This Land is Your Land

The Koch Brothers are gearing up to fight electric cars.  I think the easy response is something about killing the environment, or about the power of the wealthy being oversized,or even perhaps pointing out the hypocrisy where the oil and gas industry enjoys some decent subsidies of their own.

All of which are great arguments when preaching to the choir.

I, however, want to question whether these are the actions of someone who is truly American and wishes the best for their nation. Being American is about more than chasing a dollar, looking out only for yourself, and enjoying the freedoms you can afford for yourself. It’s about looking at your neighbor and not screwing them over. It’s about putting the nation ahead of yourself in at least some respects.

One of those respects should be national security, and energy independence that would weaken the financial power of its enemies would seem to be  a pretty big positive for the United States. While fuel production in the US has spiked and has allowed the price of oil to be pushed to the floor, a long term shift to more efficient technologies that shut fossil fuel use out of the room would be even better. It would not only help limit funding for military/terrorist adversaries, but could lead to destabilization of foreign government that support them. These are good things.

Using fewer fossil fuels has, in the long run, a higher likelihood of causing less pollution. Putting aside the climate change argument that is an automatic wedge to some people, let’s just focus on the health effects of a cleaner environment. People would simply be healthier, leading to lower pollution related health problems. It would help preserve our environment and wild life for people to enjoy, from camping to hunting and fishing. A cleaner environment is a national good.

Is there a long term good towards fighting a move to cleaner energy use? Maybe, I can’t really think of one, at least not one I could honestly argue, but maybe there’s one out there. Will they outweigh the positives of moving towards cleaner energy use? I don’t think so. And I think that fighting it does put you in a column that is decidedly un-American because it is decidedly self-serving, damaging to the nation in a number of ways, and weakens us as a country. The Koch Brothers are un-American in their actions.

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