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Michael Lynch, Forbes Contributor
Some years ago, President George W. Bush, the putative oil man, shocked the nation by saying that America was addicted to oil. Needless to say, any number of groups echoed the charge, and I wrote a piece then, but it seems time to revisit the case, given changes in oil prices and rebounding sales for large vehicles. In the near future, as tax breaks for electric vehicles reach their limits and CAFÉ standards start to bite, there will no doubt be new howls about our addiction.
The claim that we are “addicted” to oil reveals an ideological bias, as well as a degree of energy illiteracy, which is frankly quite common. Those stating this are either being less than honest (politicians and special interests) or have failed to comprehend either addiction or economics. For example, why say Americans are addicted to oil, but not food, housing and clothing? Or cement or steel? It is easy to compare the traditional types of addiction with the reliance on these substances to see where oil falls on the spectrum. To continue reading, click here.