Day By Day

Friday, December 21, 2007

The American Consumer Is Not the Enemy

Iain Murray has an excellent comment in NRO regarding the idea that we have to achieve energy independence in order to defeat al Qaeda. I quote it in full:

With all due respect to Robert Zubrin and the splendid Cliff May, their argument against oil seems to be based on a syllogism: Islamists produce oil, Islamists are bad, therefore oil is bad. The fact is that 80% of our oil comes from non-islamist sources. Our top sources for petroleum are Canada and Mexico. We even import more oil from Africa than from the Middle East. The rest of the world isn't going to switch away from the most cost-effective source of transportation energy just because we choose something different. So by switching to methanol (which would also require massive amounts of land) we cut off our nose to spite our face. The Islamists will keep getting their funding from other nations, just like they do now, and we'll be less resilient in the face of their attacks because we'll be paying more for a less efficient form of energy (and we'll therefore be less competetive with, eg, China as well). It's ludicrous. If you really want to reduce our imports and lower the world price, campaign for an end to the silly restrictions that keep us from utilizing our vast reserves of oil and gas that are locked away in ANWR, the Rockies and the Outer Continental Shelf. The American consumer is not our enemy.