John Kerry is surely right to say that curing the American addiction to Middle Eastern oil is an essential precursor to developing a sensible foreign policy. But his promise of “energy independence from Mideast oil in the next 10 years” is eerily reminiscent of Nixon’s.
A former colleague who served on Nixon’s energy independence task force reports, “The first thing we had to do in order to make ‘energy independence within ten years’ a feasible goal was to redefine ‘energy independence.’ The next thing was to redefine ‘ten years.’ “
The only way — short of a fusion breakthrough — to get this country independent of imported oil is a carbon tax or gasoline tax or oil-import fee that would get our gasoline prices to European levels. That’s a great idea, but it ain’t gonna happen, and Kerry ain’t gonna propose it. (He’s still taking heat from the Bushies on his sensible vote for a 50-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax more than a decade ago.)
[The right-wingers who pretend not to understand why raising gasoline prices through taxation — which means we get to keep the money — is better than having them raised for us by the oil cartel — thus sending the money to Riyadh — clearly hate the American government worse than they do the Saudi government. I suppose it would be too rude to suggest that they move, but might I politely ask them to shut up?]