Wednesday, June 18, 2008

McCain's Bold Strategy for Saving America.

Here's a good indication of the type of longterm vision we should expect if John McCain gets elected- he proposes to end the ban on offshore drilling. Obviously this very issue has not originated with John McCain. In fact, in the 2000 election McCain was clear in his stance that he opposed an extension of drilling. He actually stood up to Bush and a previous Republican Congress to help thwart such a move previously. Nonetheless it is no longer politically expedient for John McCain to exercise any kind of consistency in his energy policy. Right now it is all about oil prices. The American citizenry (by-and-large) doesn't give a shit about a continuing dependency on foreign oil. They only want to see prices decrease at the pump. It's in their immediate interest to have more of the crude extracted from the Earth, no matter where it happens.

So why shouldn't we go ahead and do it? Well, for starters, it's simply a short term solution to the biggest global crisis we face in the 21st Century. The United States has been putting its trust in the oil industry for more than four decades. Its representatives have reached the zenith of their power in the George W. Bush Administration. The entire executive branch is determined to hold on to the fossil fuel energy paradigm as long as they can continue to increase their wealth. They simply don't care what happens to the rest of us. We've been investing obscene amounts of taxpayer dollars into military adventurism and government subsidies paid out to the oil companies- and the current situation is a direct result of this mismanagement of the nation's resources.

Obviously it is time to wake up and re-evaluate our approach. Is offshore drilling going to lead to immediate relief at the pump? Absolutely not. By the time those platforms are online and producing (estimates range from 7-10 years for their optimization), gasoline will have gone up exponentially. It won't make a dent in world oil prices. And unfortunately, American oil companies are not going to reduce their prices just for the USA. This is strictly international business. Meanwhile they will continue to pollute our environment and distract us from the ultimate task at hand- developing and utilizing alternate energy. Until we make a concerted and organized effort to exploit the technology that is already available to us, we will continue to see economic hardships and anxiety.

The simple fact is that our entire foreign policy is wrapped around the "stabilization" of oil markets. The Republicans are driving the federal government into financial insolvency in order to profit an increasingly shrinking upper class. The neocons (and theocons) have been multiplying our enemies worldwide with their efforts to control politics in the oil-rich regions. But those that benefit from the current perilous conditions couldn't care less about what is happening to the middle and lower classes. As long as there is a market somewhere in the world for them to exploit, they are well satisfied. If Americans can't afford rising gas prices, they will sell the oil to China or India. If the oppressed in oil-producing nations rise up, they will be bombed into submission. And we (the citizenry) will pay the price.

The current legislation under consideration by Congress is a very cynical strategy put in place by the GOP to narrow Obama's current campaign advantage. Who is spearheading this proposal? Simply identify those characters that are loudest in their support of the bill- John McCain and George W. Bush. McCain has taken great pains in the past to separate himself from his would-be predecessor's failed policies. He has tried to curry favor with environmentalists, but what is his revolutionary plan to change the direction that the country is heading in? Bomb Iran, maintain a permanent military presence in Iraq, increase offshore drilling, and promote nuclear and coal energy... all misguided extensions of activities that have helped put the United States where it is today- slipping into a third-rate, former-superpower status.

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