The following are solely the author's opinions, if it gets you flustered---too bad. You never should have read it in the first place.
*****Iraq, Paying for It ******
Grab Iraqi oil ? No. Tax Iraqi oil & sell it ? No. Take the total cost of everything we spend to protect our oil interests and pay for it with a tax at the gas pump ? Yes !
We spend tens of billions of dollars each year defending our thirst for oil. Those who use the oil should pay for it, not the taxpayers at large. To do otherwise subsidizes the true cost of oil, keeps the price artificially low, and encourages consumption instead of conservation. The United States is the only major power which actually subsidizes oil.Everyone else taxes it to discourage consumption, that's why gas costs $4/gallon in Europe. If gas cost $2.50 a gallon perhaps consumers wouldn't buy a SUV that got 12 MPG. Or a minivan that gets 18 MPG. I have three children. The back seat of my Honda Civic holds three child safety seats. It gets 30 MPG. And is safer than most SUV's. Automakers only respond to consumer demands, if people make economy (and safety) a priority then they will get it. We have both the brains and the technology to do this, waste is just the lazy way out.
1b) ***** Fixing the Root Cause of the Problem ******
Is it your imagination or do Mideast wars, woes, violence, and U.S. involvement there seem to be escalating every year ???
Make a graph of Mideast Misery from 1980 to the present. Make a graph of U.S. average fleet MPG for the same period. Allowing for a delay of a few years for our waste to become their misery, you'll notice that the two graphs have opposite slopes. MPG goes down, Misery goes up. Our oil gluttony translates directly into Mideast bloodshed.
In 1977 then President Jimmy Carter called for "the moral equivalent of war" on the energy crisis (remember the oil embargo?). A department of Energy was created, fuel standards were established, tax incentives were given for the development of alternative sources of energy. And positive things started to happen.
When a new administration was elected, anything in the above that threatened the supremacy of Big Oil was quietly eliminated. Vehicles which weren't strictly passenger cars had a hard time getting put on the requirements lists for safety and economy. And alternative energy spiraled down like "stagflation" spiraled up. They killed it.
And so I posit that the wars of 2002-2003 are only being waged (elections aside...) because we lost the war of 1977.
And to fix all our Mideast woes, we only need do the following: Become more fuel efficient.
If there were no oil money, none would be diverted to terrorism. None of those countries would have arms to use against Israel. We wouldn't have to give 4 billion dollars a year to Israel to help with her defense. And since we wouldn't be helping Israel, the Palestinians, terrorists, Arabs, etc. would no longer see us to be the meddling influence that we are.
And in addition, we wouldn't care a rat's ass about any of them, either. Cynical ? Just think about all the resource- poor countries in Africa which have nothing to offer to us. Do we give a rat's ass about them ? No. Even though they war and butcher each other to such an extent that it makes Saddam look like the Good Humor Ice Cream man, we just don't care. Because there is no money in it for us. I'm not saying that it's just, or that it's the way things should be, just that's the way our Government behaves and that's the way it is. No wonder we like ourselves so much and much of the rest of the world does not.
So how far could we go in the fuel economy area ? How about 1100 MPG ? Yes--eleven hundred miles per gallon. I hear your skepticism. Take your browser on a spin and go to:
yes, it's long and no its not a hyperlink.
or type "supermileage" into Google or whatever search engine and see what comes up. The guys at St. Thomas Academy got 1322 MPG in the SAE 2000 contest running 100 octane, 1131 on ethanol blend at the MTEA contest, and even some high school kids from Eden Prarie High School got 864 MPG in 2001. Now if high schoolers can get 864 MPG why do all the factories in Detroit churn out 12 MPG SUVs ? Perhaps you decide when you purchase your next automobile. What gas mileage could all the brains of a major auto manufacturer get if they tried??? Honda gave it a try with a car that resembled an enclosed, recumbent tricycle. Called the "Genius E", it got over 6,000 MPG, a world's record.
#### If you thought the above to be a good solution to things, send a copy to your friends. Or your congressperson. ####