For a century now, oil has either caused or ended wars, or both. Ten days after the Armistice which ended the First World War, soon to be British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon stated, “The Allied Cause floated to victory on a sea of oil.” The Germans didn’t quit because they’d been militarily defeated. They had two months of oil left. They had no choice.
When Roosevelt ended oil exports to Japan in 1941, he planted the seed of Pearl Harbor. As Japanese Foreign Minister Toyoda said in response, “… our Empire, to save its very life, must take measures to secure … ” the oil of the Dutch East Indies. If the Axis had adequate oil supplies, God only knows how many more millions would have died in defeating it.
Oil, principally American oil, won two world wars, but after the second there was concern about dwindling American reserves, and Saudi Arabia was made an American client state to assure adequate supplies in the future. Bush 1’s first Iraq war was all about oil, as was Bush 2’s second. Aside from our alliance with Israel, we, and the rest of the world, would have little interest in the Middle East if it were not for oil.
The price of oil is determined by supply and demand, and for 40 years the Saudis have had the ability to influence it by setting its levels of production. Even today, if they so chose, the Saudis could start pumping another million barrels a day if they wanted. Unlike the Russians or the Arabs, American oil is all private sector, and is very quick to shut down production at unprofitable price levels. As we shut down production, the balance of supply and demand will return, and the price of oil will rise again, as it always does. American frackers, more so than the Saudis, are the swing producers. In that sense, the United States can once again influence the price of oil on the world market.
George Mitchell, Harold Hamm and the other American oil men who gave us the fracking revolution have altered the geopolitics of the 21st Century. At the right price, North America now has an energy surplus, and when the price of oil returns to the $50-$60 dollar range, we will once again be a net exporter. We ought to join OPEC. The problems of the Middle East are no longer important to our national security. We could walk away from the whole mess and not have to worry about oil. The Asians and Europeans want us to stay, and so we do. But we don’t have to, for our own needs.
Most fracking activity is on private land. The real opportunity for American frackers is on the federal lands in the Far West, where it’s locked up by the environmentalists in Washington who control it. If Ted Cruz is able to keep his promise to the Far West, and that land is returned to the States, the vast oil reserves of this region will make North America energy independent for a hundred years. And almost as importantly, our oil exports give us great leverage in the world.
Japan is our principal ally in Asia, and it needs oil now just as much as it did in 1941. We should supply their oil, to bind them to us strategically. This can be accomplished by opening ANWR, getting the Alaska Pipeline full of its oil, and shipping it from Valdez to Japan and South Korea. It’s a matter of national security. The lower 48 doesn’t need that oil, the frackers will see to that. Look at a globe. Alaska is a lot closer to Japan than the Middle East is. And we’re reliable. Japan and South Korea are our allies, and we’ll look out for them.
Electing Ted Cruz is the first step in seeing all this to fruition. Much more needs to be done. It’s politics. It’s what I enjoy, and what I’ve done all my life, and what I’ve had some success at. When I go to Alaska next week it won’t be for Cruz, or to defeat Murkowski. It will be to promote the return of the land to the people. The land of the Far West, to the people of the Far West.
Or, as we say up North, Alaska for Alaskans.