Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Core American Values and Oil Use

The N.Y. Times has an insightful story of how Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency is gaining a solid foothold in Kansas, even through 52% of Kansans are highly skeptical on the science of Climate Change/Global Warming (and downright dislike Al Gore types and Big Government actions to regulate greenhouse gases). In America's very politically conservative Heartland, progress is apparently being made by addressing energy issues in terms of "Core American Values" like patriotism, ethics, saving money, spiritual convictions, economic development and job creation at local levels -- but just don't bring up the divisive subject of Global Warming.

In a N.Y. Times article on training returning Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans to become farmers (which can include growing energy crops for biofuels like ethanol), we especially liked the quote of an ex-Marine: "It's a national security issue. The more responsibly we use water and energy, the greater it is for our country."

The below chart reflects the top 5 importers of crude into the U.S., 9 years after we were attacked on 9/11. Clearly, historical and current events in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Nigeria don't reflect America's "Core Values".
One place where "Core Values" should especially be discussed is in Florida. According to U.S. Department of Energy data, Florida uses ~41% of the total oil consumed in the mainland U.S. to generate electricity. This is no one-year fluke, but has been going on for decades in Florida.

So, the next time you fill up your tank with gas or especially in Florida, flip on a light switch -- just think about where your dollars are going.
Supporting Terrorism Isn't an American Core Value.


Oil dependence is among the most dangerous threats to U.S. national security. For years, senior military and intelligence officials have warned that too much of U.S. oil payments eventually trickle down to terrorists, who use it to buy the weapons used against our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bribery Isn't an American Core Value. Nigerian authorities recently made an out of court settlement on criminal bribery charges against Halliburton and former CEO Dick Cheney. The Settlement is the latest fallout of a U.S. federal court conviction of Halliburton and its subsidiary of a bribery scheme in Nigeria -- with a record $579 million fine.

Hurting our Economy Isn't an American Core Value.

Environmental Destruction Isn't an American Core Value. While the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made world headlines in 2010 -- this type of destruction has been going on in Nigeria for decades. Look at some of these pictures. The issue isn't about some liberal, latte sipping Treehuggers wanting to protect "Mother Earth" -- its about things like clean drinking water for innocent children.

Killing Christians an Isn't an American Core Value.
Especially at Christmas, news stories of Christians being murdered in the Middle East and Africa were horrifying. But this isn't anything new in places like oil rich Nigeria or Iraq. Americans and especially American Christians need to understand the Islamic law which governments in the Middle East impose -- where converting to Christianity or any Christian missionary conversion efforts are punishable by death (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan)

Radical Religion Isn't an American Core Value.
All Americans understand the tragedy when Religion is hijacked in the Middle East to achieve a political agenda. But what about when this occurs in the U.S.? In the current Green Dragon Campaign Environmentalism is being demonized as the work of Satan to a target audience of conservative Christians. But, you're not going to believe where a major source of funding is coming from to pay for this campaign -- its gulp, Exxon/Mobil.
A New Mind-set
In thinking and talking about Energy, Americans (and especially our politicians) need to have a new mind-set. We need to move away from the pure Red State/Blue State, Conservative versus Liberal Ideologies, and always include "Core Values" in a civil national discussion which includes all resources of energy from "Drill, Baby, Drill", Renewable Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear, and Coal.

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