Republicans in bed with oil titans

To outline the platform for the Republican Party is getting progressively harder. It used to be lower taxes, but when Republicans cut taxes for 2 percent of Americans while Democrats look to cut taxes for 95 percent, this is no longer valid. A platform of a strong military used to be a focus, but after making our forces look like a joke in front of a bunch of ill-trained, ill-equipped Iraqis, I doubt this. Economic power used to be a platform, but after devastating our economy, sending us into the largest debt ever and shipping jobs overseas while still managing to lose them here also eliminates that. Deregulation also used to be a standard line until the socialist takeover of Wall Street put that issue to bed.

The only thing I can nail down is its ties to "Big Business." It is the businessman’s party. It will help corporate executives and shareholders at the expense of Americans, and as sad as it is, there is a great reason to help business, especially oil companies, even more now.

There is not an educated person in the world who thinks oil is infinite. The only real debate is the amount of time we have left with our black gold. The real problem with our energy future is capitalism. Money is invested and infrastructure is developed to deliver goods and services to the market with the hope the investment will yield a return down the line.

Right now, all of our capital for energy is invested in a delivery system set up for petroleum. Tankers have been built at phenomenal costs, and refineries are hugely expensive. Pipelines come at the cost of big oil, with government subsidies, as well as political concessions America never would never have made if not in the interest of oil. The delivery of refined product is distributed through gas stations designed for petroleum. The oil companies need more money if they hope to stay around after the oil is done.

The only service running in Iraq at or near pre-war levels is oil. Russia is just now concluding a war with a former Soviet Bloc nation that smacks of an oil war. The couple of 16-inch pipelines that bring back natural gas are a big boon to the economy of what some have dubbed a "petrolist" government. One would be hard-pressed to argue oil is an interest in which the U.S. or Russia would not fight for.

The only way America can continue our lifestyle is with massive amounts of energy. We could run into a real problem even if we managed to develop alternative fuels. Some geographic regions may find one fuel more efficient than another. We could end up with different regions that provide different fuels, and as we saw with the railroads, uniformity is key.

If we ask universities and small research and development firms to solve this, we will have hundreds of answers and decades of debate. However, if we let companies such as BP take the lead, the amount of money they have can provide for the switch to alternative fuels, if they make more money. It is going to be costly to make the transition, and it is better to have only a few companies trying.

With all the former platforms of the Republican Party fading into the past, it would be refreshing if they would simply come out and say the ‘O’ in GOP has changed to "oil."

Khan, a political science and history junior, can be reached via [email protected]

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