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Monday, May 14, 2007


Judging from the unprecedented reader response to Thursday's column, ''Record gasoline prices great news for U.S.,'' in which I said that gasoline prices should rise above $4 a gallon to trigger a nationwide uproar that will force Washington to get serious about reducing America's dependence on foreign oil, there are many more Americans than I thought who share this view. Read all about it here, and let us know what YOU think.


Blogger brian said...

Dear Mr. Oppenheimer,

While I agree with the notion that higher gas prices
MAY cause some Americans to buy fewer gas guzzlers,
talking about reducing global warming and our
dependence on imported oil at the same time only
muddles the issue. The two goals are not mutually
inclusive. Drilling in the Arctic National Wilderness
Refuge would be a huge help in lowering both the cost
of gas and reducing our need for imported oil. On the
other hand, it would do nothing to stop global warming
and may ruin America's truest wilderness. The same is
true about drilling off the Florida coast. We could
also build more nuclear power plants, thereby reducing
our use of coal and lessening the need to import
natural gas, but could also be an ecological disaster
if something goes wrong. It would also provice a nice
target for terrortists. I live near Indian Point in
NY; believe me I know. An energy independent America
would be a huge boost to our security, but these
changes would not occur in an ecological vacuum.
Moreover, the USA's greenhouse gas output should be
eclpised by China's by the end of the year, if not
sooner. Neither China nor India are limited in any way
under Kyoto to lower their emmissions, so why should
we cripple our own economy? If you wish to discuss
reducing America's use of oil from an ecological
perspective, fine. If you wish to discuss the same
topic from a political perspective, I await your
article, but do not confuse a healthier ecology with
politics. I am actually convinced there are those in
America who want the USA lain low by her enemies, and
energy is how the deed would be accomplished. Let me
ask you this: if drilling off the coast of Florida and
in Alaska would secure America's energy independence
(and greatly improve it's security), would you agree
to do it? Or would you propose another solution? I
realize SUV's and trucks should be forced to follow
the same fuel guidelines as cars, but that's a small
start. If you have any ideas that cover both, please
list them. By the way, as a recovering alcoholic and
addict, I take some offense to the word addiction when
used to describe America's use of oil. Not only is the
word slanted, it is a disservice to those who have real


Brian Smarsch

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guten Morgen Herr Oppenheimer:

I don't know if you are a NASCAR fan but there is a lot of hype these days about the highly secretive and complex technology behind the Car of Tomorrow. Anything surrounded by secrecy and complexity in NASCAR is suspect particularly when the end result is a vehicle that is incredibly hard to steer. Hendrick seems to have control of the situation. Monopoly. The glorious USA is blessed with an overabundance of corporate and political monopolies. That's because we are a free country with free corporate and political enterprises. Not. That's why everything is so flipping flopping messed up. My daddy told me he was concerned about my foul language. I'm alienating people, I'm told.

Business owners and politicians motivated by greed, power, money and the desire to control outcomes are pulling Al Sharpton's on free enterprise. I don't like Al Sharpton. He partakes in the Hendricks school of racing. This is the same philosophy as the Bush Administration's on Iraq and Oil. I think Bush is like the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man all in one. He lacks a free brain, heart and courage.
I'm sure fellow Republicans will label me communist. A spy. A threat to National Security. In reality, I sit hear in my ivory bathrobe and VS Love pajamas. Love in heart + Free Brain = Peace. Courage comes with freedom.

The method of producing oil should be relatively uniform through out the world. Oil is a God given natural resource. Oil is not like Paris Hilton's cocktail dresses, one of a kind, expensive by virtue of extremely limited quantities. More dresses could be made for less money per dress but the designers and buyers want to keep the price artificially high to satisfy a particular client(ele). Exclusive. Oil is the same way. Certain fools are keeping oil prices artificially high for the benefit of a few, I'm told 33 fools. Probably mostly Texans. War Proponents. They think nobody is going to figure it out. Paris is in jail for her stupidity.

I have a suggestion. Park the tanks. Save Gas. I learned on the Military Channel that the Marine's Abram tank gets one (1) mile to the gallon. It needs a convoy of trucks carrying fuel to keep it motoring in the desert. The Army's Stryker probably isn't much better on gas mileage. The 'next generation' of tank. Not. I want to know which politicians who received campaign contributions, free oil passes, etc. were responsible for awarding the defense contract to build those pieces of poop called Strykers. Rykers. Isn't that a prison?

I'm going to talk to my favorite General about this.

Diana Lynn Vazquez
Montverde, FL
407-947-5761 Cell

4:27 PM  
Blogger Per Kurowski said...

Dear Mr. Oppenheimer

Leaders should be able to convince people to follow them but when instead we have the leaders following the people through polls well then we are NOT in a virtuous circle. I had the following letter published in the Financial Times on April 2, 2005 and it really screams out for more leadership.

A sensible country would raise tax on petrol, so what is US waiting for?

Sir, it is hard to understand the United States of America! It has a huge fiscal deficit; it has a huge current-account deficit; it is by far the world’s biggest oil consumers both in absolute and in relative terms; now willing to explore for oil and gas in Alaska, it shows itself to be aware of the difficult energy outlook the world faces; it seems aware and resolute about the environmental problems (ignore the Alaska part) as it imposes other expensive environmental regulations, such as recycling—which, as no one likes to do it, requires the hiring of Salvadoreans; it speaks all over the place about having to reduce the vulnerabilities of its oil supplies.

As any other sensible country would, in similar circumstances, increase the taxes on petrol consumption and substantially help to solve all the above-mentioned problems; and as the US has always shown willingness to pull together as a nation, recently even to the extent of going to war on shaky grounds, the big question remains: why is it that the leaders of the US do not even want to talk about a substantial tax on petrol?

9:10 PM  
Blogger RogerB34 said...

You are quite right: The market is a far better mechanism for resource allocation, gasoline, than any political action.

I don't hope gas prices will rise -they will rise.

One of the problems is that the Democratic Party has spoken out of both sides of its mouth. Green and cheap gasoline. Senator Boxer's annual spring event of an "investigation" of the pricing of gasoline.

It is absurd to believe that CAFE will effectively reduce gasoline
consumption by mandating MPG standards. 387.4 million gallons of gasoline per day. In 2000 some 134 million passenger cars and 65 million SUV's and light pickup trucks. Cars driven average 12000 miles per year.

Gasoline pricing has resulted in consumers purchasing fuel efficient
vehicles. Detroit is one of the casualties.

E-85 is a myth. 1.4 gallons of E-85 to equal the MPG of one gallon of gasoline. We need to remove the import duty on ethanol and let the market work.

Individuals still are unable to solve their gasoline cost problem except by whining. Interstates choked with traffic week ends, traffic jams noon hour work days from "do lunch", at least 50 percent of drivers on interstates
well above the posted speed limit.

Every state should have tail pipe emissions tests or equivalent. It is an efficiency issue (MPG) first and emissions second.

We have met the enemy and they is us.

Roger Brown
San Diego, Ca

11:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for suggesting $4.00 per gallon gas. My only caveat would be that the price should be from taxes on the oil (used totally for fixing the US infrastructure).

It might be nice if the oil companies would actually pay their taxes, measly as they are, too!!!

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was another small group of comments you, suspiciously, missed to consider.

Those who think that Big Oil Companies have the main responsibility of this insane addiction that allow them make billons a year.

This Companies (BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco) have financed a lot of military actions like both Gulf Wars.

Along the history oil companies have been making lobby in order to abort any innovation in the gas usage causing a huge waste of energy.

Unfortunately I don´t believe this situation could be changed by corrupted politicians.


Ruben P.
Rosario - Argentina

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont buy Oppenheimer's simplistic ideas on cutting America's dependence on "foreign oil" to increase America's security.

An intelligent government would implement a mix of several different policies which would make a big difference; namely promote the sales of smaller cars; promote the use of diesel fuel for cars; implement higher taxes on fuel, implement the same subsidies and tax incentives for clean sun and wind energy as is in place in advanced countries such as Denmark and Germany; build new nuclear power plants; develop positive international relations with major oil producing countries such as Venezuela and Iran.

The current American government strategy of invading and threatening all countries that have major oil and gas reserves is counterproductive; the US ends up killing a lot of innocent civilians to control the world's oil resources (+700,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed to date under the administration of the US Regime) and this illegal occupation and bombing of innocent countries is extremely expensive for the US taxpayer.

It would be much more productive to keep American troops in the US to defend the homeland instead and simply pay a fair and decent price to import whatever oil and gas the US needs. If the US stopped threatening and attacking so many foreign countries it could probably cut its defense spending by 75% and use those savings to promote energy consumption and invest in new fuel technologies and whatever is left can be used to continue to fund imported fuel.

Unfortunately I think the US regime will continue to be managed by total idiots like George W Bush and his cabal of corrupt advisers such as Wolfowitz, Kissinger,Perle, Feith, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney and all the others who should have been sent to the ICC at The Hague long time ago to face trial for crimes against humanity for all the death and misery they have caused in Iraq and all the other places they have destroyed.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Oppenheimer,

I don't have anything astute and brilliant to add the discussion
surrounding your column on record gas prices as a benefit to the US,
but, your column today indicated that you've had an overwhelming
positive response, and I just wanted to add to the numbers and be a
positive statistic, i.e., another American who gets it.

I've had a thought for a long time that maybe I should add to the
mix. We often stories hear about alcoholics, gamblers, and drug
addicts, who are wonderful, good people at heart who do horrible
things to their family, friends, and others because of their
addiction. This is how I see America now -- a proud, honorable,
ethical nation with a crippling addiction to oil that blinds us and
makes us act in ways that are shameful and beneath us. We need to go
into rehab, ask for forgiveness of the rest of the world, and then
get back to being the America we truly are.

9:36 PM  
Blogger P said...

I don't think there is a trigger point. I think the change to more fuel efficient vehicles will be very gradual. Of course, 4 dollar gas will have its effect.

One thing I have noticed, is that there are more bicycles on the road. Many riders just aren't the type one would associate with cycling. Even smokers are starting to ride.

In my 1 minute video, I point out that the Clinton administration did nothing about fuel economy in 8 years.

Another Inconvenient Truth
1 min - Feb 17, 2007 - (2 ratings)
... Global Warming and American cars. The ruler is 1.22 meters. Key Words: Global warming, Al Gore, Documentary. http://www.myimageoftheweek ...

Peter Laurence
San Diego

9:17 AM  
Blogger red said...

Thank you very much for this information.

evden eve nakliyat

6:31 PM  

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