Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Right To Cheap Oil


One thing that Liberals constantly bark about, is the notion that Americans believe they are entitled to cheap oil. Well, in plain fact we are so entitled. Ours is a nation of mobility. We started building roads over a dozen centuries after Europe started, yet American highways are better maintained and coordinated than anything Europe can boast. We quickly built up a network of railroad routes and shipping lines, and when the 20th Century came to pass, we led the world in airline shipping and passenger service, and still do. Even our folklore shows we think in terms of motion, with explorers, post routes, long distance delivery and cross-country routines. We think in terms of travel, even as recreation – who doesn’t perk up at the phrase “Road Trip”? We started our fight for freedom with a horse ride by Revere, and we were the first to get to the Moon, and in between it was always an American going all out to get somewhere. We WILL find a way to get our transportation done.

Also, looking at the IEA’s information, I observe that while gas prices in the United States are very high, they are still significantly lower than other major nations. The per-liter price in U.S. dollars in September 2005 is as follows:

USA $0.751
Canada $0.936
Japan $1.245
Spain $1.314
France $1.574
Italy $1.601
Germany $1.665
UK $1.707

That’s right, the French are tanking up their cars for about 6 bucks a gallon. In other words, the average American SUV can still be filled up for less than it costs to fill one of the those disposable Euro-carts, the kind being turned over and burned in Paris right now.

A really big part of the reason gas costs so much less in the U.S. is, believe it or not, taxes. Gasoline in France, for example, is only $0.591 a liter before taxes, compared to $0.647 a liter in the U.S. The French government however, smacks the French driver for $0.983 a liter in gasoline taxes, almost tripling the price for the French motorist. The UK tacks $1.12 onto each liter of gasoline sold to the British driver. And, as I mentioned in earlier articles, gas in Europe has more emissions, especially sulfur, than American gas, so people over there are paying more for an inferior product. So one may well wonder, why protestors choose to blame American oil companies and the American government?

Americans are a very practical people, as well. We have constantly been innovating ways to get around. The German engineer Benz may have invented the automobile, but Henry Ford made it affordable for regular people. The frequent-flyer program was an American invention, and so was the Recreational Vehicle. We know what we want to do, and we make it happen. Even now, the United States is the only nation on the planet where, on a whim, a person can wake up on one coast and drive all the way to the other coast, with only the logistics to plan. No special documents needed, no worry that fuel or supplies or food will not be available wherever they are needed, no worry that there will be no major road to get where you want to go.

Is it bragging? Somewhat, but it’s also part of who we are. It’s why Carter was out of touch when he told us the great days of America were over; no American will ever accept that kind of claim. We will face our difficulties, we will bear our hardships, and we will solve our problems, no matter what or where, and the freedom to get in our car and go where we please is no mere privilege, but a vital symbol of the American right to personal freedom.

So, what about this War-for-Oil claim from the Left? Since we hold personal travel so highly, would we invade a nation to get cheap oil, as the Liberals claim? In a word - No. But the noise from Liberals attacking American intentions is hypocritical, considering that none of the Leftist Elite have been willing to face up to what Saddam was doing all those years under the Clinton Administration; selling oil under the table with U.N. winks and nods and kickbacks, so he could build palaces and weapons and the children of Iraq suffered for it. So much easier to lie about America and blame them, when other nations were responsible, and for the very motives that the Left assigned only to America so falsely.

Look at oil prices in 2002, and look at them now. Anyone want to claim that we have been manipulating the market to get low prices? The plain fact is, the people benefiting the most now from Iraqi oil, are the Iraqi people themselves, who for the first time are being allowed to succeed on their own work and merit. As for the United States, sure we will do what makes sense for our own country in the course of our actions, but the course of our policy has been far more noble and egalitarian than the Liberals will ever admit.

Most people do not understand the science and economics of oil, and that’s fine. But the articles I have presented this week show clearly, that market forces and free exercise of capitalism are better for everyone, than anything we have seen proposed by the Left.

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