By Michael M. Shapiro
It was only six months ago that gas prices were setting records in the United States, topping off near $4.00 per gallon. In recent weeks, they have steadily and significantly decreased to the point that gas is now hovering near $1.65 per gallon. Credible explanations for this steep price cut are hard to find.
The most common explanation being offered is that given the economic turmoil in the United States and elsewhere, OPEC realizes $4.00 per gallon is simply unaffordable. However, it appears that the real reason for the sudden drop in cost is that, given the high price of fuel and the slumping economy, the American people had finally begun to coalesce around the idea of supporting alternative sources for their energy needs. The gas producers, recognizing that their future was in jeopardy, slashed their prices to maintain their market share and lull the American people into believing that skyrocketing gas prices are a thing of the past.
A significant amount of what we pay for gas is being provided directly and indirectly to anti-democratic and anti-American countries and radical extremists. A good chunk of change winds up in the hands of terrorists intent on harming America. In addition, it is only a matter of time before gas prices sharply increase and when they do, we will again find ourselves with no alternative but to pay the gas cartel. Finally, every gallon of gas we are using is slowly destroying our environment. We need to cut our gas addiction as soon as possible.
Given the dour economic climate, many people say there is no will power to fight the gas cartel and, at the same time, develop alternative energy sources. They are wrong. With hundreds of thousand of people out of work, now is the time to create a jobs initiative to develop alternative energy sources here in the United States. As the American auto industry struggles for survival, we can create a nationwide initiative to transform it into the leading supplier of alternative energy vehicles and reinvigorate and restore places like Detroit, Michigan.
We cannot afford to lose a minute in this battle for our energy independence. We should not emulate the Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton and Bush administrations that promised energy independence only to be stymied by the gas cartel and its powerful lobby.
As the New Year approaches, let’s resolve to end our addiction to foreign oil once and for all. Let’s urge our government representatives to invest in alternative energy and put people to work.
There is no overnight fix to our energy troubles. However, through a concerted national effort, we can cut gas funds to terrorists and terrorist-supporting states thereby protecting our national security interests, revitalize the American auto industry, put hundreds of thousands of the recently unemployed back to work, and we can safeguard the environment, all at the same time.
The next time you fill up your SUV for $1.65 a gallon, don’t be lulled by the low price. The cost of that gas to our nation and its people is far greater than what you are paying at the pump.
Michael M. Shapiro is an attorney who resides in New Providence. He currently serves as the editor of The Alternative Press, www.TheAlternativePress.com, New Jersey’s first all-online daily newspaper serving Millburn/Short Hills, Summit, New Providence, and Berkeley Heights. Contact Mike at MikeShapiro@TheAlternativePress.com
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