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Taking the easy way out

Sometimes, it's just too easy.

Yesterday, I wrote about New Hampshire's governor looking to score some cheap oil from Venezuela's leftist strongman, Hugo Chavez. The reason I believe it is such a bad idea:

Foreign policy is one of the places where the federal government does -- and should -- have supremacy. The several states have no business making individual deals with foreign governments. And in this case, it is abundantly clear what Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is trying to do -- to drive a wedge between the states and the federal government, and the people and the federal government.

Chavez apparently thinks he can entice the American people into taking a stand against Washington's policies, and while I doubt he expects a full-blown People's Revolution, he might be hoping to erode enough support to effect some changes in DC.

This apparently irritated jreid, one of the more rabid leftists who likes to comment around here. His comment:

I suppose it hasn't occurred to any of you that Chavez's arrogance in seeking to cut separate deals with U.S. cities for cheap oil (via full page ads in major papers and through the U.S. subsidiary to his country's national oil company -- ever hear of Citgo?) is testament to the utter lack of regard Latin America has for the U.S. under the current president? Mr. Bush in effect has no Latin American foreign policy, has no Venezuela policy (and no oil policy for that matter) and he has fiddled while country after country fades to the far left. Meanwhile, guess who is quickly becoming the new power on the LatAm block? Try China, which is cutting major economic deals across the continent, filling the growing chasm between the U.S. and the countries in our own back yard.

Mr. Reid actually restates my concerns, but apparently doesn't grasp the importance of it. So I'll spell it out for him:

The United States government is the sole voice of the nation when it comes to other nations. That supremacy of the federal government was one of the causes of the Civil War. Further, one nation attempting to subvert the central government and meddle into another nation's internal affairs, with the sole goal of causing dissention, is almost universally condemned and -- in extreme cases -- an act of war.

What Chavez is trying to do is to, in essence, bribe the several states into challenging the federal government's right to be the sole voice of American foreign policy. This is the sort of thing that usually gets people and nations greatly exercised; it's the Abramoff scandal writ large, the Oil For Food scam without the veil of secrecy.

Mr. Reid also makes another point for me -- that the pathological hatred of Bush so blinds people, that they will do, think, and believe anything and everything to express that feeling -- even if it means scrapping our entire structure of government.

Oh, and yes, Mr. Reid, I am aware that Citgo is owned by the Venezuelan government. That is precisely why I have not bought gas from a Citgo station in a very, very long time.


Comments (17)

Hess and BP are the only on... (Below threshold)
Phinn:

Hess and BP are the only ones that get my business these days. The majors (ExxonMobil, Chevron, etc.) bankroll the Saudis, Citgo is a commie front, and as far as I can tell, the rest of the small-time vendors in my area sell corn oil and call it gasoline.

We need to become less depe... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

We need to become less dependent on foreign oil. This has been said time and time again. It has been said so many times people seem deaf to it. The public needs to be educated on the pros and cons of nuclear energy and needs to be asked whether we as a nation want to extract oil/gas from the ANWR. I assume any dent at all we can make in our dependency will be of help. We will not see cheap oil again as an import nor should we expect it. Chavez is arrogant amd an opportunist but more and more, overseas sources of fossil fuel are being managed by unstable megalomaniacs. Chavez is simply another warning of that - the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

Amazing to note that the on... (Below threshold)
LCDR MacKay:

Amazing to note that the only gas sold on DOD bases in the states is CITGO!!

From this rabid leftist, re... (Below threshold)
nick:

From this rabid leftist, read the article below. It puts administration arguments about drilling for oil in Alaska, and protecting Saudi Arabia to shame. For the life of me, I can't figure out why the oil company-owning Bush family won't act on it. Hmmmmm........any of you brainiacs on the rabid right care to answer?

How to Beat the High Cost of Gasoline. Forever!
Stop dreaming about hydrogen. Ethanol is the answer to the energy dilemma. It's clean and green and runs in today's cars. And in a generation, it could replace gas.

By Adam Lashinsky and Nelson D. Schwartz
January 24, 2006: 4:09 PM EST


(FORTUNE Magazine) - You probably don't know it, but the answer to America's gasoline addiction could be under the hood of your car. More than five million Tauruses, Explorers, Stratuses, Suburbans, and other vehicles are already equipped with engines that can run on an energy source that costs less than gasoline, produces almost none of the emissions that cause global warming, and comes from the Midwest, not the Middle East.

(Copyrighted article deleted by editor. Nick, could you post a link to the actual story? -- Jay Tea.)

Nick, your post is informat... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Nick, your post is informative. I'll ignore your "brainiacs of the rabid right" comment to ask a serious question. I may have missed it in your post but if ethanol truly would become the fuel of preference in our vehicles, how much acreage of cellulose would have to be harveted to accommodate the current yearly demand?

We indeed, need energy div... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

We indeed, need energy diversification...and the 'Bareling Bushes'have no doubt had a fixation on oil. To the best of my knowledge, Jeb and Florida hasn´t made separate 'arrangements' with Venezuela but other states (including New York and Maine in New England have cut deals with Venezula for cheaper heating oil.

I love it when leftists tal... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

I love it when leftists talk about "energy diversification", but never bother to explain where said "diverse" energy is going to come from. When one digs into the substance of their arguments, as such, it usually comes down to the definition of the word "diversification" being "you can't have any".

Having said that, I'm all for some real changes. For starters, most if not all electrical power generation should be done with some mix of coal and nuclear. The EPA has forced power companies into a really stupid mode of burning natural gas for generation. That's a terribly inefficient use of natural gas, and largely accounts for the huge fluctuations in natural gas prices being experienced around the U.S. right now. Leftists argue for wind and solar power, but they never do the math to see how much land area this will take, or explain what we will do for lights at night when the wind isn't blowing. Also, they've made it very clear that they don't want same within view of their own houses.

I'm still leery of ethanol. Remember, folks, we've been here before. It was tried in the '70s, and the problems were more significant than the press release quoted above admits to: gas stations having to replace pumps and car owners having to replace fuel systems corroded by the alcohol blends. Fortunately, computerized engine controls will solve the hard starting and cold-weather problems that occurred back the, but they won't solve the problems with the different pollutant constituients (particularly aldehydes), which will require a re-working of the emissions control systems design. There's also the economic problem: today, ethanol is competitive only because it's subsidized out the wazoo by tax breaks and exemptions. On a level tax playing field, it isn't at all clear that ethanol can be competitive even with crude at $70 a barrel.

It is the refining capacity... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

It is the refining capacity, stupid. Not crude oil supply. Along with all the specialized blends that various blue states demand means costs are much higher then they should be. There has not been one refinery built in the last 30 years in this country and all our refineries are operating at 100%. It is a simple case of Mr. Supply meet Ms. Demand.

Cousin Dave has posted about the "benefits" of ethanol so I won't add to them.

What I find rather humorous is that most of these people who are "so concerned about the environment " use much more petroleum products and are more wasteful of both energy and natural resources then then I or anyone I know is.

Cousin Dave,Obviou... (Below threshold)
gloria:

Cousin Dave,

Obviously you can't or won't read the entire article. Ethanol can be manufactured from existing farm waste. In addition, as the article clearly states, there are millions of cars already on the road that are equipped to run on ethanol. Your argument that it would cost money to change station pumps for ethanol is shakey at best, shrewd at worst.

How many leftists have you surveyed Dave that don't want windmills or solar power in sight of their homes? And it's incredibly dumb of you to think that the wind must always be blowing for the lights to go on. Like hydro power, generators are used to store energy for future use.

It's very typical of a conservative to be critical of any suggestion of new energy sources, and Cousin Dave is no exception. I suppose we could just stick with the (secretive) Bush Administration energy policy of drilling in pristine Alaska, invading other countries for their oil, and making Dick Cheney richer, right Dave?

Ethanol!?Sure, rep... (Below threshold)

Ethanol!?

Sure, replace Halliburton with Archer Daniels Midland! Y'all should've seen some of the ADM-bashing I've seen in years past.

Until the day comes that we can fuel our cars by liposuction (assuming we're still allowed to produce fat), there's always going to be an eeeeeeeeeeevil corporation to hate when it comes to meeting energy needs.

And come to think of it, McDonald's would probably find a way to cut in on the lipo action...

How many leftists ... (Below threshold)
How many leftists have you surveyed Dave that don't want windmills or solar power in sight of their homes?

There are whole stretches of coastline where wind would be an excellent resource -- but the rich liberals who live there (for example, the last Democratic presidential nominee -- how did you vote in 2004, Gloria?) won't allow it because their "viewshed" is more important than energy production.

Truth is, self-professed environmentalists, including rich liberals on both coasts, are and have always been the worst obstacle to environmentally friendly means of producing energy.

McGeehee:That's in... (Below threshold)
gloria:

McGeehee:

That's interesting McGehee. Only "rich liberals" live on the coast? I seem to remember a highly visible Republican family (Bush is the name, I think) that have a huge house on the coast of Maine. When did they propose an oil drill, or windmill off the shore of their estate to ease the energy problem?

Once again, a conservative makes a blanket statement about "rich liberals" and offers zero back-up to his point (except the one on top of his head). I'd venture to guess that good ole Babs Bush would make a stink if anyone tried to drill for oil off her Kennebunkport estate.

So how did you vote, McGehee?

Interesting hypothetical, g... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Interesting hypothetical, gloria. Pity it breaks up on the harsh rocks of reality.

Rocks much like those off Walker's Point, Kennebunkport, Maine, the family home of the Bushes. It's out at the end of a long promontory, jutting into the Atlantic. I've been by there. I'm no expert, but I strongly suspect it would make for a lousy wind farm. Likewise, if it had oil, it would probably have been discovered long ago.

On the other hand, the Cape Cod Wind Farm was a concrete, practical proposal. It was shot down by a group of largely-liberal wealthy people. The two loudest voices were Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Senator John Forbes Kerry, decrying the "destruction of the view" and other silliness.

Now, if a way to harness the energies of those worthies, the wind farm would be utterly redundant...

J.

Actually, you're making my ... (Below threshold)

Actually, you're making my point for ME. Clearly the federal government isn't exactly the final authority when it comes to negotiating oil aggreements, as some half dozen U.S. cities have shown they can walk straight away from Washington when it comes time to cut deals for oil de Caracas. And what is your Mr. Bush going to do about it? I'll guess nothing. Or should I say "nada"...

And btw that's Mrs. Reid to you, buddy. Mr. Reid is my husband...

Jay Tea:Obviously,... (Below threshold)
gloria:

Jay Tea:

Obviously, you conservatives know nothing about irony do you? Are you claiming that the only obstacle to a Kennebunkport wind farm is the location? In other words, the Bush family would welcome the farm off of the "long promontory"? Not likely.

By the way, why is it a lousy location for a wind farm? Back up your long winded (no pun intended) reply. I get the feeling you're right - you're not an expert on windfarms.

(So that there's no confusion, I think it was bullshit of Bobby Kennedy to object to the windfarm)

Networking: IT training a r... (Below threshold)

Networking: IT training a retention issue
CHICAGO, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Training and education of experienced IT professionals already established in the workforce is becoming a major concern, one certain to be on the consciousness of senior management at corporations all over the United States in the coming year, experts tell United Press International's Networking.

A survey, released last week by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a trade association for the IT industry, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., in suburban Chicago, indicates that workers are taking the initiative to get the new training and skills they need for their careers, and that employers, thus far, are not providing guidance as to what skills they want for the future. By Gene Koprowski

By selling oil below cost C... (Below threshold)
TJIT:

By selling oil below cost Chavez is stealing money from the poor in his country and giving it to the wealthy in the United States.

If progressives cared about the poor they would be opposing his actions.




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