Barbara Lerner joins Brother Fred in rejecting my criticism of foreign-oil alarmism in “Still the Stupid Party.”
To clarify: I didn’t write that increasing domestic energy production would be stupid; I wrote that alarmist “foreign oil” rhetoric is stupid. I’m all for getting The Man off of the energy industry’s back (and off every other industry’s back), and I celebrate the American economy’s increased production of whatever goods and services that American firms have a comparative advantage producing — oil, natural gas, solar panels, toothpaste, whatever. But that’s not what this “dangerous dependence on foreign oil” nonsense is all about. That rhetoric is about using the war on terror and the perfidious Arabs as political cover for various political pet projects related to the energy industry — whether that means tofu-powered green-energy shenanigans or corporate welfare for the oil-and-gas companies (which, in a rare display of efficiency from Washington, usually are the same thing.) I wish nothing but success and profits to the American oil industry, but when I see some oleaginous Washington hustler waving the bloody shirt of 9/11 on behalf of subsidies for General Electric’s wind-turbine business or another mutation of the ethanol racket, I want to puke.
So, Barbara’s partly right, it’s not stupid: It’s evil and stupid. And since it’s both stupid and evil, “foreign oil” rhetoric is truly bipartisan. Congratulations, America.