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Fueling the war on terrorism

Memorial Day weekend was perfect for the beach or an outdoor cookout with friends and family. Unfortunately, though, as soon as you were able to pack up the car and start driving to your destination, it is highly likely that you got slapped with a $2-per-gallon bill for regular unleaded at your gas station.

According to CNN, the lowest price for gasoline in the United States is in South Carolina at $1.78 per gallon, with California coming in highest at $2.25 per gallon. This is the price for regular unleaded, so add roughly twenty cents per gallon to each figure if your car or truck has a thirst for premium. Just one year ago the average price for one gallon of gas was $1.50.

In a separate report last Monday, the federal government’s Energy Information Administration put the average national price for a gallon of gasoline at $1.94.

To the surprise of many, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has actually seen an increase in demand for gasoline even with the prices as wallet-shattering as they are. While a report like that may surprise some, the thing to remember is that right now, gasoline is a necessity and not a desire.

What are the gasoline prices going to have to rise to before people stop complaining and start doing something about it — $4 per gallon? The time should be now.

How interesting it is that the media, in the span of five minutes, can report about shortcomings in the fight against terrorism and then rant about the high gas prices without ever correlating the two.

The first hurdle is the lack of media attention to the war against terrorism. The media is largely Republican-owned and operated. Like a used car salesman, it tells you all the great things while it somehow forgets to tell you the problems.

It is time to speak up and realize what our ill-advised government is doing.

A great place to start your own personal war-against-the-war is the Foreign Oil Independence League (FOIL), which was created by Scott Cotton, a 69-year-old patriot who is angry at greedy oil companies, gas prices, the war on oil and general political lack of concern for the average American’s hard-earned dollars.

A simple Internet search for FOIL will net copious amounts of information on all the angles of protest. The basic argument presented by FOIL is that we should make all our own oil and resources so we can sever our connection with the Middle East. Essentially, the United States would cut all the money sent to foreign countries and, in return, put it back into our own economy, where we need it the most. Cotton puts it best by saying, “When I get mad, I get creative. I dipped into my retirement to fund FOIL, thinking that I was simply one step ahead of Washington in recognizing our crisis –that we must wean America off foreign oil, whose profits fund terrorism. After all, our national leadership got the same wake-up call.”

So the next time you are going out to have fun for the weekend in your gas-guzzling SUV, take a good hard look at that money that you are sending over to the Middle East. Rather than shrugging it off as if there were no solution, speak out and create the solution. We have the power available to make changes happen. Instead of sending every last cent and soldier to the Middle East, let’s keep them both here in the U.S.A. and stop trading blood for oil in a loosely defined war with neither answers nor advantageous reasons for being there.

Bob Kulstad is a junior majoring in industrial engineering.