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THodgman

[ENERGY TOPIC] [M] Round 77: THodgman (AFF) vs. Wildcat 09 (NEG)

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THodgman (Aff) vs. Wildcat09 (Neg)

Energy Topic.

 

Stakes: Observers, Judges, and Debaters give positive rep to the winner.

 

We still need 3 judges.

 

I agree to all the rules and such.

OFFICIAL RULES VERSION 1.0 (Added Rule 17)

  1. Starting the round. Before the round starts, all four debaters must post in this thread, stating that they agree to the rules, stakes and judges, and also stating who will be which speaker. All three judges must post their paradigms. The round starts as soon as the 1AC is posted.
  2. Speech order. The order of the speeches is the same as for a typical policy debate round. 1AC, CX, 1NC, CX, 2AC, CX, 2NC, CX, 1NR, 1AR, 2NR, 2AR
  3. Speech lengths. Each constructive speech will be no more than 2000 words and each rebuttal no more than 1200 words.
  4. Cross-examination. Cross-examination begins immediately after a constructive speech is posted and lasts 24 hours. If you are being cross-examineded (ie you just posted a speech), you are expected to check this thread reasonably often and answer questions.
  5. Questions asked after cross-ex. You may ask additional questions after cross-ex ends and before your next speech is due. However, your opponents are not required to be online for this, so answers to these questions should be considered a courtesy.
  6. Due dates of constructives. The 1NC, 2AC, and 2NC are due 24 hours after the end of cross-examination. This means the 1NC is due 48 hours after the 1AC is posted, the 2AC is due 48 hours after the 1NC is posted, and the 2NC is due 48 hours after the 2AC is posted.
  7. Due dates of rebuttals.
    (a)The 1NR starts immediately when cross-examination ends after the 2NC. In other words, the 1NR is due exactly 24 hours after the 2NC is posted.
    (B) The 1AR, 2NR, and 2AR are due exactly 24 hours after the previous speech is posted.
    © Exception to rule (B): If the 1NR was posted during cross-examination, the 1AR still is not due until 24 hours after cross-ex ends. In other words, if the 1NC was posted during cross-ex, the 1AR is due exactly 48 hours after the 2NC was posted.
  8. Prep time. Each team gets 48 hours of prep time. Prep time starts the moment your speech is due. If a speech is late, the extra time used will come out of your prep time.
  9. Posting a speech early. Debaters may post their speeches early if they choose to do so. Debaters with upcoming speeches are expected to check this thread frequently in order to prevent loss of prep time in the event a speech is posted early.
  10. Posting a speech very early If a speech is posted so early that it is still cross-ex, then cross-ex ends immediately and the next relevant time period begins. EXCEPTION: cross-examination of the 2NC continues even if the 1NR posts his/her speech during cross-ex. The affirmative has the right to their entire 24 hours of cross-ex time and 24 hours of speech-writing time.
  11. Postponement of speeches. Postponement of a speech should be allowed if and only if
    (a) a good reason is given in advance (test coming up, going to be at a tourney over weekend, etc) and
    (B) a majority of judges agree to the postponement.
    Judges should try to be generous with postponements if it is in the interest of keeping the round from fizzling, but must also be fair to both teams.
  12. Judge decisions. Judges are expected to post decisions quickly after the round is over. If a judge expects to be longer than 24 hours, he or she should let the debaters know beforehand.
  13. Observers, please be quiet. Until the round is over, only participating debaters and judges may post in this thread. This rule ends after the judges have posted their decisions. After that, the thread is open for free discussion.
  14. Please label your post. As a courtesy, debaters should label their posts so everyone knows what speech they are giving.
  15. Do your own work. You may only seek assistance from your partner. No help from other debaters is allowed.
  16. Changing the rules. Judges may change the rules or make new rules so long as it is unanimous, and the rule change is believed to be fair to all debaters.
  17. Research. Research during the round is allowed, but uniqueness (or non-uniqueness) evidence dating after the start of the round may not be used.

 

 

OUTLINE OF THE ROUND (These aren't rules. This outline is for your convenience)

  • New Thread. A new thread is created for the round. The rules of the round are posted.
  • Participants post. The debaters post that they agree to the rules, stakes and judging panel, and say who will take which speaker position. The judges introduce themselves and post their paradigms.
  • 1AC - 2000 words max. The round starts as soon as the 1AC is posted.
  • CX of 1AC - 24 hours long, starting when the 1AC is posted. The neg may post as many questions as they like, within reason. The aff is expected to check back regularly (again, within reason) to answer them during this 24 hour period.
  • 1NC - 2000 words max. The 1NC is due 48 hours after the 1AC is posted, which is 24 hours after CX of the 1AC ends. Additional time is taken out of prep.
  • CX of 1NC - 24 hours long, starting when the 1NC is posted. The aff may post as many questions as they like, within reason. The neg is expected to check back regularly, as above.
  • 2AC - 2000 words. The 2AC is due 48 hours after the 1NC is posted, which is 24 hours after CX of the 1NC ends.
  • CX of 2AC - 24 hours long, starting when the 2AC is posted. Same stuff as above.
  • 2NC - 2000 words. The 2NC is due 48 hours after the 2AC is posted. Same stuff as above.
  • CX of 2NC - 24 hours long, starting when the 2AC is posted. Same stuff as above.
  • 1NR - 1200 words. The 1NR is due 24 hours after the 2NC is posted. NOTE THAT THIS IS IMMEDIATELY AFTER CROSS-EX RATHER THAN 24 HOURS LATER! There is no reason you should need to hear your partner's cross-ex to write your speech. Communicate with your partner so you don't run into time trouble and begin writing your speech as soon as possible.
  • 1AR - 1200 words. The 1AR is due 24 hours after the 1NR is posted, unless the 1NR posts during cross-ex of the 2NC. If so, the 1AR is due 24 hours after cross-ex ends.
  • 2NR - 1200 words. The 2NR is due 24 hours after the 1AR is posted.
  • 2AR - 1200 words. The 2AR is due 24 hours after the 2NR is posted.
  • Judges decide. The judges issue their verdicts, RFDs, and comments.
  • After-round stuff. The thread is now open for comments by observers. Everyone talks about what a great job the debaters did and how horrible the judges' decisions were.

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Wow that was really fast, the panel looks fine to me. I'll post the 1AC as soon as Wes is ready.

Edit: Also - Cornmeal & CJ, would it be possible if you posted or linked me to a paradigm of yours? Much thanks.

Edited by THodgman

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Guest cjiron

I will vote on anything, like nuclear war good. Thats it but 2 pieces of advice.

 

1. One of, if not the, most important part of resolving the debate for me is impact calculus. Impact calculus is more than just “DA outweighs the case” at the top of the 2NC and 2NR. You can and should “impact” any and every important argument you go for in terms of how it wins you the debate/interacts with their arguments. This means “our link turn outweighs their link—a) blah blah B) blah blah” or “our uniqueness takeout is more important than the direction of the link” etc. If you compare evidence, weigh the importance of arguments and explain your evidence instead of simply extending it by author and cite, then there are fewer issues that are left totally in my hands when I am resolving the debate. Impact calculus is essentially telling me how to evaluate the debate, and absent some comparison about the relative importance of competing arguments, some “intervention” is inevitable if I have to resolve the quality of uniqueness evidence or whatever is in question.

 

2. I will probably be able to figure out what you are saying. If I don’t understand an argument, I will be less able/willing to vote on it

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1AC: Wordcount <1950

 

Plan

 

 

 

The United States federal government should distribute Tradeable Gasoline Rights in the United States.

 

 

 

Contention One: Peak Oil

 

 

 

1. Reports indicate that we are quickly approaching peak oil.

 

Paul Syvret, The Courier Mail (Australia), "A Crude Awakening" September 25, 2007 lexis

Firstly, petrol is getting more expensive because crude oil prices are at record highs, and many resource economists argue the world is nearing a time of ''Peak Oil'' -- that stage where our capacity to pump the stuff out of the ground is insufficient to meet global demand. Petrol prices are also largely dependent on the price of refined petrol in Singapore. Australian wholesale prices mirror Singapore market prices because Australian refiners have to compete against petrol imports and Singapore is a major refining centre. Like it or not petrol is an international traded commodity, and Australia is part of that global market. Secondly, don't forget that petrol prices in Australia are among the cheapest in the OECD (prices in the UK, for example, are about double what we endure here). Surely even a politician with only the most rudimentary grasp of basic economics would understand that market competition is the most effective way to keep prices down -- not regulation. And competition does exist in the petrol market. In spades. This is evidenced by the discounting cycles you see as petrol stations cut margins to lift sales (remember here that most profits for a petrol station come from other retail, not fuel) and competitors follow suit. What is particularly astounding is that this populist panacea is being proposed just a week after Cabinet received a weighty report on oil sustainability in Queensland. The report -- compiled by a team of experts chaired by the new Minister for Sustainability, Andrew McNamara -- warned that we are fast approaching the time of Peak Oil and need to take drastic steps to reduce our reliance on liquid fuels. It specifically stressed the need to increase our investment in public transport, encourage development of alternative fuels, reduce petrol consumption, and rethink our approach to urban planning.

 

 

2. There is now a consensus on Peak Oil – largely due to transportation demand, the peak is approaching fast and with dire economic consequences.

 

Hilary Venabels, Sunday Times (South Africa), “Simple life is solution to a world less crude” April 29, 2007 lexis

But there is growing consensus among geologists, energy analysts and even governments that the cheap, easily accessible oil on which our modern economy depends has reached maximum production and is about to go into permanent decline. Just as everyone in China and India gets the chance to own a car. Inevitably, there are those who disagree. The oil industry, for example, insists it can still squeeze a lot more crude out of ageing fields with new technology, and that it's bound to find plenty more oil out there if it just keeps looking. They argue that by the time production does begin to decline, there will be enough biofuels, liquids made from coal and gas, and heavy oil extracted from tar sands in Canada to keep the global tank topped up. The fact that this will not be very good for the life on the planet is not part of their calculations. But whichever argument you find more compelling, it's almost impossible to know for certain what the truth is. There is hardly any independent data on the world's oil reserves, and the industry's own figures are notoriously unreliable. Perhaps there's nothing to worry about. Certainly peak-oil theorists are still regarded much like climate-change theorists used to be- a bunch of Luddites who want to force us all to return to a hunter-gatherer existence because ... well, just because. But the peak-oilers are becoming harder to dismiss. Not least because their arguments have seeped into the political mainstream. A report published last month entitled Crude Oil - Uncertainty about Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production, did not originate from death2capitalism.net but from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). Not even this influential body could establish the truth about the state of conventional oil reserves, but it is sure production will peak sometime between, like, last week and 2040. So we could be in for a nasty surprise. "The consequences would be most dire if a peak occurred soon, without warning, and [if it] were followed by a sharp decline in oil production because alternative energy sources, particularly for transportation, are not yet available in large quantities. Such a peak would require sharp reductions in oil consumption, and the competition for increasingly scarce energy would drive up prices, possibly to unprecedented levels, causing severe economic damage."

 

 

3. Imminent depletion of cheap and accessible oil will cause global economic depression.

 

Tyler Hamilton, The Toronto Star, “Is oil supply at its peak?; Some market watchers say the end of increases in conventional crude output already at hand” January 3, 2008 lexis

"What matters is that oil prices will become volatile and progressively higher when demand increases and supply can't keep up." If panic sets in, many contend the situation will spark a global depression. Only those regions that wean themselves substantially from fossil fuels, by switching to emission-free energy resources such as renewables and nuclear, will be able to weather the economic storm. Hence the name "Post Carbon Toronto." After meetings, this diverse group of "peakists" - retired academics, former city politicians, engineers, scientists and even one restaurant manager - often go to a nearby pub to passionately debate the issue over a beer. In between meetings they continue the dialogue through an email list, allowing the sharing of information and forwarding of magazine and newspaper articles that add evidence to their belief that peak oil is here. "Even if the optimists are right, their peak prediction of 2030 is scary enough," says Jim Lemon, 78, a retired geography professor from the University of Toronto who has been following the peak oil debate for roughly a decade. Lemon, like most moderate peakists, doesn't count so-called unconventional oil when discussing peak theory. He knows there's lots of hard-to-get petroleum in oil shale deposits located in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and in Alberta's tar sands. At issue for him is the black gooey stuff that made the Beverly Hillbillies rich - the "black gold" or "Texas tea" that bubbled out of the ground after a stray bullet from Jed Clampett's shotgun struck ground. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries currently account for about 40 per cent of this easy oil, and the debate centres on whether countries such as Saudi Arabia can, as they claim, increase their output at will. "The OPEC countries are very secretive about what they've got, and that's part of the problem," says Lemon, adding that retired oil-industry workers from the Middle East often debunk reports coming out of OPEC. "They're all saying the same thing: It's not as good as what we're saying officially." Peakists also get their information in other creative ways. According to Lemon, "some guy upstairs over a bakery in Geneva" has eyes on the ground that count each day the number of oil tankers leaving the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow and highly strategic passage that carries one-fifth of the world's oil supply. But even the "official" scenario is beginning to change. The International Energy Agency, which over the years has been relatively optimistic about oil output, was uncharacteristically gloomy in November with its latest outlook. "Although production capacity at new fields is expected to increase over the next five years, it is very uncertain it will be sufficient to compensate for the decline in output at existing fields and meet the projected increase in demand," the agency said, declaring a trend that could threaten the world's energy security. MP Dennis Bevington, the federal New Democratic Party's energy critic, is worried that the Canadian government isn't taking peak oil seriously enough. In November, he made a statement in Parliament that called for public discussion of the issue, and emphasized the need for a national energy strategy that anticipates the coming energy crunch. He calls it "disturbing" that most members of Parliament have been silent on the issue, even as oil prices dance around the $100 mark. The government is "telling a lie," he says, when it links the country's energy future to the tar sands and other dirty and expensive sources that, by many estimates, won't compensate for steady declines in conventional oil production. Many oil analysts and executives are quick to point out new findsin the Gulf of Mexico, such as Chevron Corp.'s Jack 2 well about 430 kilometres southwest of New Orleans. The ultra-deep-water well is said to have anywhere from three to 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil-equivalent reserves. A similar deepwater find off the coast of Brazil, about 7.2 kilometres beneath the ocean's surface through sand, rock and salt, could produce up to eight billion barrels. But Bevington says ultra-deep-water wells are costly, risky and take a long time to develop. "Theseareas that require intensive, long-term investment of capital and engineering, like the tar sands,just can't develop fast enough to fill the gap that this easy conventional oil we've been living off for the last 100 years has been supplying," he says. "You could say, you're crazy, there's lots of oil out there in the world, but it's so hard to get now, the ability of these industries to mobilize the manpower and equipment in this already overcharged energy industry is very difficult." Besides, says CIBC's Rubin, headline-grabbing "finds" such as Jack 2 don't tell the whole story. "Jack means nothing in the grand scheme," he says. "What people have to realize is thatwe lose several Jacks every year to depletion."

 

 

4. With the end of oil looming – global economic depression and war are inevitable.

 

Paul Roberts (energy expert and writer for Harpers) 2004, The End of Oil, pg.12-13

Suppose, for example, that worldwide oil production hits a kind of peak and that, as at Ghawar, the amount of oil that oil companies and oil states can pull out of the ground plateaus or even begins to decline — a not altogether inconceivable scenario. Oil is finite, and although vast oceans of it remain underground, waiting to be pumped out and refined into gaso*line for your Winnebago, this is old oil, in fields that have been known about for years or even decades. By contrast, the amount of new oil that is being discovered each year is declining; the peak year was 1960, and it has been downhill ever since. Given that oil cannot be produced without first being discovered, it is inevitable that, at some point, worldwide oil production must peak and begin declining as well — less than ideal circumstances for a global economy that depends on cheap oil for about 40 percent of its energy needs (not to mention 90 percent of its transportation fuel) and is nowhere even close to having alternative energy sources. The last three times oil production dropped off a cliff — the Arab oil embargo of 1974, the Iranian revolution in 1979, and the 1991 Persian Gulf War — the resulting price spikes pushed the world into recession. And these disruptions were temporary. Presumably, the effects of a long-term permanent disruption would be far more gruesome. As prices rose, con*sumers would quickly shift to other fuels, such as natural gas or coal, but soon enough, those supplies would also tighten and their prices would rise. An inflationary ripple effect would set in. As energy became more expensive, so would such energy-dependent activities as manufacturing and transportation. Commercial activity would slow, and segments of the global economy especially dependent on rapid growth — which is to say, pretty much everything these days — would tip into recession.The cost of goods and services would rise, ultimately depressing economic demand and throwing the entire economy into an enduring depression that would make 1929 look like a dress rehearsal and could touch off a desperate and probably violent contest for whatever oil supplies remained.

 

 

5. Immediate action is key to a soft landing

 

Paul Roberts, energy expert and writer for Harpers, The End of Oil, 2004, p. 331

Frankly, though, the thought of any kind of delay, no matter how ra*tionally justified, terrifies me. No matter how successful or diverse our technology portfolio is, and no matter what kind of time frame we are working with, the sheer magnitude and complexity and unpredictability of the task at hand gives us little choice but to start transforming our energy system now. Energy poverty is not some future problem that may or may not materialize, but one that is occurring right now and will generate wide*spread instability and conflict if it is not immediately addressed. Even the long-term energy problems, like the decline of cheap oil or rising CO2 con*centrations, call for immediate action. It may be true that we can take two or even three decades to deploy carbon-free technologies and policies with*out seriously exceeding our 550ppm carbon budget. The point to remem*ber here, though, is that to have those technologies ready by 2030, we need to start working on them today.Starting now dramatically improves our chances of success, because it means we have more options, more freedom in how we deal with our en*ergy problems. Starting now will allow our solutions more time to work, which means that we could take the cheaper, low-intensity routes — the incremental improvements in energy efficiency, for example, or the gradual improvements from low- to no-emission cars, or the cost-effective phasing out of coal-fired power plants — rather than having to make a last-minute, potentially ruinous leap to fuel cells. Starting now means we can test a fuller range of energy technologies and develop a full range of energy tools and methods and policies that give us an energy economy that is more di*verse, more flexible, and, we hope, more effective.Conversely, the costs of inaction are significant. Each year that we fail to commit to serious energy research and development or fail to begin slowing the growth of energy demand through fuel efficiency, each year that we allow the markets to continue treating carbon as cost-free, is an*other year in which our already unstable energy economy moves so much closer to the point of no return. Every delay means that our various energy gaps, when we finally get around to addressing them, will be wider and costlier to fill. By then, it will be too late for low-cost solutions and diverse portfolios and smooth, incremental transitions. Instead, we will need large*scale solutions that can be deployed rapidly. Little room will remain for concerns about sustainability or efficiency or equity, and our chances for long-term success will be seriously impaired.

 

 

6. Hard landing ensures global economic collapse causing nuclear Armageddon.

 

Lt. Col. Tom Beardon, PhD in Nuclear Engineering, “Zero-Point Energy” April 25, 2000 http://www.cheniere.org/correspondence/042500%20-%20modified.htm)

Just prior to the terrible collapse of the World economy, with the crumbling well underway and rising, it is inevitable that some of the weapons of mass destruction will be used by one or more nations on others. An interesting result then—as all the old strategic studies used to show—is that everyone will fire everything as fast as possible against their perceived enemies. The reason is simple: When the mass destruction weapons are unleashed at all, the only chance a nation has to survive is to desperately try to destroy its perceived enemies before they destroy it. So there will erupt a spasmodic unleashing of the long range missiles, nuclear arsenals, and biological warfare arsenals of the nations as they feel the economic collapse, poverty, death, misery, etc. a bit earlier. The ensuing holocaust is certain to immediately draw in the major nations also, and literally a hell on earth will result. In short, we will get the great Armageddon we have been fearing since the advent of the nuclear genie. Right now, my personal estimate is that we have about a 99% chance of that scenario or some modified version of it, resulting.

 

 

Contention two: Oil dependence

 

 

 

1. Dependence on foreign oil continues at astronomical levels. So much so, in fact, that US security is inexorably tied to oil.

 

Lauren E. Sutterfield, B.A. University of Tennessee, J.D. Candidate University of Texas School of Law, Baker Center Journal of Applied Public Policy, “United States Oil Dependency: An Overview of the Desperate Times that have Imprisoned Our Foreign Policy and the Desperate Measures that May Be Required to Liberate it” 2007

As the United States continues to increase the amount of oil that it imports, it is important to recognize the sources of this energy and the situations surrounding its acquisition. In dealing with petroleum exporting countries,the first priority of our government is to maintain national security. National security and energy security have become progressively more interconnected. “Energy security does not stand by itself but is lodged in the larger relations among nations and how they interact with one another” (Yergin, 2006). Thus, energy security critically impacts our foreign policies. This article begins by analyzing the importance of oil and the sources from which the United States secures this precious resource. I will then review case studies regarding foreign policy and oil. Finally, I will conclude with recommendations to alleviate our growing problem with respect to our increasing dependence on oil. The Importance of Oil “No nation which lacks a sure supply of liquid fuel can hope to maintain a position of leadership among the peoples of the world. It follows that if the United States is to hold the place it now occupies on the world stage as an effective leader, . . . it must develop a national petroleum policy which will make certain that we shall not become dependent upon any other country for our supply of liquid fuel” (Klebanoff, 1974, p. vi). According to the United States Department of Energy,“oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy.” It is “the basis and the moving power of modern industrial society and is therefore indispensable”(Klebanoff,1974, p.vii). Unfortunately,oil is a non-renewable resource—and new reserves are difficult and expensive to discover and develop.“60 percent of the Earth’s surface”does not have “potential [to become a] source for oil”(Deffeyes, 2001, p. 102). Although geologists have gained considerable knowledge into finding new sources of oil, nine out of ten exploration wells are dry (Deffeyes, 2001, p. 67). The cost of drilling a new well is only half of the expense—the process of preparing the well for production is equally expensive (Deffeyes, 2001, p. 102). Many of the world’s oil fields have already been more than halfway exploitated, which leads to a substan- tial increase in production costs (Woolsey,2004). Also,as exploration is pushed further out to sea,the expense increases drastically.“The most powerful stimulant for finding more oil would be a reduction in drilling costs” (Deffeyes, 2001, p. 8). In addition to the cost of production, the capacity to refine crude oil constrains supply (Yergin, 2006). However, the world is not yet running out of oil. In the last twenty-five years, there has been a 70% increase in known oil reserves. This is due in large part to increased technology in discovering oil fields, the capability to remove more oil from a field, and the incentive of higher prices for discovery. “The amount of oil available is not simply a function of geology,but also of economics,technology and politics”(Kretzman,2003). However,the United States has mature oil fields, thus production costs are often higher than in foreign countries,particularly those in the Middle East. “The major obstacle to the development of new supplies is not geol- ogy but what happens above ground: namely, international affairs, politics, decision-making by governments, and energy investment and new technological development” (Yergin, 2006). Essentially, society should move away from energy dependence long before depletion of global oil resources becomes a reality. This may be difficult because oil is currently responsible for supplying more than 40% of total U.S.energy demands and almost 100% of our transportation fuels (United States Department of Energy, 2006). Of the approximately 20 million barrels per day (mbd) of oil consumed nationally,only 40% is domestically produced (National Energy Policy Development Group [NEPDG],2001,p.1-1). Over the past ten years,America has increasingly relied upon imports to meet its greater energy demands (NIEPDG, 2001, p. 1-1). The United States has been a net importer of petroleum since the 1950s; however, our import dependence has drastically increased over the last twenty years due to higher demand accompanied by relatively low prices for much of this period. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) provides 42.2% of these imports and non-OPEC countries supply 57.8% (“Where We Stand,”2005). This deficit necessitates delivery to the U.S.of 2.1 million barrels per day and approximately 770 million barrels per year in a petroleum-importing enterprise requiring 477 foreign tankers and 64 U.S. flag tankers (NEPDG, 2001, p. 7-15). The United States consumes 25% of the global oil supply, yet it possesses only 3% of world oil reserves (Gal, 2005, p. 1). Moreover, analysts project that by the year 2020,this current oil deficit will expand substantially as domestic oil production declines from 5.8 to 5.1 mbd while domestic consumption rises from 20 to 25.8 mbd (NEPDG, 2001, p. 1-13). The economics of oil significantly impacts the United States.“Every economic recession in the past 40 years has been preceded by a significant increase in oil prices” (Wirth, Gray, & Podesta, 2003). Since 1997, the price of energy as a share of GDP has tripled (Bergsten, 2004). Federal and state taxes constitute about 30% of the price of gasoline, refining costs, and profits account for 16% of the cost and 13% goes to distribu- tion and marketing expenses (United States Embassy Italy, 2002). According to President George W. Bush, U.S. dependence on foreign oil acts as a“foreign tax on the American people” (Luft, 2005, p. 2). Imported oil accounts for a quarter of America’s trade deficit(Luft, 2005, p. 2),and it is estimated that our dependence on oil costs the United States approximately $300 billion per year (Collina, 2005, p. 5). Further complicating the issue,America is vulnerable to oil supply disruptions because the global supply of oil is concentrated geographically. According to the 2001 Report of the National Energy Policy Devel- opment Group, two-thirds of proven oil reserves are located in the Middle East (NEPDG, 2001, p. 1-12). Elsewhere,“Central and South America account for 9 percent; Africa, 7 percent; North America, 5 percent; Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, 5 percent; the rest of Asia, 4 percent; and Western Europe, 2 percent” (NEPDG, 2001, p. 1-12). Effectively, this geographic concentration of oil also funnels the power to control energy in the hands of a few producers. Many of these leading countries in world oil production are either ruled by unstable governments or maintain adversarial relationships with the United States (Luft,2005, p.4).U.S.dependency on these countries for oil endangers our national security.“U.S.dependence on oil leaves the country’s economic, security, and environmental destiny to forces beyond America’s control” (Wirth et al., 2003). In 1976, President Carter’s secretary of defense, Harold Brown, declared, “there is no more serious threat to the long-term security of the United States and to its allies than that which stems from the growing deficiency of secure and assured energy resources” (Kretzman, 2003). Twenty years later, this threat has only intensified,proving that it is therefore imperative that the U.S.government establish energy security as a prior- ity in our national security agenda. Governments in the United States and Western Europe first realized the importance of oil in the 1910s, when their navies converted from coal to oil. Other military branches quickly followed suit,and shortly there- after oil was integrated into industrial society (Hahn,2005,p.2).In the early twentieth century,“private Amer- ican corporations accumulated commercial interests in the Middle East, especially in the emerging petroleum industry” (Hahn, 2005, p. 2). The United States became a net importer of oil in the 1950s, and subsequently our nation has depended on foreign countries, particularly the Middle East, to supply our energy needs. As long as the United States remains dependent on the Persian Gulf for oil, U.S. national security will depend on Middle Eastern countries (Kretzman, 2003). Consequently, our international relations and foreign policy towards this region is particularly significant.

 

 

2. Dependence on oil funds terrorism aimed at the destruction of the USA and undermines war-on-terror efforts.

 

Dr. Gal Luft, executive director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, testimony presented before Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, “America’s oil dependence and its implications for U.S. Middle East policy” October 20, 2005

Oil prices are not going down any time soon. The rise in oil prices will yield large financial surpluses to the Middle Eastern oil producers. This petrodollar windfall will strengthen the jihadists while undermining the strategic relationship the regions oil producers have with the U.S. As President Bush said last April, U.S. dependence on overseas oil is a "foreign tax on the American people." Indeed, oil importsconstitute a quarter of the U.S. trade deficit andare a major contributor to the loss of jobs and investment opportunities. According to a study on the hidden cost of oil by the National Defense Council Foundation, the periodic oil shocks the U.S. has experienced since the 1973 Arab oil embargo cost the economy almost $2.5 trillion. More importantly, while the U.S. economy is bleeding, oil-producing nations increase their oil revenues dramatically to the detriment of our national security. The numbers speak for themselves: In November 2001, a barrel of oil was selling for $18. In less than four years the price jumped to $70. This means that Saudi Arabia, which exports about 10 mbd, receives an extra half billion dollars every day from consuming nations and Iran, which exports 2.5 mbd, an extra $125 million. This windfall benefits the non-democratic governments of the Middle East and other producers and finds its way to the jihadists committed to Americas destruction as petrodollars trickle their way through charities and government handouts to madrassas and mosques, as well as outright support of terrorist groups. It is widely accepted that Saudi Arabias oil wealth has directly enabled the spread of Wahhabism around the world. The Saudis use oil funds to control most of the Arabic language media and are now moving to gain growing control over Western media. Only last month Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the world’s fifth richest man, purchased 5.46 percent of Fox News corporation. Petrodollars garnered from the U.S. and other countries are also being used by Saudi Arabia systematically to provide social services, build “Islamic centers” and schools, pay preachers’ salaries and, in some cases, fund terror organizations. In July 2005 undersecretary of the Treasury Stuart Levey testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs noted “Wealthy Saudi financiers and charities have funded terrorist organizations and causes that support terrorism and the ideology that fuels the terrorists'agenda. Even today, we believe that Saudi donors may still be a significant source of terrorist financing, including for the insurgency in Iraq.” The U.S. in an odd situation in which it is funding both sides in the war on terrorism. We finance the defense of the Free World against its sworn enemies through our tax dollars. And at the same time we support hostile regimes through the transfer of petrodollars. If we don’t change course we will bleed more dollars each year as our enemies gather strength. Steady increase in world demand for oil means further enrichment of the corrupt and dictatorial regimes in the Persian Gulf and continued access of terrorist groups to a viable financial network which allows them to remain a lethal threat to the U.S. and its allies.

 

 

3. Terrorism threatens extinction

 

Yonah Alexander, professor and director of the Inter-University for Terrorism Studies in Israel and the United States. The Washington Times, “Terrorism myths and realities” August 28, 2003 p. ln

Last week's brutal suicide bombings in Baghdad and Jerusalem have once again illustrated dramatically that the international community failed, thus far at least, to understand the magnitude and implications of the terrorist threats to the very survival of civilization itself. Even the United States and Israel have for decades tended to regard terrorism as a mere tactical nuisance or irritant rather than a critical strategic challenge to their national security concerns. It is not surprising, therefore, that on September 11, 2001, Americans were stunned by the unprecedented tragedy of 19 al Qaeda terrorists striking a devastating blow at the center of the nation's commercial and military powers. Likewise, Israel and its citizens, despite the collapse of the Oslo Agreements of 1993 and numerous acts of terrorism triggered by the second intifada that began almost three years ago, are still "shocked" by each suicide attack at a time of intensive diplomatic efforts to revive the moribund peace process through the now revoked cease-fire arrangements [hudna]. Why are the United States and Israel, as well as scores of other countries affected by the universal nightmare of modern terrorism surprised by new terrorist "surprises"? There are many reasons, including misunderstanding of the manifold specific factors that contribute to terrorism's expansion, such as lack of a universal definition of terrorism, the religionization of politics, double standards of morality, weak punishment of terrorists, and the exploitation of the media by terrorist propaganda and psychological warfare. Unlike their historical counterparts, contemporary terrorists have introduced a new scale of violence in terms of conventional and unconventional threats and impact. The internationalization and brutalization of current and future terrorism make it clear we have entered an Age of Super Terrorism [e.g. biological, chemical, radiological, nuclear and cyber] with its serious implications concerning national, regional and global security concerns.Two myths in particular must be debunked immediately if an effective counterterrorism "best practices" strategy can be developed [e.g., strengthening international cooperation]. The first illusion is that terrorism can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated completely, provided the root causes of conflicts - political, social and economic - are addressed. The conventional illusion is that terrorism must be justified by oppressed people seeking to achieve their goals and consequently the argument advanced by "freedom fighters" anywhere, "give me liberty and I will give you death," should be tolerated if not glorified. This traditional rationalization of "sacred" violence often conceals that the real purpose of terrorist groups is to gain political power through the barrel of the gun, in violation of fundamental human rights of the noncombatant segment of societies. For instance, Palestinians religious movements [e.g., Hamas, Islamic Jihad] and secular entities [such as Fatah's Tanzim and Aqsa Martyr Brigades]] wish not only to resolve national grievances [such as Jewish settlements, right of return, Jerusalem] but primarily to destroy the Jewish state. Similarly, Osama bin Laden's international network not only opposes the presence of American military in the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq, but its stated objective is to "unite all Muslims and establish a government that follows the rule of the Caliphs." The second myth is that strong action against terrorist infrastructure [leaders, recruitment, funding, propaganda, training, weapons, operational command and control] will only increase terrorism. The argument here is that law-enforcement efforts and military retaliation inevitably will fuel more brutal acts of violent revenge. Clearly, if this perception continues to prevail, particularly in democratic societies, there is the danger it will paralyze governments and thereby encourage further terrorist attacks. In sum, past experience provides useful lessons for a realistic future strategy. The prudent application of force has been demonstrated to be an effective tool for short- and long-term deterrence of terrorism. For example, Israel's targeted killing of Mohammed Sider, the Hebron commander of the Islamic Jihad, defused a "ticking bomb." The assassination of Ismail Abu Shanab - a top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip who was directly responsible for several suicide bombings including the latest bus attack in Jerusalem - disrupted potential terrorist operations. Similarly, the U.S. military operation in Iraq eliminated Saddam Hussein's regime as a state sponsor of terror. Thus,it behooves those countries victimized by terrorism to understand a cardinal message communicated by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on May 13, 1940: "Victory at all costs, victory in spite of terror, victory however long and hard the road may be: For without victory, there is no survival."

 

 

4. Dependence is fueling a Middle-East race for control that will culminate in arms races, Middle-East instability, and Sino-US conflict.

 

Dr. Gal Luft, executive director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, testimony presented before Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, “America’s oil dependence and its implications for U.S. Middle East policy” October 20, 2005

The Middle East is gradually shifting from being a unipolar region in which the U.S. enjoys uncontested hegemony to a multipolar region. The U.S. will face more competition from China and India over access to Middle East oil. Throughout its history, the Middle East has been the center of an imperial tug of war with major implications for the region’s inhabitants. This was the case during the Cold War years. In the decade after the fall of the Soviet Union the U.S. enjoyed uncontested hegemony in a unipolar Middle East. The rise of China and India is driving the Middle East back to multipolarity. In the coming years the Middle East will turn increasingly to Asia to market its oil and gas. By 2015 it will provide 70% of Asia’s oil. By far the most important growth market for countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia is China. With 1.3 billion people and an economy growing at a phenomenal rate, China is today the world’s second largest oil consumer and is becoming heavily dependent on imported oil. By 2030 China is expected to import as much oil as America does today. To fuel its growing economy China is following America’s footsteps, subjugating its foreign policy to its energy needs. China attempts to gain a foothold in the Middle East and build up long-term strategic links with countries with which the U.S. is at odds like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Though some optimists think that China’s pursuit of energy could present an opportunity to enhance cooperation, integration and interdependence with the U.S., there are ample signs that China and the U.S. are already on a collision course over oil. This will have profound implications for the future and stability of the Middle East and for America’s posture in the region.For China the biggest prize in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, home of a quarter of the world’s reserves. Since 9/11, a deep tension in U.S.-Saudi relations has provided the Chinese with an opportunity to win the heart of the House of Saud. The Saudis fear that if their citizens again perpetrate a terror attack in the U.S., there would be no alternative for the U.S. but to terminate its long-standing commitment to the monarchyand perhaps even (would) use military force against it. The Saudis realize that to forestall such a scenario they can no longer rely solely on the U.S. to defend the regime and must diversify their security portfolio. In their search for a new patron, they might find China the most fitting and willing candidate. China has also set its sights on Iran. Last year China and Iran entered a $70 billion natural gas deal that Beijing sees as critical to continued economic expansion. China has already announced that it will block any effort to impose sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council. No doubt that as Chinas oil demand grows so will its involvement in Middle East politics. China is likely to provide not only a diplomatic support but also weapons, including assistance in the development of WMD. In sum, the prospect of a region, scarred by decades of rivalries,turning once again into an arena of competition between two or more of the major powers could well be one of the most important geo-strategic developments of the 21-Century, with profound implications for U.S. national security.

 

 

5. Middle-East conflict will erupt into global nuclear war.

 

John Steinbach, “Israeli Nuclear weapons: a threat to piece” March 3, 2002 http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/mat0036.htm

Meanwhile, the existence of an arsenal of mass destruction in such an unstable region in turn has serious implications for future arms control and disarmament negotiations, and even the threat of nuclear war. Seymour Hersh warns, "Should war break out in the Middle East again,... or should any Arab nation fire missiles against Israel, as the Iraqis did, a nuclear escalation, once unthinkable except as a last resort, would now be a strong probability."(41) and Ezar Weissman, Israel's current President said "The nuclear issue is gaining momentum (and the) next war will not be conventional."(42) Russia and before it the Soviet Union has long been a major (if not the major) target of Israeli nukes. It is widely reported that the principal purpose of Jonathan Pollard's spying for Israel was to furnish satellite images of Soviet targets and other super sensitive data relating to U.S. nuclear targeting strategy. (43) (Since launching its own satellite in 1988, Israel no longer needs U.S. spy secrets.) Israeli nukes aimed at the Russian heartland seriously complicate disarmament and arms control negotiations and, at the very least, the unilateral possession of nuclear weapons by Israel is enormously destabilizing, and dramatically lowers the threshold for their actual use, if not for all out nuclear war. In the words of Mark Gaffney, "... if the familar pattern(Israel refining its weapons of mass destruction with U.S. complicity) is not reversed soon- for whatever reason- the deepening Middle East conflict could trigger a world conflagration."

 

 

6. Sino-US conflict causes extinction.

 

The Straits Times (Singapore), “No one gains in war over Taiwan”, June 25, 2000 lexis

The high-intensity scenario postulates a cross-strait war escalating into a full-scale war between the US and China. If Washington were to conclude that splitting China would better serve its national interests, then a full-scale war becomes unavoidable. Conflict on such a scale would embroil other countries far and near and -horror of horrors -raise the possibility of a nuclear war. Beijing has already told the US and Japan privately that it considers any country providing bases and logistics support to any US forces attacking China as belligerent parties open to its retaliation. In the region, this means South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and, to a lesser extent, Singapore. If China were to retaliate, east Asia will be set on fire. And the conflagration may not end there as opportunistic powers elsewhere may try to overturn the existing world order. With the US distracted, Russia may seek to redefine Europe's political landscape. The balance of power in the Middle East may be similarly upset by the likes of Iraq. In south Asia, hostilities between India and Pakistan, each armed with its own nuclear arsenal, could enter a new and dangerous phase. Will a full-scale Sino-US war lead to a nuclear war? According to General Matthew Ridgeway, commander of the US Eighth Army which fought against the Chinese in the Korean War, the US had at the time thought of using nuclear weapons against China to save the US from military defeat. In his book The Korean War, a personal account of the military and political aspects of the conflict and its implications on future US foreign policy, Gen Ridgeway said that US was confronted with two choices in Korea -truce or a broadened war, which could have led to the use of nuclear weapons. If the US had to resort to nuclear weaponry to defeat China long before the latter acquired a similar capability, there is little hope of winning a war against China 50 years later, short of using nuclear weapons. The US estimates that China possesses about 20 nuclear warheads that can destroy major American cities. Beijing also seems prepared to go for the nuclear option. A Chinese military officer disclosed recently that Beijing was considering a review of its "non first use" principle regarding nuclear weapons. Major-General Pan Zhangqiang, president of the military-funded Institute for Strategic Studies, told a gathering at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington that although the government still abided by that principle, there were strong pressures from the military to drop it. He said military leaders considered the use of nuclear weapons mandatory if the country risked dismemberment as a result of foreign intervention. Gen Ridgeway said that should that come to pass, we would see the destruction of civilisation. There would be no victors in such a war. While the prospect of a nuclear Armaggedon over Taiwan might seem inconceivable, it cannot be ruled out entirely, for China puts sovereignty above everything else. Gen Ridgeway recalled that the biggest mistake the US made during the Korean War was to assess Chinese actions according to the American way of thinking. "Just when everyone believed that no sensible commander would march south of the Yalu, the Chinese troops suddenly appeared," he recalled. (The Yalu is the river which borders China and North Korea, and the crossing of the river marked China's entry into the war against the Americans). "I feel uneasy if now somebody were to tell me that they bet China would not do this or that," he said in a recent interview given to the Chinese press.

 

 

Contention Three: Solvency

 

 

 

1. Only an Oil Conservation Voucher system can force consumers to pay the “full cost” of gasoline, providing the necessary incentives to reduce consumption of traditional energy.

 

Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, and President of the National Bureau of Economic Research, The National Interest, “Oil Dependence and National Security: A Market-based System for Reducing U.S. Vulnerability” November 2001

What can be done to reverse this trend? Increased oil production in the United States could help to reduce our dependence on imported oil. Some of the increased domestic production will occur as a natural response to a rise in the world price of oil that results from increasing global demand.A higher price will induce more exploration and more extractionfrom such higher cost sources as deep wells and off-shore sites.But even with these market forces at work, expertsnowpredict that the oil imports of the U.S. will rise to 70 percent of our consumption by 2020. Relaxingsome of the governmentrestrictions onoildrilling can increaseU.S.production further, but the impact on our dependence will be small. For example, although the Administration's proposal to open some of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling would eventually increase production in Alaska by an important 600,000 barrels a day, that would only equal about 7 percent of what we now import from the rest of the world. Our dependence on foreign oil can only be limited in a significant way if we reduce our consumption of oil. (4) There is substantial room to achieve such reductions since the consumption of oil per dollar of GDP is now more than 40 percent higher in the United States than it is in Germany and France. Politicians have generally been reluctant to pursue this goal aggressively because it has been assumed that doing so would require a European style gasoline tax. As anyone who has driven in France or Germany knows, an important reason for their lower consumption of oil is that their gasoline taxes cause gasoline prices to be nearly three times the level in the United States. The political impossibility of imposing such a tax was brought home very clearly by the abject failure of President Clinton's 1993 proposal for a general Btu energy tax. Fortunately, it is possible to provide the incentives needed for a substantial reduction in oil consumption without any new tax by using what I will call tradeable Oil Conservation Vouchers. Before describing how such a voucher system would work, it is useful to review the primary policy tool that has been used by the federal government to reduce oil consumption: the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standard. Under the CAFÉ standards, automobile manufacturers are required to keep the average number of miles per gallon on the entire fleet of new cars in each model year above some level set by the federal government. That standard has been 27.5 miles per gallon since the 1985 model year, up from 18 miles per gallon for the 1978 model year when the CAFÉ standards were first introduced by President Carter. A motor vehicle manufacturer may have some cars with lower fuel efficiency but these must be balanced by cars that get more than 27.5 miles per gallon so that the average fuel efficiency for all of the cars sold by the company in the year exceeds 27.5 miles per gallon. There seems little doubt that this standard has forced companies to seek ways to design more fuel efficient cars. Because of the pricing differences that have resulted from the CAFÉ standard, it has also induced many households to shift from conventional autos to sports utility vehicles and other light trucks since these are subject to a different and more lenient fuel efficiency standard (now 20 miles per gallon.) The net effect on fuel economy is therefore difficult to determine. A more serious weakness of the CAFÉ standard approach to reducing gasoline demand is that itdoes nothing to change how cars are used. It provides no incentive to drive less, to rely more on car pools or public transportation, or simply to travel less. It also provides no incentive to drive at speeds that reduce fuel consumption. And it does not provide an incentive to scrap an old car in favor of a newer one with better fuel efficiency. A variety of promising technologies are available to substitute for the traditional internal-combustion engine. These include engines that use natural gas, or that can switch between gasoline and electric battery power, or that are powered by fuel cells based on hydrogen. All three major U.S. auto companies plan to introduce cars equipped in these ways by 2004 or 2005. Although these cars will initially cost more than cars with traditional internal combustion engines, the high price of gasoline in Europe may induce some car buyers there to pay the extra up front cost of the car in order to achieve the subsequent savings in fuel costs. It will however be difficult to induce American car buyers to select these new technologies because of the relatively low U.S. price of gasoline. If American drivers had to pay what I would call the "full cost" to the nation of driving, there would be a strong incentive here to change driving habits and to seek new technolog