Thursday, October 07, 2004

Oil and the GWOT

Bill Maher made the point pretty effectively a couple of years ago with his book entitled When You Ride Alone, You Ride with Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism. (How is it that comedians have become our best policy analysts?) Today, Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times about the role that an energy policy must play in the "global war on terrorism." Here's the opening paragraph:

Of all the shortsighted policies of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, none have been worse than their opposition to energy conservation and a gasoline tax. If we had imposed a new gasoline tax after 9/11, demand would have been dampened and gas today would probably still be $2 a gallon. But instead of the extra dollar going to Saudi Arabia - where it ends up with mullahs who build madrasas that preach intolerance - that dollar would have gone to our own Treasury to pay down our own deficit and finance our own schools. In fact, the Bush energy policy should be called No Mullah Left Behind.

Friedman, it appears, is pulling no punches since his return from a book-writing sabbatical. The strong language could have been even stronger. I filled up this morning ($2.41/gal. for 87 octane) while listening to the news that oil futures have topped $53 per barrel. (When I wrote about petroleum just over a week ago, the price of oil had just gone over $50 per barrel for the first time ever.)

Read the column and let me know what you think.