If you love your energy independence, thank a Montana vet.

by Rebecca Schmitz

While you’re taking a few moments today to commemorate Veterans’ Day (and let’s hope it’s not merely at the sale in the shoe department at Macy’s), think about some of the sacrifices–on our part–that could be made to prevent future wars of choice from happening. Some Montana veterans did just that this past week when they wrote a letter to the House of Representatives. In the name of patriotism, they urged our Congressmen to pass a law that would force the American auto industry to improve fuel efficiency.

“Our continued dependence on oil constitutes an immediate threat to our national security – economically, militarily and diplomatically,” the 26 veterans said in their letter to members of Congress. “Increasing fuel efficiency for cars and trucks is the most effective and efficient manner to decrease that dependence.”

The technology to do this is already here. Other countries’ cars already meet and exceed the standard proposed in the bill before Congress: 35 mph. And they do it right now, not at some future date like 2020. Detroit knows full well it can meet this pitiful thirteen-year deadline, too. For instance, we’ve been hearing about the Chevy Volt, its own hybrid concept car, for nearly a year now. As these Montana veterans know, fuel efficiency should be the cornerstone of America’s foreign policy. Wars of choice, like Iraq, will only multiply as our fossil fuel-dependent nation struggles to globally control a finite resource. That’s just what our future holds until, at the very least, we start making and driving cars that conserve oil and gas. It’s time we demanded our government-subsidized private industries, like the Big Three, do something now that helps our energy independence in years to come. It’s the patriotic thing to do.

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  1. goof houlihan

    Past time for this to happen. With democrats in control of Congress, why didn’t it get done already?

  2. ayn rand

    Just can’t bring yourself to thank veterans for their service can you. But I am glad you can’t because it would be hollow!

  3. It’s comments like that, Ayn, that demonstrate once again you’re a hopeless dipshit. My father is a World War II veteran. I thank him everyday.

  4. Ayn,

    Did you serve? Do you even have a clue of what you are talking about?

    I thought not. For those of us that did… Shut the hell up.

    Moorcat

  5. Well, Goof, a) because it hasn’t come before the House of Representatives. Proposed legislation has to go through both houses of Congress before it’s the law of the land. And b) because the Democrats only have a two (if you include the Independent, Joe Lieberman) vote advantage in the Senate. Any legislation must have Republican support in the Senate. In the case of CAFE, pro-Detroit Democrats and Republicans had to be won over.

  6. Ed Childers

    Democrats don’t “control” Congress. They have leadership positions, all right, but Republicans still have control because of Senate rules.

    Thanks to those of you who have served in our military.
    And to the rest of you as well. It’s your country.
    And mine.

  7. goof houlihan

    Do all bills have to come from the Senate? I don’t think so, but don’t know for sure.

    Here’s one thing I do buy, “pro detroit democrats”, and I do believe they are protecting labor more than GM. It’s a labor and industry wall against better standards.

  8. No, legislation can flow in either direction. And I think you’re right about Michigan Democrats to a certain extent. It’s about labor, but it’s also about the money auto manufacturers give to their campaigns.

  9. goof houlihan

    Rebecca, you know auto labor unions donate significantly to their campaigns as well? Sure you do.

    Why is it Toyota and Honda can build cars to such standards, but GM and Ford and Chrysler can’t? Are the big three handicapped in some way? If so, what is the nature of that handicap?

    I also agree that it’s a national security issue. Funding ninth century fundamentalism has got to end.

  10. It ends with each of us, you know. Every time I see some gas guzzler with a magnetic “Support Our Troops” ribbon on the streets around town, I like to think about how much money the driver is putting in Saudi Arabian pockets. And then how those same pockets fund terrorists. That Hummer owner might as well just donate directly to al Qaeda (maybe they have Pay Pal!), kill a U.S. solider in Afghanistan, and be done with it.

  11. goof houlihan

    That’s awfully optimistic, up to each of us. It is, and I argue that will global warming too.

    But in this case, I’ve long thought that it’s steep consumption tax AND mpg regulation. The one creates demand, the other, supply.

  12. It’s not optimism so much as pure capitalism at work. If we all demand fuel efficient cars, Detroit will supply.

    Until then, we have to recognize reality. People want to drive their Escalade to the mall and back, end the war in Iraq and still pay under $2 a gallon for gas. Whatever. Maybe it’s time Detroit was required to do the right thing rather than wait for the idiots market to change.

  13. goof has a point here – and it’s clearly exhibited in action in Europe.

    Taxes drive up gasoline so high that smaller cars are generally all anyone buys. Isn’t gas = to something like 9$/gallon in England?

    Our soldiers are fighting not only to support 9th century fundamentalism – they are giving their lives for profits in Detroit.

    And the guys in Detroit – even the ones on the line – are getting a significantly bigger paycheck than the ones dodging bullets.

    Yep. It’s a lovely system we have here in America.

  1. 1 Pragmatic Revolt » Veteran’s Day Stupidity

    […] Over on 4 & 20 Blackbirds, Rebecca put up a post about some Montana Veterans urging Congress to get on the bandwagon of forcing car makers to make more fuel efficient cars. This is something that should be heralded by both the Right and the Left. It is also a case of a group of Montana Veterans using their Veteran status to try to make a change in the world for the better… […]

  2. 2 With allies like these, who needs enemies? « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] silly me, I forgot. It’s not about any of those things. It’s about our energy, […]

  3. 3 Reality Check « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] better or worse, we’ll be involved in their internal politics until all of us finally realize our national security depends on switching to other energy […]




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