1 “If the U.S. continues to increase its reliance on foreign sources of oil, our dependence on OPEC member nations and rogue states (overlapping categories that include the nations with the largest share of the world’s proven oil reserves) will increase… . The American Jewish Committee, therefore, urges that the United States set as a primary national goal a comprehensive energy policy aimed at a substantial reduction in U.S. dependence on imported oil, with the potential for energy flexibility and near independence in the longer term.” —— American Jewish Committee, “Energy Security for America,” May 5, 2003, http://www.kintera.org/atf/cf/%7B42D75369-D582-4380-8395-D25925B85EAF%7D/EnergySecurityForAmerica.pdf
2 “Oil prices today [May 2005] stand at $50 a barrel [after Hurricane Katrina, up to $64.50 a barrel]. This has created a transfer of wealth of historic proportions from the U.S. to countries that, to paraphrase President George W. Bush, don’t particularly like us—”us” being the U.S., Israel, and the Jewish people. Many of the petrodollars sent abroad find their way into the bank accounts of terrorist groups, radical clerics, and scientists who are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction.” American Jewish Committte, December 2005,http://www.ajc.org/atf/cf/%7B42D75369-D582-4380-8395-D25925B85EAF%7D/ReducingUSDependenceOil.pdf
3 Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist: “We’re in a war with people who are now fueled by our energy purchases. We’re funding both sides in the war on terrorism.” American Jewish Committee, http://www.ajc.org/atf/cf/%7BF56F4495-CF69-45CB-A2D7-F8ECA17198EE%7D/OVERABARREL101306.PDF
4 Congress Requires Report on U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation (2005): SEC. 986. COOPERATION BETWEEN UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL. (a) Findings.–Congress finds that– (1) on February 1, 1996, the United States and Israel signed the agreement entitled “Agreement between the Department of Energy of the United States of America and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of Israel Concerning Energy Cooperation”, (referred to in this section as the “Agreement”) to establish a framework for collaboration between the United States and Israel in energy research and development activities; (2) the Agreement entered into force in February 2000; (3) in February 2005, the Agreement was automatically renewed for 1 additional 5-year period pursuant to Article X of the Agreement; and (4) under the Agreement, the United States and Israel may cooperate in energy research and development in a variety of alternative and advanced energy sectors. (b) Report to Congress.–Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives a report that describes– (1) the ways in which the United States and Israel have cooperated on energy research and development activities under the Agreement; (2) projects initiated pursuant to the Agreement; and (3) plans for future cooperation and joint projects under the Agreement. (c) Sense of Congress.–It is the sense of Congress that energy cooperation between the Governments of the United States and Israel is mutually beneficial in the development of energy technology.http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/doereport.html
5 “Our goal should be to replace hydrocarbons with carbohydrates.” ——– US Senator Richard G. Lugar, The National Interest, Summer 2006.
6 “Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next ten years — thereby cutting our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.” ——— President Bush’s State of the Union, CNN, 1/23/2007.
7 “Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred…. and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries…We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” ——– President Obama’s inaugural speech CNN, 1/20/2009.
8 “An interministerial committee charged with finding ways of turning Israel into an international hub for technology to reduce global oil consumption will present its findings to the cabinet today… In February , the ministers decided that reducing global oil consumption should be a top national goal because it serves Israel’s strategic and environmental interests and could be quite lucrative as well. While Israel is only a minuscule player in the global commodities market, the ministers envisioned the country becoming a global center for technologies that decrease oil consumption for transportation by boosting initiatives in these fields.” http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/israel-bids-to-end-global-oil-dependency-by-2020-1.314532
9 “Israeli company BrightSource Energy is to build seven new solar energy plants across California, providing 1,300 megawatts of energy, in the biggest solar energy deal ever signed. An Israeli company and a Californian one are making solar power history: Southern California Edison (SCE) and BrightSource Energy from Israel have signed the world’s largest solar energy deal. Now awaiting approval from the California Public Utilities Commission, when the contracts are fulfilled — this could happen by as early as 2013 — the Israeli-CA sun project will power almost 1 million California homes.” http://www.israel21c.org/environment/israel-and-california-cut-worlds-largest-solar-energy-deal
10. Read carefully the above statements about US energy policy. From your own critical understanding of these statements and your own perspective, write a 100 to 150 word-essay in which you discuss concisely but thoughtfully what is the real force behind the making of US energy policy. Is it really popular and government concern about the environment or is it really Israeli concern about the economic power of Arab-dominated OPEC? Could ‘giant’ US become solar energy-dependent on ‘minuscule’ Israel? Why is it that Israeli companies, NOT American companies, are the ones to provide power for almost 1 million California homes? Depending on the articulation and persuasion of your argument, you can earn up to 2 points (2 percent of your final grade). To submit blogs in this course, you click on the link to the blog as it appears in one of the subheadings of Course Documents, create a blog entry, and post it. Do not submit blogs from course tools, as attachments, or as email messages.