Opinion

Less oil use means greater national security

Recently it was announced that the Bush administration was considering reversing course and supporting an increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by 1.5 miles per gallon by 2007. While I feel forced to agree with environmental groups that this goal is woefully inadequate, it is still a step in the right direction, albeit a baby step. In any event, it is a step that should be taken.
One of our main vulnerabilities in this new war is our continued dependency on foreign sources of oil. More than one of those sources is a nation that both harbors and finances groups that seek to murder Americans en masse, the most notable of these being Saudi Arabia. Raising CAFE standards is a necessary first step toward reigning in the high rates of oil consumption that drive this dependency. While I believe that market forces are the best initiators of meaningful change in private enterprise and I am normally against the type of government economic regulation that CAFE standards represent, I would submit that, in this case, raising the standard is both necessary and appropriate in the interests of national security. After all, these standards were put into place by Congress as a direct response to the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
I would take it even further, however, by using government resources to develop alternative sources of fuel such as the hydrogen fuel cell or a practical and cost-effective electric car. This would be no different than the Roosevelt administration’s funding and direction of efforts to develop plastic and synthetic rubber as well as other technologies during World War two. Unfortunately, efforts such as these would likely meet with resistance from the Bush administration.
In the final analysis, less dependence on foreign oil will vastly decrease the significance to our foreign policy that those oil-producing nations represent. This will in turn make it less necessary for us to become involved there, which will save American lives in the long run. In addition, greater fuel efficiency will decrease air pollution; certainly a very desirable benefit. So long as public and political pressure remains firm towards lessening our dependence on foreign oil, I believe the Bush administration will ultimately do the right thing in the interest of national security. In is, in the end, the legacy he desires.

Scott Wacholtz is a junior majoring in computer science and political science.

November 26, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is starting Thursday night for the No. 16 Miami Hurricanes against ...

It sure sounds like redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is going to get his first career start at 8 Thurs ...

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

Theatre arts students open the Ring Theatre’s 2018-19 season with a tribute to the creative genius w ...

UM representatives earned Novice and Junior Varsity categories at the National Opener, one of the mo ...

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement receives a $300,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

Conference play is just a few days away and the Miami Hurricanes are focused on their ACC opener on ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

Miami junior Estela Perez-Somarriba's 6-4, 6-3 victory over Evgeniya Levashova will be re-broad ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.