August 9, 2008

More Than Gas Prices

This op-ed by John Shadegg pretty much says everything I've been saying for years.

GOP protest goes beyond gas prices

American colonists liked their tea, but the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against more than an unfair duty placed on what many would consider a luxury item. Paul Revere, Samuel Cooper, Thomas Melvill and 112 other men did not don costumes and throw tea from ships in the dead of night solely because of opposition to a levy on tea. Their acts that December evening were a revolt against tyranny. The Crown was infringing upon the basic rights of the colonists, limiting their ability to establish commerce and prosper.

In much the same way, the Republican protest that began in Washington last Friday is about more than gas prices. In fact, it’s about more than energy. I’ve called this the new Boston Tea Party. This is about the American economy, jobs, and national security. And, in the end, it’s about who we are as a people. Our refusal to tap our own resources - oil, and natural gas or to use nuclear power - touches every sector of American industry.

While we spend $1.2 billion a day on foreign oil, the U.S. airline industry, is laying off flight attendants, mechanics, pilots, and airport workers. The American auto industry, is laying off assembly workers and closing plants. American families are tightening their budgets and canceling vacations, hurting the tourism industry which is vital to our economy here in Arizona. From coast to coast industries and workers are suffering.

Washington Democrats’ anti-energy policies risk our economic, as well as national security. Dollars spent on oil from the Middle East or Venezuela, cost American jobs and finance America’s enemies, either directly or by providing income to the people who bankroll them. We must stop!

We can no longer defend buying oil from the Middle East, Russia, or South America when we have our own oil off our coasts, under public lands in the West, in Alaska, and in millions of tons of oil shale.

We cannot defend creating jobs for oil field workers in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, but telling American workers they are out of luck. We cannot justify saying to employees of a U.S. airline, that they must accept being laid off after 10, or 15 years on the job because the majority party in Congress is more sympathetic to views held by environmental extremists than it is to their plight.

Environmentally, forbidding domestic production doesn’t make sense. America would access oil using cleaner, more environmentally conscious methods than the countries from which we are currently buying it.

Of course we need to move beyond fossil fuels. We must stop wasting energy and make more energy-efficient homes and buildings. We should be developing cars and vehicles that are more efficient and run on clean, renewable fuels.

We can, and will, achieve these goals much more quickly if we use our domestic resources. Imagine the benefit if we shifted money spent on foreign oil back into the American economy and invested it in the development of alternatives.

Ingenuity is the essence of the American people. We are a “can do” nation, not a “can’t do” nation. We have faced, and overcome, every challenge placed in our way. We won our independence from Britain, the most powerful nation in the world at the time; we defeated fascism and communism; we conquered polio; we put a man on the moon. We will overcome this energy crisis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other defeatists notwithstanding.

-John Shadegg (Op-ed to Arizona Republic)

Posted by Ith at August 9, 2008 12:19 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE