Look what your petrodollars helped finance:
These quotes are from Arabic language, secondary-school textbooks at northern Virginia's Islamic Saudi Academy. As the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reported June 11, "The Commission's review of these textbooks found that they did contain passages justifying violence toward and even killing of apostates and so-called polytheists." Under scrutiny last October, the academy scrubbed from its website the fact that its program "is based on the Curriculum of the Saudi Ministry of Education." Some six million Saudi students read these official textbooks.
The Islamic Saudi Academy in Virginia is operated by the Saudi Arabia Embassy and sponsored by the Saudi government. The Saudi state, in turn, is being funded quite lavishly today by average American motorists who purchase $4.08-per-gallon gasoline, partially refined from Saudi crude oil. U.S. airlines, shippers, factories and other petroleum buyers inadvertently underwrite such Saudi-inspired hate.
This news alone should get Congress off its collective fanny. It should prod them into liberating America from dependence on OPEC, a cartel centered in an unstable, often unfriendly region. Sputtering growth, rising unemployment, and plunging airlines -- all exacerbated by record oil prices -- should spur Congress to ease America's petroleum-fueled pain. Instead, Democrats and their environmental allies Just Say No.
House Democrats on June 11 blocked legislation sponsored by Rep. John E. Peterson, R-Penn., that would allow oil drilling 50 miles from America's shores. Obstructionist Democrats could not fathom such activity, even 38 miles past where the horizon gobbles everything. Nor is the Just Say No crowd impressed that Hurricane Katrina slammed Gulf oil platforms with nary a spill.
President Bush and Sen. John McCain both just proposed lifting federal restrictions on offshore oil drilling; in McCain's case, provided that individual states want it. Good news.
And yet, like many Democrats, McCain opposes tapping the 10.4 billion barrels of crude accessible via a 2,000-acre parcel of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 2.5 times the size of Central Park. Alaskans strongly favor drilling ANWR. McCain rejects onshore development at ANWR, but presumably would allow offshore drilling there. McCain's muddle trumps Democrats, who generally oppose both.
Meanwhile, New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, last month scuttled an offshore terminal for offloading low-carbon liquefied natural gas. Paterson opposed "industrializing" Long Island Sound, even though 17,000 vessels already carry 47 million tons of cargo annually through Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London, Conn.
The Cape Wind project similarly has stalled off Cape Cod as Massachusetts' Democratic Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and other eco-yachtsmen want their ocean views unencumbered by clean, renewable windmills.
Back on shore, green activists mothballed a 500-megawatt, 20,000-acre wind farm in Valley County, Mont. They complained last fall that 400-foot turbines would disturb a nearby wilderness area. GreenHunter Energy offered to whittle the facility back to 170 megawatts, but no go. So, no wind power.
Environmentalists Just Say No to the Sunrise Powerlink solar-energy project. They oppose a 150-mile, $1.5 billion high-voltage line connecting desert-based photovoltaic cells with San Diego Gas & Electric's customers. Earth to Earth-huggers: Electricity does not travel by telekinesis.
Ecologists have stymied new refineries since 1975. A potential 200-year supply of oil shale remains shuttered in the Rockies. Carbon-free atomic power plants draw green ire. Hydroelectric dams? How dare humans inconvenience fish?
The green-Left's mantra is "Renewables!" Splendid. Imagine that we tripled solar, wind, and geothermal output. They then would generate a whopping 2.2 percent of U.S. energy supplies.
Unfortunately, either we boost supplies or watch oil prices rocket skyward. China understands this, which is why it is exploring oil off Cuba's coast -- about 10 miles from where House Democrats just this month said America dare not drill.
Progress, shmogress. Who needs those city lights anyway? Let's cancel the 21st century and hand out candles and extra blankets. Better yet, let's kill two birds with one stoning and simply join our Saudi friends in the 7th century A.D.
Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org