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Driving up the price of oil

Vail Daily EditorialVail CO, Colorado

Hey Dick Cheney, here’s a message from all us poor schmucks forking over $3.50 and up for a gallon for gas: Shut up!The veep took the opportunity Friday to deliver a saber-rattling message to Iran from the deck of an aircraft carrier not far from the Iranian coast. In doing so, he helped burnish his narrow-minded hawk credentials while helping to unsettle oil markets even further. While the outcome of engaging Tehran militarily may be a highly questionable course of action, there’s little doubt of what happens when the U.S. makes this kind of noise: More money flows to Iran.That’s because Middle East war talk causes the already volatile oil market to kick into high gear, which in turn helps line the pockets of oil oligarchs and nutbag despots alike. While the prospect of Iran either disrupting oil supply lines (an unlikely and self-defeating scenario) or getting nukes is highly unwelcome, Cheney’s message does nothing to reduce the likelihood of either one. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, may be a loose cannon, but he knows as well as we do that America is weakened from the conflict in Iraq, and that the last thing we need is another Middle East conflagration to strain our military and cause oil prices to leap even more.At this point, only the 28 percent who still approve of the President can possible imagine any good ideas are going to come out of this administration. Cheney thinks talking tough in front of warplanes is courageous. But here’s what real political courage would look like: an announcement that the U.S. is going to severely reduce the influence of countries like Iran by cutting our oil consumption by half over the next decade.But conservation is for wimps, right Dick?- Alex Miller, for the Editorial Board


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