We need oil, lots of it

While I strongly agree with President Bush's emphasis in his State of the Union speech on increasing America's energy independence, I think his use of the phrase 'America is addicted to oil' was quite unfortunate. 

Not only does it smack of Green Party rhetoric —— with all its anti—development baggage —— it misleadingly suggests that there is something bad about America's need for oil. 

The simple truth is that our modern, industrial society would not be capable of functioning without copious amounts of inexpensive energy.  Unless and until Americans eschew their fear of widespread nuclear power, the only viable source of this energy is oil. 

And despite the political instability in the Middle East and elsewhere, oil is still plentiful and cheap by any reasonable historical standards. That is why we continue to import so much of it from abroad, instead of developing additional, and more expensive, domestic energy sources. 

Finally, let's not forget that politicians and policy analysts have been issuing dire warnings about America's 'addiction' to foreign oil for at least three decades, and today we're richer and more powerful than ever.  So I think less rhetoric and more sober thinking is required before we start throwing even more taxpayer money at 'alternatives' to oil, such as solar, wind, hydrogen, etc. etc. etc.

Steven M. Warshawsky   2 01 06

While I strongly agree with President Bush's emphasis in his State of the Union speech on increasing America's energy independence, I think his use of the phrase 'America is addicted to oil' was quite unfortunate. 

Not only does it smack of Green Party rhetoric —— with all its anti—development baggage —— it misleadingly suggests that there is something bad about America's need for oil. 

The simple truth is that our modern, industrial society would not be capable of functioning without copious amounts of inexpensive energy.  Unless and until Americans eschew their fear of widespread nuclear power, the only viable source of this energy is oil. 

And despite the political instability in the Middle East and elsewhere, oil is still plentiful and cheap by any reasonable historical standards. That is why we continue to import so much of it from abroad, instead of developing additional, and more expensive, domestic energy sources. 

Finally, let's not forget that politicians and policy analysts have been issuing dire warnings about America's 'addiction' to foreign oil for at least three decades, and today we're richer and more powerful than ever.  So I think less rhetoric and more sober thinking is required before we start throwing even more taxpayer money at 'alternatives' to oil, such as solar, wind, hydrogen, etc. etc. etc.

Steven M. Warshawsky   2 01 06