In tonight's State of the Union address, President Bush says he wants to cut American dependence on oil, reducing consumption of by 20 percent over the next 10 years. Said Bush:
"For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists… It is in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply -- and the way forward is through technology. "
Well, duh! It is a laudable, if not over-ambitious, goal. My thesis here on PurEnergy -- the defunct blog where I orignally posted this -- has been that this country and the West in the general need to find a future beyond foreign oil for the reasons cited by the president above, but also for the sake of our environment and for the growth of a domestic energy economy that could provide as many as three million jobs, according to the Apollo Alliance.
But I recognize it cannot happen overnight. I doubt we'll be free from oil entirely in my lifetime. What we have to ensure, for our security, is that we require less foreign oil, especially that which comes from hostile states who sponsor jihadist factions outright (such as Iran does with Hezbollah), who sponsor terrorist factions clandestinely (such as Syria), or who sponsor terror indirectly (and in some cases unintentionally) through groups they are unable or unwilling to control (Saudi Arabia, et al). The less petroleum we import from these nations, the less money will fall into the hands of the jihadis.
Not so oily oil
This morning I came across the Terror-Free Oil Initiative. According to the Initiative's website:
Terror-Free Oil Initiative is dedicated to encouraging Americans to buy gasoline that originated from countries that do not export or finance terrorism.
We educate the public by promoting those companies that acquire their crude oil supply from nations outside the Middle East and by exposing those companies that do not.
We are also looking into creating a healthy debate concerning alternate methods of fuel production and consumption.
On Feb. 12, a new gas station, run by an outfit called Terror-Free Oil, Inc., is set to open in Omaha, Nebraska, which is associated with the Initiative. Fuel sold at the station will, according to news reports, come only from countries that do not "export or finance terrorism."
According to the Initiative's website, the following oil companies and fuel providers are, more or less, terror-free:
- Terror-Free Oil, Inc. itself
- Sinclair Oil Corp.
- Flying J, Inc.
- Hess (Amerada Hess Corp)
- Yukos (not available in North America)
The site notes that some Hess oil comes from Algeria, which is home to two Islamist terror groups and that some Flying J stations may sell outside brands of gas. Furthermore, the website says that the following companies finance terrorism "by buying oil from the Middle East:"
- 76 (Conoco / Phillips)
- Amoco (BP / Amoco)
- AM/PM (BP / Amoco)
- ARCO (BP / Amoco
- Beacon (Valero)
- British Petroleum (BP / Amoco)
- Buc-ee's (buys Chevron & Conoco gas)
- Canadian Tire (buys Irving & Shell gas)
- Circle K (Conoco / Phillips)
- Coastal (Conoco / Phillips)
- Diamond Shamrock (Valero)
- Elf (Total)
- Esso (ExxonMobil)
- Exxon (ExxonMobil)
- Getty (Lukoil)
- Gulf (Chevron)
- Jet (Conoco / Phillips)
- Mirastar (Tesoro)
- Mobil (ExxonMobil)
- Murphy Oil USA
- Petrofina (Total)
- Phillips 66
- Pilot (Marathon)
- Speedway SuperAmerica (Marathon)
- Starvin' Marvin's (Marathon)
- Texaco (Chevron)
- Ultramar (Valero)
- Unocal (Chevron)
It may be a good idea, if it's for real. The Initiative has some interesting associations, including American Center for Democracy, which started it. This is, essentially, a neo-con group. The Center, according to its website, "is dedicated to exposing the enemies of Freedom and Democracy and their Modus Operandi, and exploring pragmatic ways to defeat them while promoting standards of national and international integrity."
Can't really argue with that per se, until they start a-goin' after the queers and the atheists, of course. The name of our old buddy, Richard Perle, one of the architects of the Iraq invasion, appears more than once in the Center's web pages, and the group is frequently cited on David Horowitz's ultra-right website, FrontPageMag.com.
But nevermind. A good idea is a good idea and sometimes you've got to get in bed with lesser evils in order to defeat a greater one (like we did with Stalin's Soviet Union to defeat the Nazis.) We can always turn on them later if we find that some of Terror-Free Oil's earnings are going to fund Planned Parenthood clinic bombers.
My immediate problem is that the nearest Sinclair is in Stockton and nearest Flying J is somewhere near Gorman, up in the Tehachapis. OK, it’s not that big a problem just now, as I don't own a car… but soon…
What's in a name?
Also, I can't say I much like Terror Free Oil's marketing. If you look at the site you'll see it's all about a dark past -- 9/11 -- and not about a bright future, which is where it will need to go if it is to be a truly viable commercial enterprise and not just a flash-in-the-pan do gooder initiative.