Fuel for the Fire

Oil BarrelYou can hardly argue that there’s no connection between oil consumption and terrorism, but even if you can ignore all the evidence pointing to gasoline-fueled cars as the crucial link between American culpability and third world enmity, I still don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to make cars more fuel efficient. Led by Republicans and backed up by Democrats from auto-producing states, the Senate yesterday rejected a proposal to increase the mandated fuel-economy of passenger cars to 40 miles per gallon… by the year 2015. That’s a dozen years from now, and the opposition argument is that this sort of legislation is a danger to American jobs. C’mon! Saying that the American auto industry is incapable of gearing up for a new fuel economy standard over the course of twelve years is a kind of insult to American ingenuity and resourcefulness, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s a testament to laziness, greed and an obstinate unwillingness to really address the reality of our role in the world.



  1. Interesting premise. It sounds as if you’re placing the blame for terrorism on shoulders of American consumers. According to you, and the rest of the Blame-America-First crowd, it’s our fault that 3,000 people were murdered in NYC on 9/11.

    We’re also to blame for the daily living conditions of people living in third world countries – is that right? Never mind that fact that these people are generally ruled by murderous thugs, have a lack of civil liberties, and a general lack of human rights. I’d be pissed off as well if I had to live like that. But still, according to you it’s my fault because I drive a car powered by gasoline.

    The U.S. Government can, and does, force industry to conform to their whims. However, just because government can force automobile companies to pour billions of dollars into research and development of hyper-efficient vehicles doesn’t mean that you or I will buy them. Market forces are what drive innovation, not Government interference. When the demand for alternatively fueled vehicles becomes real, industry will respond. They usually do.

    Nice site.

  2. There won’t be a public demand for alternative-fuel vehicles until the oil and automotive industries quit stifling the public discourse on that subject… or until some leaders in the government — in the White House or Congress — start earnestly trying to make the case for American’s energy independence.

    Besides, the legislation was not about AFVs, but rather was about raising the fuel economy standards. It’s true that the American public is not yet clamoring for better fuel-economy, but it’s a good bet that a future roadway still dominated by SUVs will not only deepen our reliance on foreign oil, but make increasingly precarious our relations with oil producing countries. It’s just a smart thing to set targets for better fuel economy, and I’ll admit my own bull-headedness when I say that I just can’t see a good reason not to do it.

    As for your other point: Plenty of countries are ruled by thugs and lack for civil liberties, but it’s the ones that produce oil and have relations with the US that tend to engender the strongest anti-American feelings. One very good example is Saudi Arabia, whose government is more or less sanctioned by the US based on our reliance on their oil, and who, not coincidentally, gave the world one Osama bin Laden.

    I’m not in the “Blame America First” camp. I am in the “accept some responsibility” camp, though.

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