Some of you may be old enough to remember the first "fuel crisis" - back in the early-to-mid 70s. I observed it mostly from a distance - I was on an LDS mission in Uruguay, where gas was already wicked expensive. When I left the USA in 1973, gas was 30-odd cents a gallon. When I got back it was 50-odd cents - oh, the humanity!
Richard Nixon was president as the crisis unfolded. He declared, "Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to provide our jobs, to heat our homes, and to keep our transportation moving."
How did we do?
Every president since Nixon, except for Ronald Reagan, strongly supported the notion of energy independence. (Reagan was more of a free-market guy. Let the supply-demand thing run its course.)
And of course, you'll not find a more patriotic group than those flag-waving, baseball-playing, apple-pie-eating guys who drive great big ol' pickup trucks! Red necks, white socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer! Of course, they conveniently ignore the reality of the terrorist fuel they are burning in their Dodge-Fiat Rams, and Bankrupt-Chevy Silverados. (Yeah, I shouldn't always pick on the pickup guys, and it's unfair to stereotype... but enough of 'em fit the stereotype that it's not entirely unfair.) Roll on!
I don't consciously ride a bicycle out of loyalty to my country. Contributing to energy independence is a beneficial byproduct of our transportation choice.
Of course, bicycling is "independent" at a very personal level, as well. In this country we are free to surrender hard-earned dollars - a meaningful percentage of them - to the oil companies, in exchange for easy transportation. Or we are free to work a little harder to get to Point B, and keep those American dollars in our American bank accounts.
Happy Independence Day! And God bless America.
(Previous commentary HERE.)