Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a potential Democratic presidential candidate in ’08, says America’s current energy policy supports our enemies. Warner, who is campaigning with Iowa Democratic candidates today (Tuesday), is offering this critique of U.S. energy policy.
“Let’s go borrow money from China to buy oil from countries around the world that don’t like us,” Warner says. He says not all of those dollars go to the Middle East. Warner contends Russia is emboldened because it’s sitting on rich oil and natural gas reserves and that’s one reason why Russia isn’t as supportive of U.S. policies in Iraq and North Korea, and Warner says the president of oil-rich Venezula is spreading “anti-Americanism” in Latin America.
According to Warner, the U.S. spends nearly three-hundred billion dollars annually to pay other countries for oil and other energy commodities and in some instances that money winds up funding both sides in the global War on Terror.
“I don’t think anyone has fully connected the dots in America between national security, American job creation, energy policy and global warming,” Warner says. Warner, who co-founded the Nextell cellular telephone company, says America should position itself as the world leader in what he terms “next generation energy research and development.”
Warner says what drove U.S. economic growth in the past two decades and the first part of the 21st century has been “America’s undisputed leadership” in information technology and telecommunications. “If we could lead in the development of alternative fuels and make that the IT revolution of the 21st century, what it could do in terms of American economic growth would be tremendous,” Warner says.
According to Warner, the federal government spends two-billion dollars annually on energy research and development. He suggests deploying a bit of the billions being spent on the war in Iraq would do more to reduce America’s dependence on that part of the world and “save the planet” if it was done correctly.
Warner’s mid-day appearance at a Des Moines news conference was briefly interrupted when a reporters’ cell phone rang. “I heard that cell phone go off earlier. Most people hear an annoying sound. When I hear a cell phone I actually hear ‘Ka-ching Ka-ching,'” Warner joked. “You can go ahead and turn ’em back on when I’m around.” Warner served one term as Virginia’s governor — all that’s allowed under that state’s constitution.