Ed Markey (D-MA).....yesterday on MSNBC....
We're in Libya because of oil. And I think both Japan and nuclear technology and Libya and this dependence that we have upon imported oil have once again highlighted the need for the United States to have a renewable energy agenda going forward...
As I said the other day.....if Libya was not the world's 9th largest oil producing nation, we would not be involving ourselves militarily there. It's the 'thing we do not speak of'.....because....well....it's just kind of embarassing. Truth often is like that. Embarassing. So we avoid speaking it, or hearing it.
During the runup to attacking Iraq....it was, again, too rude, too imprudent, to talk about Iraq's huge oil reserves. Those who dared to be rude, were accused of being maniacal conspiracy theorists in need of counseling. Instead of oil in Iraq....we attacked that sovereign nation to free the people, or to destroy non-existent WMD, or to keep Saddam from giving weapons he did not have to people he did not have anything to do with....or whatever the reason-du-jour turned out to be. But for sure.....we didn't go to Iraq because of the oil. Anyone who said so was a fool or a Frenchman.
In 1977,.....34 years ago now....President Jimmy Carter spoke the truth about our growing energy problem....
"It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century. "We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.
"We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us." Carter bluntly pointed out that: "The most important thing about these proposals is that the alternative may be a national catastrophe. Further delay can affect our strength and our power as a nation." He called the new energy policy he was proposing, "[T]he 'moral equivalent of war' -- except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy."
"...Imports have doubled in the last five years. Our nation's independence of economic and political action is becoming increasingly constrained..."
"Now we have a choice," Carter said. "But if we wait, we will live in fear of embargoes. We could endanger our freedom as a sovereign nation to act in foreign affairs."
It was the speech that established the strategic petroleum reserve, birthed the modern solar power industry, led to the insulation of millions of American homes, and established America's first national energy policy.
That was 34 years ago. All we're permitted to remember about Jimmy Carter is that he was a one-term Democratic president.....who just had a lot of, you know, funny ideas.
America, obviously, cannot be taught and cannot learn. Of course, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent over the past 34 years to prevent us from learning the truth of which Carter spoke. Reagan moved the oil barons into the White House, solar panels were removed from the White House roof.....tax subsidies flowed to oil corporations.....and then there's the wars and the foreign policy which followed.
I am convinced that America's stubborn unwillingness to confront the 800 pound barrel of oil in the room...will eventually lead to our demise.
A new, and even more reactionary and extreme conservative movement, will never consider any government spending on alternative energy policy initiatives. We're broke, they say. Not broke enough to prevent us from dropping $1 million freedom bombs on another oil-rich nation.....but just broke enough to prevent government from acting as a problem solver in any significant way.
Initiatives which Carter spoke about 34 years ago, initiatives which would carry with them the added bonus of producing jobs......can never be implemented in today's Tea Party environment. It's up to the divine and invisible moving hand of the free market to solve our decades-old problem. The market will decide, just like Ronnie said it would.
And so, instead, our tax dollars go to pay for more freedom bombs, more military intervention in the middle east, more misery and more bloodshed. What Carter warned about 34 years ago.....has now become the U.S. status quo.
It's been 34 years.....the problem with America's continued dependence on foreign sources of energy has only worsened.
America cannot learn and cannot be taught. Because of that, what we have witnessed in Iraq, what we are witnessing now in Libya....and what we'll witness in every oil-rich region of the world in the future will be wars and rumors of wars primarily instigated by U.S. officials.
Wars of "humanitarianism", wars to "prevent genocide", wars to stop dangerous WMD from getting into the hands of bad, bad people......but never the truth that they are wars for energy resources.
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