One of the obstacles to Mideast peace is America’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil. For roughly 70 years, U.S. policy has been driven by the need to secure oil supplies, which has had a number of serious negative repercussions.
Negative repercussions of the American dependence on oil:
- Harming the U.S. economy as prices fluctuate.
- Damaging the environment.
- Giving the Saudis influence over U.S. Middle East policy and allowing them to undermine U.S. values and interests.
- Allowing Arab oil producers to threaten America with withholding oil and, in the case of the 1973 embargo, actually shutting off supplies.
- Transferring U.S. wealth to oil producers.
- Providing oil producers, especially the Saudis, with funds that are often transferred to terrorists and to promote a radical brand of Islam in schools and mosques.
What you can do:
- Promote energy security. Since oil is used primarily for transportation (not as commonly thought to generate electricity), it is possible to reduce American dependence in the short-run without any controversial alternative sources of energy (e.g., nuclear) or dramatic technological innovations. At least one option is available immediately, and that is to promote the use of flex fuel. This technology only costs an additional $100 per vehicle and enables cars to run on a blend of gasoline and alcohol fuels. This presents an elegant method of achieving energy independence while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Educate yourself (IAGS.org, setamericafree.org)
- Educate others
- Organize an “Email Congress” campaign from your campus
- Lobby for Change: The Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011: Tips for being an effective grassroots advocate
In the longer term it may be possible to use solar power, electric cars, and rechargeable batteries to reduce and eventually eliminate our need for foreign oil. Promoting these clean sources of energy will help the environment, the American economy and contribute to Middle East peace.
Ideal allies for partnership
- Environmental groups
- Groups presenting recycling initiatives
- A variety of progressive groups.
Flex Fuel vehicles hold the key: http://www.iags.org/baltsungl040710.pdf
How to achieve energy independence: