Running on Empty
In response to this post by Emery on February 18th, I said:
With problems in Nigeria, Iran, and with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and the change over to cleaner burning fuels this Spring, 4 bucks [for a gallon of gas] is not impossible.
OK, so it turns out that the sources I read were prescient about higher prices this spring, but no one could have predicted such floundering and feckless attempts on the part of the Republicans to respond to them. I think it fair to say that Bill Frist may have even topped his pandering in the Schiavo affair with his failed efforts to pass 100 dollar buy-offs, to raise taxes on profits and to haul oil execs before Congress. This is just so much fun to watch.
On the other hand, I’m getting a little nervous when I hear George get off the man-animal message and suddenly start touting hydrogen and hybrid cars because they’re fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. I dunno know, but I just have a gut-level skepticism about the motives of George and his neocon pals. Sure The Dick thinks saving energy is a personal virtue, but c’mon, is it really believable that all these folks have undergone a sudden conservation conversion without some ulterior motive? Is it just about the midterm elections? Add on top of this that in the last couple of days a few oil execs have deigned to take time off from counting their record profits and bonus money to give interviews to the press where they wax eloquent on the necessity of tougher mileage standards and consumer cut backs, and something smells worse than a car dieseling here. For the oil barons, is this just an attempt to get out front on the inevitable Congressional hearings so they don’t look as silly as the cigarette CEOs of yester yore?
What if the new hysteria that “We are too dependent on Middle East oil” (funny in and of itself since we don’t import much directly from the ME) is being proclaimed in preparation for some greater potential fuel disruption on the near horizon in that region, say the bombing of Iran? As such, the new “conservative” message is really just a recognition that energy dependency is the Achilles’ heel of the neocon plan to dominate the world and they’re runnin’ on empty, runnin’ blind, runnin’ into the sun, but they’re runnin’ behind.