Frank Gaffney
One week from today, President Bush has an opportunity to make a truly historically significant State of the Union address. He can do so by setting forth a program for energy security that will play against type for a man from the “Oil Patch,” by charting a course for setting America free of its dependence on oil. The time demands such leadership, the national security requires it and the American people deserve no less.

There are a number of compelling reasons for action: For starters, we in the United States, and industrialized world more generally, are funding both sides in the War for the Free World. On the one hand, since we consume far more oil than is available here at home, we are obliged to import most of what we need from abroad. As a practical matter that means enriching with wealth transfers those who are the principal financiers of Islamofascist terror – notably, Saudi Arabia and Iran. And, on the other, we are paying vast sums to protect ourselves against such terror.

Secondly, we have a proven model for doing things differently. We have diversified sources to meet many of our energy needs (for example, coal, nuclear power, hydroelectric and biomass). Yet, our transportation sector remains reliant upon oil – sixty percent of it imported – for the gasoline and diesel fuel on which it runs almost exclusively. This creates a dependency that is as unsustainable as it is strategically perilous, especially as the appetite for oil of our emerging rival, Communist China, continues to skyrocket.

By offering similar “fuel choice” for the Nation’s cars, trucks, buses and aircraft, we can allow them to be powered by alternatives to oil that we can produce at home and/or purchase from governments other than those of the oil-exporting nations, governments that tend to be unstable at best and, in many cases, are trying to kill us.

In fact, millions of Americans already drive vehicles such as the Ford Taurus, the Dodge Caravan and the Chevrolet Silverado truck that can use alcohol fuels (ethanol or methanol) to reduce dramatically, if not eliminate, their consumption of gasoline. It costs around $100 extra to make a car that allows us to choose what fuel we want to use. Just as every car sold in America has seatbelts and airbags, from now on, they should all be flexible fuel vehicles.


Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
 
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