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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Since It's Not Cameron Diaz Saying it Now, Can We Call it a Good Idea?

Proving himself to be a master of understatement, Reagan Defense Department official Frank Gaffney says "I don't often find myself in agreement with those at the Natural Resources Defense Council." No shit. But Gaffney and other Reagan-era relics like CIA director James Woolsey and national security advisor Robert McFarlane have written a letter to Bunnypants telling him it's high time to invest in hybrid technology as part of an overall program to reduce US oil consumption.

Says Woolsey, "[It's] no longer a nice thing to do. It's imperative."

You think?

The hawks cite terrorism as their main concern, fearful that the petroleum infrastructure is vulnerable to terrorist attack. They also worry that US petrol dollars are going to finance terrorist-supporting regimes. And in a surprising act of forward-thinking, Gaffney notes that if the US doesn't do something, the current situation could escalate into conflict with China for access to global oil resources.

They carefully skirt around the issue that oil represents a huge part of the trade deficit we are currently running -- in February total imports were at $161.5 billion and exports were at $100.5 billion, leaving the US with a deficit of $61 billion. Total oil imports were $18.2 billion, equivalent to roughly 30% of the trade deficit. That there is no high-priority federal program to scale back dependence on oil for that reason alone makes absolutely no sense at all.

That is, unless your energy policy is being dictated by ExxonMobil.