Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stop It Before It START(s)

The “New START” Treaty, expected to come before the United States Senate very shortly, serves no useful national security purpose for the United States. More importantly it may fatally undermine the continued development and deployment of vitally needed missile defense systems.

The total failures of the Obama Administration to deter Iran and North Korea from proceeding with both their nuclear and missile development programs means the United States will become increasingly vulnerable to nuclear attack in the future. Thus a vibrant missile defense program is essential to Western security and should not be held hostage (as in New START) by allegedly making Russia’s strategic forces vulnerable

But in its misguided drive to “re-set” relations with an increasingly authoritarian regime in Russia, President Obama has proposed a largely politically motivated treaty that provides lopsided strategic benefits to Moscow. Russia will continue to upgrade its strategic forces while the United States would unilaterally retire some of our most potent weapons.

The entire treaty as written lacks sufficient verification procedures and turns the famous Reagan axiom on its head by, in effect, mandating that “we verify some, but mostly trust.”

Finally the attempt to rush the treaty through the final days of 111th Congress, during a lame duck session, precludes the careful deliberation a serious treaty deserves. Also, Senators should demand the negotiating documents to know what actually happened, and to make sure there are no other surprises.

The Senate’s role in the treaty-making process is vitally important. It is being seriously weakened if the START treaty is dealt with in a lame duck session. It also excludes from the process the newly elected Senators who will have the responsibility to carry out the terms of the treaty in the years ahead.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Forget American Energy Independence

Forget energy independence. Forget a sensible oil and gas drilling program. Forget reducing payments to foreign countries for our energy needs. Forget creating more good paying American jobs.

Remember the Obama Administration said back in March that it was opening more areas for drilling. It was a lie.

The Obama Administration has just put a big halt to offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast and any new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. They are also delaying two lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. And according to the Washington Post, further offshore drilling in Alaska may be postponed.

The United States is the only country in the world that severely restricts the use of its petroleum resources. Rather, we buy oil from many countries whose human rights and environmental standards are deplorable. And this new Obama policy will lead to even more such abuses.

Under the Obama policy, the earliest a new lease will be allowed is 2017.

What will the result be? More dependence on foreign oil that means less American sovereignty, more government spending on “green” energy if it is economically feasible or not, fewer American jobs, and more reliance on other countries. But then Council for America has been warning about this for months, just look at a few of our past blog posts on this subject (see in particular “Don’t Be Fooled”).

The Obama Administration has learned nothing from November. American voters said they want less government and less government spending. This decision will lead in the opposite direction. Federal and state governments spend billions of dollars a year on energy costs to heat and light buildings; to power military ships, tanks, jeeps and other vehicles; and to keep government cars and trucks on the roads. As a result of this policy, foreign countries will have even more control over our petroleum needs. Costs will go up.

If only we could forget the Obama Administration, maybe we could become energy independent.

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