In the current presidential campaigns, the energy crisis always receives top billing in debates, interviews, and pundit musings–but few people ask exactly why it is imperative that we handle this now, and nobody talks about why we should handle it without oil at all.
The problem of oil is multifaceted. As of right now, it is the most reliable, portable, and easily producible energy source on earth. The issue is that it isn’t ours. Sure, we have some oil of our own, and we can increase drilling to use it, but then we’re just competitors in a giant game of oil, and make no mistake, we will lose that game.
Going back, the United States has been very lucky. In World War II when supremacy had to be measured by firepower, we were on top because we could produce better firepower faster and in more quantity than anyone else–and our firepower that was just waiting to be used was considerably more than most of the other players in the war could even build. And we produced the Atomic Bomb, which demonstrated our prowess.
In the Cold War, when supremacy was measured by information and scientific prowess, we created satellites that mapped out every square inch of any place we thought might create a problem for us. Our central intelligence agency had files that grew quicker than the KGB could ever know. And we put a man on the moon to show that nobody could beat the scientific pace of this country.
The next moon landing, the next atomic bomb, my friends, is energy independence. We can’t do this by using our own oil, because while we can sell weapons and space technology to our friends and use those infrastructures to keep ourselves on top, we can’t use oil to that end. What we need is our own power source, one pioneered by and held by the United States. One that not only solves our problems, but we can sell it to our friends, and keep from our enemies, one that produces more income for our country, and reduces the GDP of our enemies who would otherwise compete, and pose a threat to our supremacy.
We need a scientific miracle. And the only way to get scientific miracles is to do what we did with the lunar landing: Contract it out.
What we should do is offer a multi-billion dollar semi-exclusive contract to the first United-States company that develops a decent working alternative to Oil for portable and potent energy generation and storage, and agrees to deploy it in ten major cities across the country. When those cities’ demand for oil drops dramatically without significant cost increase to the average citizen, other countries around the world will look covetously at us for our ability to create what we need within our own borders.
What I mean by multi-billion dollar semi-exclusive contract: we are offering a competing company a fixed amount to offset their research and development for such an energy source, plus the energy demands of the United States for a set period of time exclusively to one company. We won’t let you gouge us, we’ll have to oversee your pricing models once your done, but you’ll be allowed to be a five year monopoly on the energy business. The one provision is that you will not be allowed to sell the technology outside of the United States, though you are free to market energy produced by said technology. Any intellectual property you produce will be jointly controlled by your company and the US Military, and should be considered top secret except for your company’s production and domestic distribution needs.
We need to stay on top. If we don’t do this then in twenty years or so, it might be India or China in the world’s center seat, and we will optimistically end up where Russia is now.
Now is where I get political: The policies of Senator McCain and Governor Palin are not terrible policies for the best of times. Work at defenses, decrease the budget, support the industry–fine. However these are not the best of times. Obama and Biden have policies that will cost money. They will in some ways be unpopular, and some things won’t even go through the Legislature. But it is imperative that they take the white house, because theirs is the path that (at least) will not take us away from US Supremacy. McCain will focus on the defense system–which was important in World War II, but is no longer meaningful in a world where there are at least 5 countries (the permanent members of the security council) that are known to have the capability of leveling entire countries without incredible difficulty. We are also pretty damned certain that there are others with that capacity too. Let’s face it, anyone who attempts to challenge the United States to a fair fight is completely stupid. So they won’t fight fair.
They’ll buy us. With oil.