Tags: Who's | Really | Behind | Soaring | Oil | Prices?

Who's Really Behind Soaring Oil Prices?

Tuesday, 27 September 2005 12:00 AM

When you stand at the gas pump and watch those numbers spin by so fast you can't read them, keep in mind that the soaring price of gasoline is no accident – it is the work of a new fifth column.

Back in the '30s and '40s people who aided and abetted the enemy were known as fifth columnists – a term coined during the Spanish Civil War when rebel sympathizers inside Madrid worked against their Soviet-backed enemy from within, while four columns of fellow rebels were attacking the city from outside.

For many years the United States has been the target of another brand of fifth columnists, covert Marxists who by their subversive activities, clothed in the mantle of citizens concerned with the environment, have played havoc with the economy of this nation and the freedoms of the American people.

While their campaigns have for the most part been carried out in the open, their sinister motives and behind-the-scenes manipulations have been well hidden and can be discerned only by observing the damage they have done, such as ruinous hikes in the cost of gasoline and heating oil and the deliberately created scarcity of abundant energy resources.

This fifth column is rich and powerful. Just one environmental group, the Sierra Club, boasts of an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars and almost 600,000 members. Their political contributions reach into the millions. A Sierra Club attack on a congressman's environmental voting record, no matter how distorted, can be a kiss of death.

As a result, when the Sierra Club talks, Congress listens – and acts. And another set of regulations ruinous to the economy and the individual freedom of Americans gets on the books.

And the Sierra Club is just one of the many so-called "green" lobbying groups busy savaging the economy and putting shackles on ordinary Americans powerless to resist the flood of restrictions imposed on them from above by bureaucrats forced to comply with the thousands of regulations and laws affecting their agencies, that have been imposed on our national economy, affecting all the rest of us.

As Alan Caruba has observed, "One of the first actions 'the government' took was the Environmental Protection Agency announcement that it was suspending the idiotic mandates requiring countless different formulations of gasoline, to insure that a sufficient supply was available nationwide. In one state after another, these mandates insure that different formulations are required in different areas of the same state."

Those idiotic regulations are the result of the environmental fifth column's political clout.

To get to the heart of the matter it is important to understand what got us into this mess and the part that the fifth column played in it.

The sudden rise in the cost of oil, which translated itself into pump prices was the application of the law of supply and demand – there are more and more consumers of petroleum without a corresponding increase in the supplies of black gold. The Chinese, for example, have abandoned rickshaws in favor of gas-guzzling automobiles and their demand for oil is getting astronomical.

That was bad enough, but along came Katrina and Rita, both of which curtailed refining of crude oil supplies from here and abroad. That's part of the story of our present situation. But it's only a tiny part of the energy crisis now afflicting the U.S.

Thanks to the environmental fifth column, the United States has been unable to take advantage of its own crude oil supplies. Abundant supplies of crude oil beneath the U.S. mainland and offshore, locked in shale deposits, and in Alaska's North Slope remain untapped thanks to the environmentalists who have stopped development of our natural oil resources.

Given an abundant supply of crude oil, however, we are still in trouble. Crude oil must be refined before it can become gasoline or fuel oil. Thanks to the fifth column, which has managed to have Congress and local governments impose crippling regulations on their construction and operations, we have not built a refinery in over 30 years.

Even if we cut all the red tape and start now with a crash program of refinery construction, it will be years before they can come online. In the meantime, gasoline and heating oil will be one of the biggest items on our household budgets.

The environmentalist lobbies and their Democrat and liberal allies keep chanting about the need for the development of new sources of energy while at the same time having done everything in their power for years to prevent the use of an alternative technology long available – nuclear energy.

The electric power industry is one of the nation's prime consumers of petroleum – cut power plants out of the chain of petroleum consumers and the availability of gasoline and fuel oil increases by multiples that boggle the mind. And the more gasoline and fuel oil on the market, the cheaper it gets.

Nuclear power can do the trick. It's been there for decades – a resource spurned because of the scare tactics of the environmentalist fifth column – tactics that have created false alarms about the imaginary dangers posed by nuclear power plants.

In 1954 the late Admiral Lewis Strauss said that atomic energy would make electricity "too cheap to meter." Providing that energy, however, proved to be anything but cheap.

According to Tom Bethel in the September issue of The American Spectator, since 1979 no new nuclear facilities not already under order have been built. We had the magic wand for the energy crisis and we simply threw it away.

Two events contributed to the decision to walk away from the nuclear solution – the explosion of a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl in the Ukraine and the incident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

The environmental fifth columnists exploited both incidents, ignoring the facts: In Chernobyl the plant lacked even a semblance of the protections built into U.S. power plants, and at Three Mile Island there was only a small release of radioactivity that harmed not a single human being.

Wrote Bethel: "No one was hurt, but to the anti-nukes, who had been opposing nuclear power with every trick in the book, it was a dream come true. Loony-bin activists took to the streets. Dick Gregory pledged at a demonstration that he would eat no solid food until all nuclear pants in the U.S. were shut down."

He must have gone back on that pledge because he's still chomping away on veggies despite the fact that there are 104 nuclear power plants now functioning in the U.S. and providing 20 percent of our electric power.

The U.S. did not give up on nuclear power. Bethel points out that there are 83 ships equipped with 105 reactors sailing the seas today, and there has not been a single accident.

Bethel says that some environmentalists are now getting on the side of nuclear power, but over the past half-century they were the main reason why we never took advantage of a cheap, clean, non-polluting source of energy.

How did they do it? Simply by scaring the wits out of the American people. "Nuclear power always had one great vulnerability," Bethel explained. "Many people find it difficult to distinguish between nuclear power and nuclear weapons."

It is a false idea, easily disposed of by those who understand the nature of both but difficult and complicated to explain – a perfect situation for demagogues anxious to exploit public fears even though they are irrational.

Bethel launches into a long explanation of the difference between nuclear power and nukes, but it boils down to this: With a small amount of an enriched blend of U-238 – nukes deal with dangerous U-235 – the chain reaction created occurs slowly. Instead of exploding, as in a nuke, Bethel explains that "it merely fizzles. Heat is generated and if this [uranium rod] heating element is immersed in water, the water boils. That creates steam, which drives a turbine, which generates something useful, called electricity. And that's all there is to it. A nuclear reactor is a big kettle. Its internal element, consisting of uranium rods, heats up and boils water."

The eco-fifth columnists at the top of the environmental movement know all this, but that has not stopped them from creating a frightening scenario based on nothing but their desire to deceive their nuclear uninformed and trusting followers and the general public, who would not know a nuclear reactor from a coffee grinder.

The next time you stand at the pump and watch your hard-earned dollars go gushing into your car's fuel tank, remember who did this to you. And this is hardly the least of the crimes committed by the environmental fifth column. In the name of the socialist doctrine they conceal within their breasts, they have imprisoned you and our fellow Americans in a web of destructive regulations that are slowly strangling out economy.

And that's what they want. When the economy hits bottom, they have Karl Marx waiting in the wings to take charge.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist who writes for NewsMax.com. He is editor & publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers

He can be reached at

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When you stand at the gas pump and watch those numbers spin by so fast you can't read them, keep in mind that the soaring price of gasoline is no accident - it is the work of a new fifth column. Back in the '30s and '40s people who aided and abetted the enemy were known...
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2005-00-27
Tuesday, 27 September 2005 12:00 AM
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