Oil Addiction and Saudi Dependence
August 9, 2005
On Monday, Bush signed the energy bill.
Also on Monday, the price of crude hit a record $64 a barrel.
The oil markets obviously know that the new energy law will do precious little to wean America off the black liquid.
“This new law is a historic failure,” Representative Edward J. Markey told The New York Times. “It fails to do anything to increase the fuel efficiency of our cars and SUVs, even though more than two-thirds of the oil we consume goes into gasoline tanks.”
Nor does it mandate increased use of solar or wind power, he noted.
Nor, for that matter, is it going to make the world less dependent on Saudi oil.
In fact, the world is more dependent on Saudi oil than ever, as Jad Mouawad pointed out in the Times on Saturday.
In the lead up to the Iraq War, Cheney and Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld had visions of Iraqi oil flooding the world market and acting as a counterbalance to the Saudi crude.
But like just about everything else concerning the Iraq War, they got this one wrong, as insurgents have crippled the pipelines and refineries.
Iraq is actually pumping out less oil today than it was before the war.
As a result of this and other adverse developments, “the alternatives to Saudi Arabia are fewer today than seemed to be the case just three years ago,” Mouawad reported.
No wonder, then, that Bush sent his daddy and Dick Cheney and Colin Powell to convey the President’s respects to the new leader of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah.
So here we are, four years after September 11, an attack carried out by 19 hijackers, 15 of them Saudi, an attack masterminded by the prodigal son of a wealthy Saudi family, an attack justified by the madrassas financed by the Saudis, and the United States is still on bended knee before the Saudi throne.
All because of our addiction to oil, and because of our government’s policies that serve ExxonMobil and GM, and because of Bush’s hostility to conservation, to clean energy, and to anything that might take the United States seriously down the responsible path of energy independence and environmental sanity.
Such a course would require Bush to take on the big energy and car companies.
Such a course would require Bush to acknowledge the necessity of regulation.
But he has neither the inclination to take on his friends nor the ideological equipment to grasp the need.