Monday, October 11, 2004

easterbrook gets it right

while plenty of reporters are cynically trying to convince the electorate that kerry and bush are equally deceptive and lacking in credibility in regards to energy planning, gregg easterbrook shatters that myth with a definitive piece on kerry's serious, responsible, and maybe even a little groundbreaking plan:

In short, eliminating U.S. dependence on Gulf-state oil is not a granola-crunching fantasy. All that's needed is a one-third MPG improvement, an extremely doable goal. Moreover, this goal is achievable within roughly a decade: Five years' notice to automakers to allow them to adjust plans and production (this avoids harm to Detroit), five years of sales of higher-MPG vehicles, and then the United States can kiss the Persian Gulf goodbye. When Kerry promises "a secure America independent of Middle East oil," he is not blowing smoke. He is setting a realistic goal that can be achieved in the near term.

there's a lot more where that comes from, and it represents an effort not only with enormous environmental impacts, but geopolitical and economic consequences that are incredibly, incredibly attractive:

The United States would no longer need to offer its soldiers' blood in defense of Gulf oil fields, nor coddle corrupt Gulf dictatorships. In addition to improving U.S. national security, an end to purchases of Persian Gulf oil could improve economic security. If rising Chinese demand for oil causes a long-term rise in prices, to perhaps $75 per barrel, the U.S. economy may be severely damaged--unless fuel efficiency reduces our need for oil.

- LH

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