Obama’s far-reaching order

Obama’s far-reaching order

When President Obama signed an executive order Monday that essentially permits the State of California to adopt stricter fuel efficiency standards than the federal government’s, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) labeled it “environmental thuggery.”
Well, what else would you expect from a man in the hip pocket of the oil companies, someone who’s called global warming, “a hoax?”
We have another take on the president’s order, which would permit California and 13 other states to set their own emission standards — sound national security policy.
Think of it. The United States imports more than half the oil it uses. Most of that product comes from parts of the world that are hostile to not only the United States, but to Israel. Those hotpoints include Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
Saudi Arabia, in fact, is the land that produced most of the 9/11 bombers and a brand of Islam — Wahabiism — that breeds hatred for anything Western.
These are the countries where George W. Bush insisted upon sending U.S. petrodollars. We think that policy weakened the United States, and consequently Israel. We grew economically dependent on a part of the world that couldn’t care less about our best interests.
There are two ways to break that addiction and shore up national security: build cars that run on less gasoline — fast — and develop alternative fuel
“It will be the policy of my administration to reverse our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said, as he signed the order.
Inhofe, and others like him, disagree, saying the fuel standards are already strict enough and it doesn’t make sense to have more than one set of standards.
What doesn’t make sense is to let the Big Three executives from GM, Ford and Chrysler — CEOs who drove the American auto industry to the junkyard and flew in separate corporate jets to Washington to plead for a government handout — to dictate policy on this issue.
Left to their own devices, The Big Three have proven they will drag their feet in developing the technology needed to meet more efficient fuel standards while reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming. They will do so because at their heart they’re more interested in their bottom lines than doing what’s right for this country.
Result: Honda and Toyota are light years ahead of Detroit in the development of fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles. The Big Three don’t even make a car capable of getting 40 mpg or better.
But let’s address the economic argument. As author and columnist Thomas Friedman has said, global warming poses an opportunity to develop new green industries that will produce thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in sales to countries that will need the technology.
The country that develops those industries first, as Friedman has said, must be the United States, if we are to maintain our status as a global community leader in the 21st century.
We agree.