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The US-Saudi relationship: Oil supply at the expense of US security and moral values

(11/04/05: Update at the end of the post)

Europe and the US seem to be addicted to oil and unable to pursue their security interests and moral values in regard to Saudi Arabia. US government reports indicate Saudi support for terrorism and the lack of counter-terrorism coopertation. The State Department determined the non-existence of religous freedom in Saudi Arabia and the non-compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking. While countries without any oil were sanctioned for these violations, the Bush administration spared Saudi Arabia. And the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee canceled unexpectedly a hearing on Saudi incitement in U.S. mosques.

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NYT calls for raising the gas tax to fight terrorism and global warming

The NY Times/International Herald Tribune  editorilizes:

There's no serious disagreement that two major crises of our time are terrorism and global warming. And there's no disputing that America's oil consumption fosters both. Oil profits that flow to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries finance both terrorist acts and the spread of dangerously fanatical forms of Islam. The burning of fossil fuels creates greenhouse emissions that provoke climate change. All the while, oil dependency increases the likelihood of further military entanglements, and threatens the economy with inflation, high interest rates and risky foreign indebtedness. (...)

A bolstered gas tax would raise huge amounts of revenue, roughly $1 billion for every penny of additional tax. Some of that money would have to be used to provide offsetting tax breaks to low-income households (...) Economists assume that raising the gas tax - say, by a dollar or so - would not necessarily raise the price at the pump by the same amount. Rather, a tax increase could induce exporters to allow the price of oil itself to fall, in order to keep the price at the pump below the level at which oil alternatives begin to look attractive.  (Hat tip to medien und amerika)