Archive for July, 2008

OPEC’s empty toolkit

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Set America Free’s Gal Luft quoted in a Fortune article about how OPEC, the oil cartel, is constraining global oil supply and driving up price. The article starts: ”
The leaders of OPEC says its members have plenty of oil to meet demand. So why aren’t they putting more on the market?”

In a case of life imitating satire, recently OPEC’s president Chakib Khelil said that “the intrusion of bioethanol on the market” was alone responsible for 40% of the increase in oil prices. Yeah….right. Perhaps he’s been drinking some.

Frank Gaffney on FOX: breaking the monopoly of oil

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Iran and Brazil Can Do It. So Can We.

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Set America Free Coalition member Gal Luft in the Washington Post:

When the founding fathers declared our independence, they could not have imagined that, 232 years later, the United States would be so spectacularly dependent on foreign countries. It would be roughly
eight more decades before oil gushed from a well in Titusville, Pa., marking the beginning of the global
oil economy; it took eight decades more for the United States to become a net oil importer. But the
republic’s disastrous dependence on foreign oil has increased by leaps and bounds ever since.
In 1973, when OPEC imposed its oil embargo, U.S. oil imports composed 30 percent of our needs;
today, they make up more than 60 percent, with a growing proportion of that crude coming from the
world’s least stable regions. At around $145 a barrel, the United States, by my calculations, will spend
more on imported oil this year than it will spend on its own defense budget, and much of that money
will flow into the coffers of those who wish us ill.

Read the whole thing.

Caroline Glick: the West has to get its act together

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Caroline Glick calls on the West to break its dependence on foreign oil:

On a macroeconomic level, as people like R. James Woolsey, Gal Luft, Robert Zubrin, Frank Gaffney, Anne Korin and others have explained convincingly over the past several years, the West needs to end its addiction to foreign oil as quickly as possible. Energy security is a paramount issue.[...] The best course is to seek other means of fuelling cars, trains and airplanes. The key to everything as far as I can see is for all cars to have the capacity to run on fuels other than gasoline – what are called “flex fuel cars” and to have the capacity to run on electricity – what are called “plug-in cars.” What is needed is not so much one solution – but the ability to use many other fuels at once.

Once cars are able to run on methanol and ethanol and electricity as well as gasoline, then you have a lot of options for action. It makes sense to increase the supply of oil as much as possible by drilling in as many places as possible and increasing refining capacities. It also makes sense to start developing massive quantities of methanol that you can produce from just about anything. It makes sense to develop clean coal, increase nuclear energy supplies.

It makes sense to put a floor on the price of imported oil at $60/barrel to ensure that alternative energy sources that are now being developed can be competitive. It would prevent the Arabs from prolonging our dependence on them by flooding the US with cheap oil and pushing all alternatives off the market.

Breaking free of OPEC

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Set America Free Coalition member Frank Gaffney writes:

On the eve of the 4th of July, 2008, Americans are arguably as angry about being taxed without representation as at any time since they declared their independence from Great Britain. At the moment, they are furious about having no say over what amounts to a “tax” levied in the form of extortionate fuel prices driven by the supply-manipulating OPEC oil cartel.

As was true 232 years ago, we must channel that anger into action. This will require not just declaring independence from the Saudi-led oil monopoly, but taking the steps necessary to secure our freedom.

[...]Fortunately, this is not wishful thinking. We have the option right now to require that new automobiles sold in this country be capable of using alcohol-based fuels like ethanol, methanol or butanol instead of or together with gasoline.

This is a well-known technology. There are already 6 million such “Flexible Fuel Vehicles” (FFVs) on America’s highways. Seventy percent of Brazil’s cars are FFVs, many of them made by U.S. auto manufacturers. It costs less than $100 per car to allow a new car to be gasoline-independent – less than it costs to fill up many of our vehicles at today’s gas prices.

The really good news is that both Senators John McCain and Barak Obama have declared their support for the Open Fuel Standard that must be adopted to ensure that each of the roughly 17 million cars we buy in this country every year are Flexible Fuel Vehicles.

Declarer of Independence: WSJ on Woolsey

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

The Wall Street Journal profiles Set America Free’s Jim Woolsey:

James Woolsey, a Beltway Democrat-turned-Republican, is plotting to go “off-grid” and tools around town in a plug-in hybrid with a bumper sticker that says “Osama Bin Laden Hates This Car.”[...]

Mr. Woolsey’s mantra [...] is that the U.S. needs to break its dependence on Middle Eastern oil. [...] Mr. Woolsey says he first got “ticked off” over energy when he got stuck in a gas line in 1973 — “and I’m still ticked off.” What also peeves him are critics who snipe at the call for independence without understanding it.

No, the U.S. can’t cut itself off from all oil imports or turn itself into an “economic hermit,” he says. “But we can destroy oil’s monopoly over transportation.”

Cars, trucks and planes gobble up nearly seven out of every 10 barrels of oil consumed in the U.S., the Energy Department says. Mr. Woolsey wants to chop that way down. [...]A frenetic talker with a shiny pate, Mr. Woolsey insists that America’s salvation lies mainly in battery-powered cars and alternative fuels. [...]

Perhaps because of his own mixed political lineage, Mr. Woolsey is known for bringing odd birds together. His Set America Free Coalition, a group dedicated to weaning the U.S. off foreign oil, runs the gamut from conservative evangelical Gary Bauer to prairie liberals like Tom Daschle, the former senator from South Dakota.

Huntley: How U.S. can solve the energy crisis

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Steve Huntley writes in the Chicago Sun Times:

I and others have written the country needs a Manhattan Project to free us from a dependence on overseas oil that only enriches countries that wish us ill, like Iran and Venezuela, and funds hostile ideologies such as fanatical Islamism. In short, energy is a national security issue requiring government intervention in the economy of the type that conservatives like me normally don’t like.

The Manhattan Project was the World War II effort to produce an atom bomb before the Nazis could. Another example was the 1960s program to put a man on the moon before the Soviet Union could.

These required new technologies, and my thinking on energy tended to focus on finding new technologies. Others with better minds have come up with a Manhattan Project for energy that requires no scientific breakthroughs and uses current infrastructure. Those are the guiding principles of “A Blueprint for U.S. Energy Security” from Set America Free. It’s a coalition of individuals and organizations across the political spectrum ranging from social conservatives to environmentalists, or, as one of them puts it — “tree huggers, do-gooders, sodbusters, cheap hawks and evangelicals.”

Hitting bin Laden’s Target

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

ThreatsWatch notes:

the Congressional testimony of Anne Korin should grab your attention today, as we hit bin Laden’s goal.

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, about ten years ago, Osama bin Laden stated that his target price for oil is $144 a barrel and that the American people, who allegedly robbed the Muslim people of their oil, owe each Muslim man, woman, and child $30,000 in back payments. At the time, $144 a barrel seemed farfetched to most. Today, bin Laden is a mere $20 a barrel short of his target and there is little doubt it will be attained. I would like to impress upon this Committee that $144 a barrel oil will be perceived as a victory for the Jihadist movement and a reaffirmation that the economic warfare component of its campaign against the West is a resounding success. There is no need to elaborate on the implications of such a victory in terms of loss of U.S. prestige and our ability to prevail in the Long War of the 21st century. It is therefore imperative that the U.S. Congress do its utmost to forestall such a setback.

Making oil just another commodity

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

The Philadelphia Bulletin notes:

The Set America Free Coalition offers another perspective on America’s dependence on oil imports. The goal of Set America Free is to strip oil of its strategic value for OPEC by providing Americans with greater transportation fuel choices, including plug-in hybrid cars and flexible fuel vehicles. The plug-in hybrids are like other hybrids except they have bigger batteries and can drive 20 miles on a single charge. Flexible fuel vehicles, which are widely used in Brazil allow cars to run a variety of fuel types, giving consumers a choice at the pump between gas and alcohol. “We’re always going to need oil…we need to make oil just another commodity” Anne Korin, Set America Free Chair said.