Tuesday, May 8, 2012

EVs and Petroterrorism

This is about the virtues of electric vehicles (EVs). They save the owner a lot of money, they are better to drive, and of course they are clean. But they also bring peace, by defunding terrorism and enabling us to stop having to fight wars. Is this a mere polemic? No: this is supported fact.

When 15 Saudi Arabian terrorists (the remaining 4 were also trained in Saudi-funded Madrassahs) hijacked planes and destroyed the World Trade Centers in New York, crashed a plane into the Pentagon, and aimed a plane at the Capital in Washington, D.C. (the intended target of the plane that brave passengers managed to force to crash in Pennsylvania), the United States government immediately sprang into action: it stopped all jet aircraft flights. Except for the planes that received special government authority to quickly hustle Saudi Arabian officials, and specifically members of the Bin Laden family, out of the United States and back to Saudi Arabia before they could be questioned regarding their connections to, knowledge of, or involvement with the terrorists. A short time later, the United States government took its decisive step: it declared war on the impoverished, useless, wretched nation of Afghanistan.

Was this because Afghanistan committed this heinous terrorist act against the United States? No: it was because Afghanistan is an impoverished, useless, wretched nation that had Saudi Arabian Osama Bin Laden hiding somewhere in its endless mountains. And the United States HAD to do something. And surely, no one would suggest that the United States attack Saudi Arabia, the nation that provided the United States with the petroleum upon which the United States completely depends like a junkie in need of a constant fix.

Let me make our dependence quantitative and clear. Quantitatively, the United States burns about 200 million gallons of gasoline a day, or about 73 billion gallons annually. This is, by the way, about 1.4 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere.

On average, we import about 4.2 billion barrels of oil (a barrel is 42 gallons; about half is refined into gasoline, about a quarter into diesel, and a quarter various other petroleum products). About 625 million barrels are from Saudi Arabia alone. And as everyone who listens to the economic news knows, oil costs about $100 dollars a barrel, and the price is rising: so we are giving over $60 billion dollars annually to the Saudis for their oil.

While oil imports are the leading factor in our national trade deficit, they are the leading factor in a whole lot more. Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, retired Deputy Chief of Naval Warfare Requirements and Programs, captured the national security dangers of our addiction to oil in testimony before the U.S. Senate: "[Our oil money is] going to nations that wish us harm. This is an unprecedented and unsustainable transfer of wealth to other nations. It puts us in the untenable position of funding both sides of the conflict and directly undermines our fight against terror." As even more succinctly stated by former CIA Director James Woolsey, "We pay Saudi Arabia billions for its oil, and some of those billions goes to the Wahhabis, who teach children to hate. We are paying for these terrorists with our SUVs."

Now, let's put a face to this. "The hijackers, 15 hijackers who are Saudis, they studied this destructive thinking in Saudi Arabia. They spent a few months in Afghanistan. But they lived their lives, they studied this in government mosques. Government curriculum inspired what happened in New York." -- PBS interview with Ali Al Ahmed, Executive Director of the Saudi Institute.

Of course, this is not just about Saudi oil. Iran provides money, arms, military advisors, and strategic direction to the violent terrorist organizations Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and many others, all the while violently repressing its own people and actively developing nuclear bombs and long-range missiles. And how does Iran pay for all this? With oil  --  about 80 percent of its exports.  Many other OPEC members have considerable connections to anti-Western foment and terrorism.

In order to secure the foreign oil that we completely depend upon, the United States has by far the world's largest military budget. Our defense budget is around $700 billion annually, and all told, our defense-related expenditures total well over $1 trillion annually. To get a sense of perspective on how much this is, consider that the defense budget is larger than the combined spending of all of our national discretionary spending budget items (i.e., non-entitlement or debt financing dispersements, such as education, capital improvements, research, and foreign aid).

Let’s be real about this, we have spent a hell of a lot of blood and money fighting multiple wars halfway around the world because that’s where the oil is. Here’s a breath-taking statistic: our cost for keeping an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf for the last 30 years is $7.3 trillion -- yes, trillion. That’s about half of our entire national debt. What are the wars we have fought since the oil embargos of the 1970s? Persian Gulf (Kuwait), Afghanistan, and Iraq. Why did we sacrifice the lives of thousands of American soldiers, and suffer our young men and women to sustain tens of thousands of permanent crippling injuries, and spend trillions of dollars on these wars? Well, when they took us into the Iraq War, President Bush (past Texas oil developer) and Vice President Cheney (past-president of oil contractor Haliburton, which received $18 billion in contracts during the war) said that it was about weapons of mass destruction, and that we’d be greeted as liberators in a war that would cost less than $50 billion, and that it was hoped that it would enable Iraq to sell us more oil. One of these statements was the truth. It was always about the oil.

Want to know about EV owner economics? EV electricity (i.e.. fuel) costs are only about 20% the cost of gasoline (or it’s free, if you get solar energy that pays for itself), plus EVs require virtually no maintenance and in their simplicity they have virtually no moving parts to break. Want to know about EV pollution? EVs have a total savings of over 100% of the emissions of a gas car, because you not only save 100% of the gas emissions, but you are also saving 100% of the emissions produced in generating the electricity required to bring that gasoline to market, which more than offsets the electricity actually used by the EV.

Want to know how to be a true patriot? De-fund petroterrorism: drive an EV. Save American soldiers’ lives: drive an EV. Reduce the federal deficit: drive an EV. Employ Americans: drive an EV. Reduce American suffering and health costs caused by pollution: drive an EV. As Director Woolsey’s EV bumper sticker said, “Bin Laden hates this car.” Fortunately, President Obama got Osama Bin Laden. But not before that Saudi Arabian, and his 53 brothers and sisters(!), obtained their family wealth through our petrodollars. I correct myself: through your petrodollars. As a proud American patriot, I do not support them.

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