This is the opportunity of his Presidency. Rudy Guliani’s place in history unmistakably linked to 9/11 and will be noted for courage and leadership. Right now we need the same from Mr. Bush. I’m not talking about New Orleans either.

In remarks today, the president issued a Carteresque appeal with the words, “Don’t buy gas if you don’t need it.” Hmmmm… Did I get that one right? Former oilman George W. Bush asked us to conserve?

Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard “the Scream” Dean jumped at the opportunity to slam his nemesis by saying while “W” was “asking ordinary Americans to do more, he ought to show some real leadership, and call on his friends in Big Oil to join in the sacrifice and stop gouging American families at the gas pump.” Yeah, I’m sure some price gouging is going on and the oil companies always seem to reap huge profits, regardless of market conditions, but Mr. Dean swung and missed on the real problem. The big one… the issue of this century – Crude Oil is a shiny, black constricting snake around the neck of our economy, our security and our environment, and we need to kill it before it kills us. Mr. Bush can make his place in history by leading all of us to long lasting conservation and by incenting American business and entepreneurs to accelerate development of viable alternatives. The benefits will be numerous:

  • The Saudi’s will have fewer petro-dollars to pay protection money to violent Muslim extremists who use it to kill us.
  • Future wars (possible a very big one with China) over this critical, dwindling resource will be avoided.
  • Pollution will be lessened, regardless of whether the “greenhouse effect” is real.
  • Most importantly, American businesses will lead the world into this huge growth market.

The planet is running out of oil and the market for alternatives will be massive. Mr. Bush alluded to the precarious oil situation today saying he expected Saudi Arabia to do “everything they can” to provide more oil, but that the Saudis had “limited capacity” to do so. Wow. If the Saudi’s can’t increase capacity while sitting on supposedly the largest reserves in the world, then no one can.

One final benefit Mr. Bush really needs to reflect on is that the legacy of his presidency can stand for something historic, and much more positive than a war in Iraq.