Victor Davis Hanson: Eating America’s Seed Corn
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta. You can reach him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As gas prices climb back toward $4 a gallon, the Obama administration — facing a tough reelection campaign and rising Middle East tensions — is once again considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For years, administrations have bought and stored oil for emergencies, in fear of a cutoff of imported oil, as happened during the Arab embargo of 1973–74.
But since 2009, the U.S. government has declared most federal lands off-limits to new oil and gas exploration — despite vast recent finds of energy and radically new means to tap it. President Obama also canceled the most vital sections of the Keystone pipeline, a proposed conduit from the Canadian oil fields into the heart of the oil-consuming U.S., while preventing production on existing oil and gas reserves in northern Alaska and offshore. In the midst of a crop-killing drought, we are diverting about 40 percent of our shrinking corn crop to produce high-cost ethanol fuels....
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