Getting To Know The Drill

From The Ryskind Sketchbook

TCIGSFP gave a speech on energy yesterday. The brief report I heard on the news made me afraid to read it, but I am pleasantly surprised. He's still not for ANWR drilling, but he calls for lifting the moratoria on off-shore drilling, clean nuclear power and clean coal. You might think the two columnists mentioned here wrote the speech. It's an excellent statement of the costs in terms of security and simple justice of our current policy. For example,
Oil revenues are enriching the enemies of the United States, and potentially limiting our own options in containing the threat they present. Iran alone receives more than 66 billion dollars a year from oil sales, even as that regime finances terrorists, threatens Israel, and endangers the peace of the world with its designs on nuclear weapons. Moreover, by relying upon oil from the Middle East, we not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror -- we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves. Across the world are pipelines, refineries, transit routes, and terminals for the oil we rely on -- and Al Qaeda terrorists know where they are. Osama bin Laden has been quite explicit in directing terrorists to attack the oil facilities on which so much of America's economy depends. They have come close more than once. And we are one successful at tack away from an economic crisis of monumental proportions.
Not only that:

Even if our economy were somehow immune to this threat, the vast wealth we shift to the Middle East, Venezuela, Angola, and elsewhere would still have a third harmful and perverse effect. It would continue to enrich undemocratic, unjust, and often corrupt regimes. Some of the most oil-rich nations are also the most stagnant societies on earth. And among the many luxuries their oil wealth affords them is the luxury of ignoring their own people. In effect, our petrodollars are underwriting tyranny, anti-Semitism, the brutal repression of women in the Middle East, and dictators and criminal syndicates in our own hemisphere.

We cannot allow the world's greatest democracy to be complicit in such corruption and injustice.
Right on. This is a continuation of the Bush effort (through the Bush Doctrine, however muddled and Condi-fied in the past two years) to make our foreign policy "clean," in the political rather than the environmental sense. He gets a few good shots in as well. Speaking of the fact that about half our oil comes from Mexico & Canada, McCain notes:
That's a heavy reliance on these two nations. But there is a world of difference between relying on two democratic neighbors and partners in NAFTA, and relying on often hostile and undemocratic regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere. When critics of trade talk about unilaterally renegotiating NAFTA, as my opponent has done, that's one more concern they might want to keep in mind.

what does Senator Obama support in energy policy? Well, for starters he supported the energy bill of 2005 -- a grab-bag of corporate favors that I opposed. And now he supports new taxes on energy producers. He wants a windfall profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas. If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big idea too -- and a lot of good it did us.

The headlines had me braced for a huge global warming emphasis that simply doesn't appear. He is worried about it --hence his support for alternative energy and clean nukes-- and he's drawing a line in the sand on ANWR. But his overall approach is entirely sensible. He can be John McCain (not just TCIGSFP) for today. Powerline has more reaction to the speech. And the President is going to call for off-shore drilling today.

Update: Al Gore's personal energy consumption is up 10% since last year.