April 24, 2024

Bush’s Greatest Failure

When I was at the Houston Energy Summit earlier this year the theme that ran the length and breadth of every presentation made was that of energy security.  While the supply and pricing problems I’ve written about recently have not gone unnoticed in Congress, no concrete action has emerged from that body.  Worse, Tom Friedman says that President Bush has not done any better.

I am convinced that the big foreign policy failure that will be pinned on this administration is not the failure to make Iraq work, as devastating as that has been. It will be one with much broader balance-of-power implications — the failure after 9/11 to put in place an effective energy policy.

Friedman’s piece is called Imbalances of Power and here’s why:

If this huge transfer of wealth to the petro-authoritarians continues, power will follow. According to Congressional testimony Wednesday by the energy expert Gal Luft, with oil at $200 a barrel, OPEC could “potentially buy Bank of America in one month worth of production, Apple computers in a week and General Motors in just three days.”

If that doesn’t shake Americans out of their apathy, I don’t know what will, because if you’re reading this and didn’t think something stunningly brilliant like, "Holy crap!", or local equivalent, call the doctor quick – there’s a good chance you might already be dead.

David Rothkopf, author of Superclass names three deficits that America is suffering from:

“A fiscal deficit that will soon have us choosing between rationed health care, sufficient education, adequate infrastructure and traditional levels of defense spending, a trade deficit that has us borrowing from our rivals to the point of real vulnerability, and a geopolitical deficit that is a legacy of Iraq, which may result in hesitancy to take strong stands where we must.”

All of these deficiencies have their roots in a fundamental lack of energy security.  Neither the Democratic Congress nor the Republican president has made any significant contribution to improve this, our Achilles’ heel.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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One thought on “Bush’s Greatest Failure

  1. The lack of leadership on the energy issue has been appaling and was the topic of heated discussion this morning in our van pool. I interjected that in my opinion the reason we’ve seen no effective leadership on this issue is that at both the congressional level and the executive level they fear taking action to promote conservation such as imposing a national speed limit of 55 because of the reality of the elephant in the room they don’t want to bring to the nations attention, i.e., that they can’t enforce these types of measures. In our van pool, there has been much discussion over the past few months about the noticeable absence of law enforcement vehichles, both Hwy. patrol and city police. The situation on the highways is so bad that even the truckers ignore the speed limits. And therein lies, I think, a truth the gov’t types don’t want us to know the extent to which they’ve lost the ability to enforce laws already on the books. And the very knowledge of their own impotence must be having something of a debilitating effect on attempts to initiate leadership in resolving not only the energy problems, but a host of other challenges. It’s an impotent gov’t without viagra; they can’t really hold the borders; they’ve seen the loss of jurisdictional authority over large areas of southern california where the police respond by posting maps outlining areas as “no-go” areas to warn the unsuspecting about traveling through such zones; the’ve lost any control over the currency, and now, as recently revealed by Alan Greenspan, they’ve learned the Fed discovered in the ’90’s that rate cuts weren’t having the effects of influencing long term rates they’d used to. The list is long and growing and of course, the longer the list gets, the less relevance the central, “Federal” gov’t has and to the extent that’s true, the less relevance it’s politicians have which must be a scary thing for those used to enjoying a high degree of centered attention.

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