In the third of three major policy addresses, Republican presidential candidate, John McCain has talked about the “great and urgent challenge – breaking our nation’s critical dependence on foreign sources of oil”.
In a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) McCain warned that America’s “dependency on foreign oil and the way we use hydrocarbons is a major strategic vulnerability, a serious threat to our security, our economy and the well being of our planet”.
“Oil is a vital resource and we will always need it” argued the Senator, “but we account for 25% of global demand and possess less than 3% of proven reserves. Most of the world’s known reserves are in the Persian Gulf, in the hands of dictators or nationalized oil companies. Its availability and price are manipulated by a cartel of countries where our values aren’t typically shared and our interests aren’t their first priority”.
He warned that America was “one successful attack away from an economic crisis. The flow of oil has many chokepoints – pipelines, refineries, transit routes, and terminals; most of them outside our jurisdiction and control. Our enemies understand the effects on America of a significant disruption in supply a crippled transportation system, gasoline too expensive for many Americans to purchase, businesses closed.
Al Qaeda must revel in the irony that America is effectively helping to fund both sides of the war they caused. As we sacrifice blood and treasure, some of our gas dollars flow to the fanatics who build the bombs, hatch the plots, and carry out attacks on our soldiers and citizens. Iran made over $45 billion from oil sales in 2005, and it is the number one state sponsor of terrorism”.
He also warned of the dangers of climate change. “The burning of oil and other fossil fuels is contributing to the dangerous accumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, altering our climate with the potential for major social, economic and political upheaval”.
“The problem” he said, “isn’t a Hollywood invention nor is doing something about it a vanity of Cassandra like hysterics. It is a serious and urgent economic, environmental and national security challenge”.
McCain proposed diversification and conservation of energy that would “break the dominance of oil in our transportation sector”, energy efficiency by using improved technology and practicing sensible habits in our homes, “flex-fuel” vehicles. However he also called for nuclear energy along with investments in renewable energy.
What do people think? Would MCain make a green President?