The Corner

The alternative view

A would-be ethanol sheikh writes:

As a man who was the first to articulate the Saudi wahabbist threat, I hope you will also become one of the first to articulate the main source of wahabbist funding – American gasoline consumers*.

Current record oil prices will allow Saudis to tax a record $500 billion out of the US economy. They are doing so by artificially spiking the price of oil with their monopolistic control on oil supply. This is not some crazed conspiracy. Saudi oil output is at virtually the same level it was in 1973 – a time when the world economy doubled*. Saudis have the cheapest most accessible oil on earth.

As a result of this price spike, the US is literally funding both sides on the war on terror*.

Ethanol is the first fuel in 100 years to threaten the OPEC cartel’s monopolistic control over gas prices. By 2010 ethanol will account for 10% of the world’s gasoline supply. This should be a welcome development. Next generation ethanol is just coming on the market. We need lots more ethnol not less.

By attacking ethanol, so called laissez faire conservatives like yourself are actually defending the largest most profitable cartel in history. There is no free market on fuel.

Why attack the first sign of relief. You state, “The real problem isn’t the “problem” but the Big Government solution to it.” No, the real problem is the most hawkish critics of the wahabbists are the biggest defenders of wahabbist funding and their oil monopoly.

If you truly want to win the war on terror, we have to break the main source of Saudi funds – record oil prices paid for by American consumers.

Ethanol is the best and most viable alternative to gasoline. If not ethanol, what? More oil and more funds to the wahabbists?

Lets get a true free market on fuels.

I encourage you to

*These are all points made in my book, by the way. I stand second to none in my anti-Saudi fanaticism and I have the quotes from Prince Turki, Sheikh Algosaibi and others to prove it. However, I am not entirely persuaded that being anti-Saudi obliges one to be pro-ethanol…

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.