America's Oil Addiction
By focusing on the Middle East, Bush fails to mention to the American people that the other places where we get our oil from are countries that reflect political and civil instability and a growing resentment towards the United States and the Bush administration’s foreign policies. So, why would Bush be so concerned with getting off oil in the Middle East when we currently only import 15% of our oil from the Middle East? Could it be that he’s hinting in a very indirect way, that in the future, major oil reserves outside of the Middle East are expected to go into decline, and the U.S. will be forced to import our oil supplies from the only big game still left in town…Saudi Arabia? Is it possible that Mr. Bush was trying to use the Middle East as a cover, in an effort to bring up our vulnerabilities to Peak Oil occurring, without scaring Americans half to death and instigating an economic recession?
And Bush’s plan to beat the oil addiction with ethanol and new technology kind of gives you that warm fuzzy feeling about the strength and resilience of the American economy and our people, but it’s all a bunch of BS. In no time soon are we going to be able to grow enough crops or convert enough waste to be able to produce enough ethanol fuel to quench the demand of our transportation industry. The land/resource requirements for producing ethanol are enormous when you bump it up against our current demand for fuel. Airplanes are not going to start magically running on ethanol in five years. We have so many derivative uses of petroleum products – from wire insulation to buttons to contact lenses to plastic bottles to fertilizers and pesticicdes -- it is simply impossible for ethanol or any other substance known to man right now, to replace petroleum completely or even partially. You can’t get a plastic bottle from wind energy. You can’t make contact lenses from the sun’s beams. You can’t produce fertilizers from hydrogen fuel cells. Don’t believe the hype. We are not going to technologize our way out of this situation in an easy and worry-free manner. Forget the warm and fuzzy feeling…
I’m tired of politicians playing around with issues that can and will have a profound effect on the world, and more importantly my life and the lives of my friends and family. I’m tired of them bringing up issues in a superficial manner without explaining WHY our oil addiction is a danger to our nation. If people really analyzed his message (and I’m pretty sure most people didn’t), one might start to ask some important questions about the reality of our oil situation. How much oil is there in the world? How much does the Middle East own? How secure is the United States oil supply? How much oil does the US use? How much oil does the world use? Where does the U.S. get it’s oil from? Is there political instability in these countries? How would oil prices be affected by instability in these countries? What industries in the United States rely on a cheap and secure oil supply? Would these industries be able to survive if oil prices continued to increase? How would the US economy be affected if these industries didn’t survive? Would companies in these industries lay off many workers? Would the US economy be able to absorb this level of unemployment? In what other ways will our lives as individuals be affected by higher oil prices?
It’s sad that there are so many questions that should be asked of our President and our federal and local governments that are being glossed over. I suspect the President’s comments in his State of the Union speech have more to do with bolstering support for Republicans in the upcoming elections, trying to turn around his public approval rating percentages, increasing support for his war in the middle east, and stealing the thunder from critics in the Democratic party regarding his lack of a new energy plan, than his genuine concern over America’s oil addiction. I doubt that Bush will make any significant strides in putting his goal to reduce dependence on oil into action during the remaining 3 years of his presidency.
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