According to the administration's flawed logic, those in the business of exploring, drilling, refining and delivering oil are also responsible for our pain at the pump. In a now-familiar mantra, he says, "Right now, $4 billion of your tax dollars goes straight to the oil industry every year -- $4 billion in subsidies that other companies don't get." Set aside for a moment the financial perils of searching for oil in an unstable world, boring deep into the earth to what may be a "dry hole" and then shipping whatever is found through pirate-infested waters. Now try to ascertain how eliminating tax incentives for oil companies to take these risks would reduce the price we pay at the pump. If the answer eludes you, don't feel bad; you're not alone.
Added to these populist themes is the Obama obsession with "green energy alternative fuels." Last week, a day after Obama promised to buy and drive an electric-powered Chevrolet Volt once he is out of office, General Motors suspended manufacturing of the vehicle, citing "oversupply." In other words, American consumers aren't buying enough of the government-subsidized cars to make it worth keeping the production lines open. The Obama fix: a new government subsidy to compensate individuals and local and state government agencies "to make the shift to more energy-efficient cars."
Notably, Obama announced this new program during a campaign event at a Daimler truck plant in North Carolina, which makes long-haul Freightliner trucks powered by compressed natural gas -- the least expensive, most abundant fuel, after coal, available in North America. Yet our supposedly "tech-savvy" president failed to mention an advance advocated by private industry to produce liquid methanol from natural gas for powering cars and light trucks. As former national security adviser Robert McFarlane noted in The Wall Street Journal last week, methanol is safer and less expensive than gasoline at current prices.
Best of all, not one cent of what we would spend to get to work in a methanol-fueled car would go to fund the jihad being waged against us. If Obama wants to see how well this works, he should make a campaign stop at any NASCAR track.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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