Oil is holding us hostage.

It's a dangerous thing when a country's energy policy is run by a private cartel - and that's exactly what's happening with Oil. The sitting administration doesn't work for you. They work for the oil industry. How do we know this? Because NEARLY EVERY MAJOR CABINET MEMBER HAS A CONNECTION TO IT! In the first ten days of taking office, Dick Cheney convened an energy task force. While we don't know what exactly transpired in this series of classified meetings (convenient, no?), we do know who attended them - executives from Enron, ExxonMobil, Conoco, Shell, BP and a variety of utility companies. We also know the recommendations that came out of them.

Most notable of these was the idea that we lift sanctions against oil-producing nations like Iran, Syria and Iraq so that some of these very same companies - I'm sorry, task force members - could take advantage of opportunities for oil exploration. So to recap, the energy policy of this administration would be to open doors to nations who breed terrorists, despise the U.S. and have sworn to obliterate some of our allies. All the while knowing that a) there is a finite supply of oil left in the world, and b) oil burning is contributing to the massive earth crisis known as global warming. Now there's some responsible governing for you.

Unlike the current gang running this country, we need to be pro-active, forward thinking and creative on the energy issue. If we go about it the right way, it will have a positive domino effect on everything from the environment to our national security. My ideas:

  1. Sacrifice. During WWII, we rationed, grew our own food and recycled products. How about a little of that spirit today? Carpooling. Ride sharing. Taking public transportation. If everyone did one of those things even two days a week, the difference would be immense.
  2. Install a gas tax. The U.S. still has the cheapest gas in the world. If we add even 25 cents a gallon, it would encourage people to buy fuel efficient vehicles AND drive less.
  3. Invest the profits in energy alternatives. We want to be less dependent on foreign oil? Let's develop our own sources of "fuel" at home - solar power, wind power, electricity, ethanol, biodiesel and others.
  4. Break the oil cartel. We're all at the mercy of OPEC. They control the spigot. It won't be easy to break them, but if we can drive down demand by exploring alternative energy sources, that will be a good start.
  5. Demand higher standards from Detroit. The technology for better fuel economy is there. But Detroit needs incentives and/or more challenging benchmarks if we're to get where we need to be.
  6. Restore the nuclear option. Chernobyl was an isolated incident. Nuclear power is a viable option that can be made fail-safe in this day and age. It's renewable, it's environmentally friendly and it's efficient.
  7. Create a sense of urgency. Certain times in a country's history demands a national purpose. I believe this is one of those times. We went to the moon, we developed the Manhattan Project. It's time to develop a serious energy policy.

So think about my ideas above and please, email me your own.