| Editorial by Fred Taub,
While most Americans are
blaming OPEC and the oil companies for the rising cost of fuel, we should
really be looking no further than U.S. policy for the price increases that are
affecting the entire world.
No, this is not about
environmentalism or bashing President Bush for what he is doing in Iraq as
liberals would claim, nor is it about OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries, gouging consumers because of greed as many conservatives
would believe. It is about the United States not being aggressive enough in
policy, the same namby-pamby attitude that has lead to the declining dollar.
When the United States rescued Kuwait and its oil
from Saddam Hussein, the first President Bush stated that it was to preserve
U.S. interests in the free oil market. After that, however, U.S. policy changed
to removal of Saddam Hussein as a dictator. In the meantime, all we did was
free Kuwaiti oil interests from one OPEC dictatorship to return it to another
OPEC dictatorship while propping up a third OPEC dictatorship, namely Saudi
After 9/11, the American focus in the
Middle East completely shifted from energy to making sure that Arabs dont
feel the United States is prejudiced against Arabs in general. In placating the
Arab world, the United States has completely lost sight of its own core needs.
Saddam Hussein, and the rest of the world for that
matter, completely expected the United States to take control of the Iraqi oil
fields, which is why Saddam Hussein ordered them set ablaze. The United States
had the opportunity to break OPEC at the time by demanding free and open market
sale of both Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil, but instead chose to let OPEC, the arch
enemy of the U.S. economic engine, to re-take control of a vital U.S. interest.
This all happened as Congress refused to open ANWR,
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, drilling for oil, ensuring that the U.S.
economy would be held hostage by foreign oil dictatorships for years to come.
Topping things off, when Hugo Chavezs
Venezuela, another OPEC dictatorship, seized control of U.S. oil assets in
Venezuela, the United States just stood by and watched, thus putting even
greater control of U.S. energy reliance in the hands of yet another tyrant who
wants to see the United States destroyed. Although the United States invaded
Grenada in 1983 to rescue American student there, Chavez knew that America
would do nothing to protect American business interests in his country, just as
the United States abandoned businesses which had assets in Cuba before Castro
nationalized all U.S. assets there.
In the world
oil market, most Persian Gulf oil goes to Europe. The North Eastern section of
the United States gets most of its oil from the North Sea, and the Midwest gets
most of its oil from the United States, Venezuela, and Mexico. Rounding off the
supply map, the West Coast shares the oil from Alaska with Japan. Much of this
is because of the convenience of delivery, as it takes 21 days for a tanker
ship to make a round trip from the Persian Gulf to the United States, and only
seven days from Venezuela to the United States. Oil sourcing in the United
States remains relatively stable and refineries redirect their products by
Because of these shipping
realities, boycotts of any gasoline brands are pointless because refineries and
distributors simply sell each other their products on demand to equalize their
supply based on customer demand by brand. When refineries pump gasoline across
the country in pipelines, they ship generic gasoline by octane grade and final
formulation is performed at the local distribution point to the local
franchised gas stations. Brand boycotts therefore only affect the locally owned
and operated gas station franchise owner.
past twenty years, the United States has passed on every opportunity it had to
obtain oil self-sufficiency as well as every opportunity it had to break OPEC.
The U.S. economy is suffering from those mistakes today. The reason is
''Political Correctness.'' For the past twenty years, the United States has
been more worried about what the world thinks of us rather than being a leader
and doing the right thing.
The policy of Political
Correctness in the United States meant avoiding short term public relations
hits and traditionally being thanked in the long run. Instead, Political
Correctness resulted in the United States receiving short term accolades while
suffering the long term public relations hits.
United States cant have its cake and eat it too, which is essentially the
utopian vision of Political Correctness. Americans need to understand that
whats good for this country is good for the world economy. Had the United
States been concentrating on building its own economy rather than offering an
international placebo, the world would have prospered more as a result.