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Friday, July 15, 2005

U No Calories

When an American oil company no longer holds any rights to fossil fuel reserves on its home soil, should it remain a vital national interest? Allan Sloan of WaPo/Newseek posed that question in the form of an assertion on last night's Charlie Rose show. Sloan made it in reference to China's CNOOC offering to buy out Unocal, with the rationale that the majority of Unocal's holdings sit in southeast Asia.

The issue goes to congress, with, naturally, the right-wing the most vociferous in formulating an opinion:
"China's purchase of Unocal would dramatically increase its leverage over these countries and therefore its leverage over U.S. interests in those regions," [Rep. Duncan "Julia Child"] Hunter said.

Frank Gaffney Jr., president of the Center for Security Policy, said the pursuit of Unocal is part of a "larger, very determined and ominous strategy" by China to lock up oil and gas resources.

Of the energy wedge issues liable to waken up or divide both sides of the aisle, I can name three that will gain greater prominence in the next few months.
  1. China and Asia's pursuit of oil
  2. Ethanol production
  3. Tanking of General Motors
Interesting that each of these become wedge issues in that they force the right to consider strong government subsidies to counter capitalistic market forces in the presence of relentless fossil fuel depletion.

Time for Bush to demonstrate again how to unite and not divide.


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