I want to draw your attention to a very interesting, but, in my opinion, flawed article that appears in the August 23rd issue of Time Magazine by Michael Mandelbaum, which carries the above title. After reading his thesis I found both agreement and real disagreement, and I believe our differences come from Mandelbaum’s obvious liberal orientation. You may or may not agree. You can read the article for yourself at:
First, consider the fact that Mandelbaum is currently the Christian Herter Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a B.A. from Yale, attended King’s College at Cambridge University, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects. His work experience is exclusively academically oriented.
He and I agree on the need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil importation, but I totally disagree with the way Mandelbaum suggests how to accomplish that goal. He believes we can decrease Middle Eastern influences if we increase the cost of gasoline, thus reducing consumption. He says this would result in dramatically reducing the influence the Middle Eastern oil producing countries would have upon the U.S. economy. I say Yes, and No.
We agree that we must eventually reduce our dependency on oil, but realistically we are years away until an alternative energy source can be economically developed. This must be our near-term goal, but with a troubled economy it would be economic suicide in the short-term to increase the price of gasoline to the levels now paid in European countries.
If I accepted the professor’s theory, American taxpayers would take another hit in their already empty pockets, the domestic economy would be hurt, and foreign oil producers would just increase the price of oil thereby filling their pockets. Unemployment would not drop, but could actually increase.
I believe that by announcing the immediate expansion of domestic drilling, we can send a very strong signal to all of the oil producing countries who continue to profit from our strong demand, and who work against the interests of our country. Currently we have massive proven oil reserves being untapped in the Bakken Formation covering North and South Dakota and Montana that could increase our oil reserves by 10%. Were we to announce the development of that resource we would dramatically get the attention of OPEC. We would immediately reduce the ability of foreign oil producing countries to fund terrorist activities against our security.
Additionally, we can and should permit drilling for oil off our east and west coast shores, in Alaska’s far north (Anwar), and re-establish drilling in shallower waters of the Gulf. Obviously, in light of the recent BP Gulf deep water drilling disaster, strict regulations and appropriate reporting and oversight should be put into place.
Both actions would impact the economic power of foreign oil producing countries, and provide a huge boost to the economy of our country. With a strong announcement of our immediate intensions, we would likely see a dramatic increase in domestic employment levels, the stock market, and a sharp reduction in the balance of payments to our enemies.
Your Commander’s sentiments will draw a massive negative reaction from bleeding heart liberals, and I recognize that the environmentalists will go berserk. Electric cars are not currently a viable alternative for the masses, but they could be down the road. The cost of the electric car must come down, as well as the cost of batteries. In the meantime, we should address the existing problems within specific acceptable levels of compromise.
Don’t ask the academics, the special interests, the environmentalists or the politicians, but ask the voting public. You might be shocked at what the American public would be willing to accept in the short-term to address our economic malaise. Look at what the elitists with all their academic credentials have accomplished in addressing our massive debt and unemployment for the past two years.
It is time to act realistically and move forward aggressively with a strong signal sent to our economic opponents. We call the oil producing countries friends, but with friends like these, we are going down the road to fiscal collapse. Where is President Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick when we need it?