Saturday, February 04, 2006

Graft in the Oil Industry Funds Criminals and Terrorists

For many of us gritting our teeth every time we fill up our tanks, it is merely a financial concern. The sad truth is that oil money is funding criminals, terrorists and radical governments.

Failure to take action now could cause us more than a "financial concern" when filling up our tanks.

Robert Worth and James Glanz of the New York Times recently wrote:

"Ali Allawi, Iraq's finance minister, estimated that insurgents reap 40 percent to 50 percent of all oil-smuggling profits in the country. Offering an example of how illicit oil products are kept flowing on the black market, he said that the insurgency had infiltrated senior management positions at the major northern refinery in Baiji and routinely terrorized truck drivers there. This allows the insurgents and their confederates to tap the pipeline, empty the trucks and sell the oil or gas themselves.

"It's gone beyond Nigeria levels now where it really threatens national security," Mr. Allawi said of the oil industry. "The insurgents are involved at all levels."

Here is the full story from the New York Times:

Oil Graft Fuels the Insurgency, Iraq and U.S. Say

The Christian Science Monitor also put it's view in writing on this subject:

"As the world's largest oil user, the US must reduce oil consumption so that an Iran cannot easily wield an oil card to get a nuclear weapon. Or so a Saudi Arabia cannot allow oil profits to filter to terrorists. Or so a Venezuela can't throw oil money at anti-US regimes. Or so a Russia cannot cut off petroleum exports in a strategic dispute. Or, for that matter, so a hurricane like Katrina can't create an oil price spike.

Nor should the US continue to spend billions to deploy its military in the Middle East to secure that dwindling oil patch - one reason perhaps why Bush set a goal for the US to cut 75 percent of its oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.

For the entire editorial:

For oil addicts, switch-grass gas and more (The Christian Science Monitor)

We need to free ourselves from our addiction to foreign oil. ACTING now could be crucial to our very existence. This isn't just the responsibility of our governments, but is also the responsibility of each and every one of us.

In the long term, developing new energy resources will the solution. Here is an interesting article from Missouri Families on how YOU as an individual can start impacting this problem tomorrow:

Reduce Your Gasoline Consumption and Save

There are other ways to do this in the long run, the most important of which is supporting the long term development of alternative resources. We must also become united in our efforts and support our leaders to find a new ways to combat this increasing menace.

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