Oil is the lifeblood of our industrial society.

But it’s been under attack since the early 1970s.

Environmentalists told us we’d all choke from the exhaust fumes back then.

Then they lied about global warming.

Then they lied about the ozone hole.

Then they complained about oil drilling in Alaska.

Then they complained about drilling for natural gas.

Then they complained about oil drilling offshore.

Then they complained about reliance on foreign oil and told us we must conserve. (They’re right about the dangers of foreign oil. We don’t need it. We ought to be energy independent.)

Then they complained about nuclear power and shut down all construction of new plants.

They want us to build windmills and solar plants – totally inefficient, unsightly and way too costly.

In other words, they don’t want America to grow. They don’t want it to prosper. They don’t want us to live any better than people live in the Third World.

But just watch how these people scream when their air conditioning goes off. Just watch what happens when they turn on the light switch and nothing happens. Just watch how they try to point fingers of blame at others.

We’ve seen it in California. That’s why Gray-out Davis is on his way out of office.

We all believe in conservation. We all believe in good stewardship of the earth’s resources. But we don’t need to listen any more to people who use these good ideas and common-sense notions to cripple our economy and the American way of life.

Nobody is certain what caused last week’s blackout of 50 million Americans. It may have been terrorist sabotage. Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for it. But there’s another group of subversives who have been attacking America’s productivity for much longer than Osama bin Laden. They, too, are religious fanatics – followers of a neo-paganistic strain of earth worship.

It’s tempting to call them terrorists. It’s true only of some. But most of the eco-extremists do their damage not with bombs, but with equally destructive public policies.

They, too, hate America – if for different reasons than al-Qaida.

It is because of these green extremists and the politicians too easily intimidated by their lobbying efforts that no major oil refineries have been built in the U.S. since 1976, although the number of vehicles in use has doubled and plants are running at capacity.

Regulatory changes enacted during the last administration have, as even the Environmental Protection Agency put it, “impeded or resulted in the cancellation of projects that would maintain or improve reliability, efficiency or safety of existing power plants and refiners.” Keep in mind the EPA is part of the problem – part of the destructive campaign of public policies.

Regardless of the cause of last week’s blackout, it should serve as a major warning to Americans. It should show us all what the future might be like if we don’t wise up.

It’s time to get serious about energy in this country. We need it. We need it to preserve our freedom, our way of life. It has to come from somewhere.

The green machine has forced us to get too much from foreign sources. That puts America at risk of international political blackmail. Young men and women may be forced to die in foreign wars some day to keep that oil flowing. It doesn’t have to be that way.

America should strive for energy independence. We can’t do that through conservation alone. We can’t do that by harnessing solar power. We can’t do that with windmills. We need potent energy sources that need to be discovered through exploration, piped out of the earth and refined here at home.

It’s a matter of national security.

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