On Republicans, Democrats and Guy Caruso…
Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush are the two presidents seen in the film, and not in a positive light. President George H. W. Bush initiated the response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and clearly stated that one of the reasons for intervening in the conflict was oil. And George W. Bush as the sitting President and a supporter of the expansion of oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, was an important character in discussing the current state of our oil development policies. As they are both Republicans, one might draw the conclusion that the Republican party is the party whose pursuit of oil has caused so many problems for the United States.
However, the recent Democratic presidents have all been a party to the state of oil exploration and use and its impact on the world. Jimmy Carter, perhaps the most sensitive of recent Presidents to the need for energy reduction, and a man I greatly admire, instituted the Carter Doctrine, which has been the basis for our military intervention in the middle east; a doctrine that boldly states that our access to oil is of paramount importance and we would use whatever force was necessary to maintain that access.
At the time that Ken Saro-Wiwa suffered his awful fate, Bill Clinton was President. So, it is not about one party or another. It’s ultimately about the leaders we choose and how they believe we should act in the world around the pursuit and use of energy.
As Dr. William Rees says in the film, “the single most important thing we can do is become politically engaged.” There are potential leaders in both parties who feel we must change our behavior around the use and capture of energy.
I would like to say a word about Guy Caruso, the head of the Energy Information Administration. Mr. Caruso was the only individual with a different point of view on the world oil situation who agreed to meet with us. It is disappointing that we could not present a more balanced view as many others refused to speak with us, including the oil companies.
And while we did not agree on most things, we did agree on several points. I found Mr. Caruso to be a warm, intelligent individual who is well spoken and who considers thoughtfully each question before responding. I don’t know him well, certainly, but I was very impressed by him. I liked Mr. Caruso quite a bit and enjoyed our conversation.
I want to thank Mr. Caruso and others like him who are willing to bridge the sometimes great divide we have in our country in order to engage in dialogue. If we can’t do that, we have little hope of improving the United States and the world.