor to this trade imbalance of funds is the cost of imported oil. In the politics of oil and energy, this fact is never brought up and certainly not by media groups who understand that this fact alone might make an even stronger case for domestic oil exploration.
What befuddles me is the blatant hypocrisy of these same politicians and even news group editors who complain about this problem but continue to obstruct practical and common-sense solutions to this problem. (But who ever said most politicians exercise common sense?) Actually, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle share some blame for this problem. (The only exception to this might be in my home state of California where the left solidly controls both houses of the legislature.)
Currently, we import approximately 60% of our oil. A sizable share of this oil comes from Saudi Arabia where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from. Saudi Arabia is also the home of the Wahabee sect of Islam a sect that believes in theocracies and is intolerant of other religions and Western culture, preferring the world revert to a 7th-century Islamic social structure.
Wahabee's close relationship to the Saudi culture and the political apparatus of that country may make Saudi Arabia an unreliable trading partner in the distant future. Further, many other countries that provide the energy (oil) that runs the engine of America's economy have the potential to become politically unreliable. This could include Russia, Venezuela, Nigeria, and even Mexico. It is important for us to immediately (1) seek alternative sources of energy; and (2) become more efficient in our use of energy; while (3) simultaneously looking for new sources of oil within our own borders.
Our reliance on foreign oil is potentially very dangerous, especially today when Western culture is so actively threatened by radical militants and Wahabee terrorists. It would only take one coup d'état to upset the world's energy markets. All our political leaders must clearly understand the need to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
It's clear that over the course of the last 20 years our country's best known environmental groups i.e., Sierra Club, Green Party, Greenpeace, PETA, etc. have been taken over by extremists who regularly disavow compromise and practical solutions.
Some environmental activists, like Robert Kennedy, Jr., have put forth some good proposals (regarding vehicle consumption efficiency). However, these same people will not budge in opening up America's oil reserves, a move that could buy us some time in developing alternative sources of energy.
Many politicians use the gas issue to criticize big oil firms but those same politicians refuse to downsize the substantial tax on gasoline that the federal government assesses on everyone. In California, the combined state and federal tax on gasoline approaches 44 cents per gallon. California is the only state with such restrictive additive requirements that refineries have to make gasoline separately to comply with California's own environmental standards. If Democrats in the California State Legislature really wanted to help motorists, they would place a two-year stay on these rigid requirements.
Our government's leaders should also proactively pursue other forms of energy development as well as develop the potential oil reserves we already have. Clearly, oil exploration technology has dramatically improved since the oil spills off the coast of California in the 1970s. But environmentalists would have you think otherwise. They would also have you believe that the targeted oil fields in northern Alaska are like Yosemite's green valley. This could not be further from the truth. (The actual topography of the fields in question more closely resembles tundra.) Yet that is the way this issue has been portrayed to the media by environmentalists and liberal politicians alike.
In light of the war on terror, all Americans should rethink our country's current position on domestic oil exploration and development. America is only as strong as its economy. Our economic health is dependent on both sides (Republicans and Democrats alike) compromising on a common-sense approach to this issue. This should involve more efficient auto gas consumption while (with tax incentives) encouraging discovery of sources of energy other than oil. Republican and Michigan state politicians need to require U.S. auto manufactures to get with the program and produce more fuel-efficient cars, even trucks and SUVs vehicles for which they have received a pass over the years. Similarly, Democrats must defend the nation's economy by allowing development of new domestic oil reserves (i.e., offshore California and north slope Alaska). If we don't consider a political compromise to this problem, we are giving in to a political stalemate that will foster grave consequences for our country in the future.
Let the public understand that when politicians park their microphone near a gas station to tell us about rising gas prices, they are grandstanding. When a senator or congressman continually caters to environmental extremists, he is not thinking of protecting America's economy, but only of his own political backside during America's war on terror.