Commentary by H.G. Listiak
Why not use the Iraqi oil?
Welcome to My World, where you'll notice that the dollar dial on the gas pump is spinning a little faster, and it's going to continue to pick up speed into the summer. You see, OPEC, the cartel of major oil producing countries, is pledging to cut production by 9%, which of course, will boost prices and profits, raising the price of gasoline. Now what a lot of us don't realize is that the price of fuel is an essential part of the U.S. economy. This OPEC gouge couldn't come at a worse time because gas prices affect our daily cost of living, with consumers feeling the pinch in their pocketbook with every fill up. This can force them to cut back a little on less necessary purchases, which will crimp growth just when our economy is starting to recover but not quite enough for big job gains. Yet the OPEC pledge, although seemingly small, is significant. Now brace yourself. Here I go again. I have a solution that will not be very popular and definitely not diplomatic, perhaps even impossible. But at least it's an idea. Protect and administer the mass Iraqi oil fields letting OPEC go to hell, hoping to make their profits from countries like France, Germany and Russia. Help the Iraqis to bring production levels high enough to sell their black gold, crude, to the U.S. and coalition countries at a discount, while at the same time, pay every Iraqi citizen a dividend every year for their oil. This is not out of the question since residents of Alaska claim the same type of dividend for that state's north slope oil supplies. This would lower the cost of energy in the U.S., compensation for our sacrifices in freeing that country, also allowing Iraqis to re-coup part of what Saddam stole from them and greatly reducing our independence on OPEC oil, that more than once has put us in a bad situation. Oh sure, my idea will be scoffed at and punched full of holes by the 'Blood for Oil' anti-war liberals at home and the American haters abroad, but it's something that someone should consider even though I'm sure they won't, as I see it ... I'm H.G. Listiak.