Politics & Policy

Heinz, Iraq & More

HEINZ RESPONDS

Not for the first time, National Review Online has treated the Heinz Endowments unfairly by publishing unfounded allegations (see 6/10, “FEC Violations?” in the “Kerry Spot”) about us without first checking the facts or allowing us to give our side of the story. The Endowments enforces strict guidelines barring the use of foundation resources and staff time to support any political campaign. We are confident there has been no violation of this standard by any member of our staff.

Maxwell King

President

The Heinz Endowments

SAYING GOODBYE

Thank you so much for the wonderful, smart, and insightful coverage of President Reagan’s memorial week. I hope that your Reagan Archive page will have a permanent link on your front page.

This week has brought back such strong memories of and feelings for President Reagan. While I am regretfully too young to have had the privilege of voting for him, I vividly remember writing and delivering the foreign-policy section of the stump speech for him in my 5th-grade mock election. He won in a landslide, of course, and that began my love of the man who made ideas so clear that a 5th grader could understand them.

Thank you.

Michael Maham

Cedar Park, Tex.

CHRISTIAN CHAMP

I very much enjoyed “Kana’s Iraq,” by Meghan Clyne (May 19).

I left Iraq in 1974 right after my graduation, and I have been living in this great United States of America since 1975. Younadam Kana and I attended the same University, and I consider him a true friend and an Assyrian hero. I think I can speak for the Assyrian community in the United States in saying that we are totally in support of our representative Kana; he is a man of honor and integrity, an excellent politician and true nationalist. The Assyrian Democratic Movement he helped found has done a great job for the last 25 years. Now, on the Governing Council, it’s difficult to work with 24 other individuals, each with his own ideas–especially when you’re a minority. But a man with vision and determination can easily sail through rough waves, and Kana is such a man.

Shimon Khamo

Modesto, Calif.

IRAQ COVERAGE

Thank you for Rachel Zabarkes Friedman’s article on young people working with the CPA (“Gen X in the Green Zone,” May 12). I had no idea they were there, performing this valuable service to the Iraqis and to our country. I’d seen nothing about it in the media, and feel a strong sense of outrage that these young people hadn’t previously been recognized for the contribution they are making, not only by the work they are performing but by the example they’re setting for all those who sit around and moan about what awful people we Americans are.

If you have any way to tell these young people how much we ordinary Americans truly value them and their service, please do.

Charlotte E. Hemker-Smith

Sacramento, Calif.

On the Frontlines

Greetings from Northern Iraq. First of all, I would like to thank you for the quality and thought that goes into your articles. As a member of today’s armed forces and a commissioned officer, I am always seeking out different news and opinion sources to help me form my views. I have found your website and magazine to be the source for my daily dose of conservative conversation. I have only recently been able to get back online for your website, and I was pleased to find that your content is still of the highest quality.

I first became a fan or your organization through a friend of mine, 1st Lt. John “Wes” Worsham. He is a subscriber to your magazine and I found myself constantly borrowing (read: stealing) his copies once he was done reading them. My fellow Marines have begun reading your website as well. Thank you for your positive outlook on the United States Armed Forces.

1st Lieutenant Will Ward

Iraq

GAS PRICES

Regarding Mark Brnovich’s “Gas Relief“: Yes, here we go again, but not for the reasons Brnovich states.

America’s rising gas prices have little to do with federal policy. They have everything to do with the forces of supply and demand in a global market. And our supply makes little overall difference in setting global prices. What short memories we have!

In 1973-74 we had the Arab Oil Embargo. Gas prices suddenly doubled from an average of 30 cents per gallon to about 60 cents per gallon. At that time, those who advocated increasing our domestic supply eagerly awaited the arrival of Alaskan oil from Prudhoe Bay to moderate prices.

Oil started flowing from Alaska to our refineries in 1977. However, prices did not go down. They weren’t even moderated. Prices again doubled between 1977 and 1981 when they reached an average of $1.35 per gallon. The millions of gallons of Alaskan oil reaching the market had no effect on prices. (One can verify this history from the U.S. Energy Information Agency website.)

Why did prices rise? Because we consume over 30 percent of the world’s oil but only have about 5 perfect of the world’s oil reserves. Even if every drop of oil throughout all 50 states were being extracted, it would make little difference in setting world prices.

Brnovich’s suggestion that extracting oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in order to restrain price increases would be laughable if it weren’t for the ongoing political dogma that accompanies the idea. We’ve been there, done that, and proved it doesn’t work.

Bob Schlesinger

Hillsboro, Ore.

Mark Brnovich replies: Without a doubt, the forces of supply and demand are responsible for gas prices. My contention, however, is that federal policies are partly responsible for the decrease in supply. It is therefore counter-productive to look for a federal “solution” to a problem that has been exacerbated by previous federal actions.

For example, the only obstacle to drilling for millions of barrels of additional oil in ANWR is the federal government. While I agree that drilling in ANWR may not make us energy self-sufficient, it will increase the supply of available oil–just as drilling in Prudhoe Bay has done over the last quarter-century. We need to remove unnecessary federal barriers to drilling and production.

Most important, federal tax and regulatory policies increase the cost every consumer pays at the pump. These include the unnecessarily high federal gas tax and the myriad of rules and regulations promulgated by the EPA. These policies are responsible for the dozens of boutique fuel blends that are being used and also discourage the building of any new refineries in the United States. Current federal policies have the effect of decreasing the supply of available gas, especially in times of crisis.

Arizona experienced the detrimental impact of federal policies during a gas crisis last August. A pipeline broke, causing a disruption in the supply of gas available to Maricopa County. Ironically, neighboring counties were not affected because they weren’t required to use oxygenated or reformulated fuels. For that same reason, gas stations in Maricopa County couldn’t have fuel shipped in from nearby states such as Nevada. As consumers waited in line for hours for over-priced gasoline, an available supply was off-limits because of federal policies.

It would be nice if we weren’t so dependent on Middle East oil. But we are. My point is that federal intervention is increasing the cost of gasoline. With more federal intervention, we’ll probably be paying as much for gas as they are in Europe-something consumers and the economy can do without.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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