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.