(03-05) 07:28 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --
President Bush says the United States has to change its habits and "get off oil" to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign suppliers.
Bush made his comments in a speech in Washington after OPEC said it would not put more oil on the global market. During a trip to the Middle East in January, Bush had urged OPEC to increase production in order to ease soaring gasoline prices.
While calling for energy conservation, Bush joked on Wednesday that it probably did not help that he rode to his speech in a 20-car motorcade.
Last evening on the news I watched how George Bush told OPEC that they must start pumping more oil because energy is costing too much which is hurting the economy. If our economy tanks, he reasoned, we will buy less energy. Well, I am not really sure we can blame our current economic situation on OPEC or entirely oil dependancy. Rather forty years of failed economic policy which stifled growth in production due to inflationary fears in favor of uncontrolled growth in financial speculation brought about by deregulation in the financial markets, the latest manifestations of which we have seen in the sub-prime market implosion, corporate junk bonds, asset-backed commercial paper, and muni-bonds insurance companies collapse.
Well, it is much easier to blame it on the Arabs, isn't it. So today Bush says we must "get of oil." All joking about 20 car-motorcades aside, if we were serious we wouldn't be talking conservation, we would be actively seeking and investing in real sustainable alternatives and a major shift in the way our infrastructure is structured. We would be turning away from a growth based economic model to an economic model based on sustainability. An economics that sees the economy as a vehicle to improve human well-being rather than as humans as cogs to further expand the economy.