So many people seem relieved that gas prices are dropping, but we can’t fall back into the trap that happened in the 90s. We should not accept that right now, the U.S. is more dependent on oil from unstable Middle Eastern countries than we were on September 11, 2001.
There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there, oil prices are dropping because the oil companies want people to forget about the high cost of gas by the time the elections roll around to keep their right-wing hacks in their back pocket, or that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other oil rich nations want Bush to keep his power, along with his addiction problem.
If we want a safer and more secure country, not just in terms of terrorism, but the equally important environmental aspects, it’s time to break our dependence on foreign oil. We can do that by electing progressive candidates at the state and local level who support:
- Investment in production of renewable, cleaner-burning ethanol so that, instead of importing oil from the Middle East, Minnesota’s farmers will produce America’s fuel.
- Speeding up the development of new fuel-efficient vehicles such as plug-in hybrids, not hydrogen based vehicles that are years behind hybrid in technology.
- Requiring car companies to increasing a gas powered cars fuel efficiency. According to a July 18th Washington Post article, the EPA said the industry-wide fuel economy of 2006 model-year vehicles was 21 miles per gallon. If we can increase that average to 26 MPG, our nation can reduce our auto fuel usage by 20%. That means you have 20% more of your gas money to spend on whatever you want, and terrorist supporting oil rich countries have 20% less to spend on what they want.
- Offering tax incentives for buying hybrids rather than hummers for small businesses.
- Requiring all municipality, county, state and federal vehicle fleets, including buses, to reduce its overall fuel consumption by moving toward hybrids or alternative fuels like ethanol and bio-diesel.
If we can elect a majority, common-sense and progressive government, I think this will happen by the end of the decade. The new candidates in Minnesota we need to elect are Amy Klobuchar in the senate, Mike Hatch for governor, Lori Swanson for attorney general, and Patty Wetterling, Tim Walz and Coleen Rowley to congress in seats currently held by Republicans. We need to support local Democrats like Paul Hardt in my district and your local Democratic candidate so we can take back the Minnesota House.
A lot of people are kicking themselves for their votes in 2004. Together we can make sure that doesn’t happen again. I know it is hard to talk to people about political issues, but we can’t go on much longer as a nation, or even a world, if we don’t take back this country from the right-wing elite who think their 1% is more important than us.