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Hybrid coalition

"Hybrid coalition" Continued...

Issue: "The surge is on," Feb. 3, 2007

Embargoes do not work, he says: During the oil shocks of the 1970s, the United States ended up buying OPEC oil from third parties and other sellers without a disruption to its supply. And, he says, producers such as Venezuela and Russia rely on oil for their own economies and cannot afford to cut back their production.

Taylor also said the main argument-that U.S. dependence on oil helps fuel Islamic terrorism-does not bear up under analysis. When oil prices in the 1990s dipped to $20 a barrel, it did not stop al-Qaeda's rise, Saudi Arabia from spreading Wahhabism, or Iran from funding Hezbollah.

"The conclusion I draw from that is money isn't all that important to terrorist [activity]," Taylor said. "The limiting factor seems to be manpower and operational capability." Al-Qaeda, he contends, gains funding in one-off doses and from crime, and strikes on the cheap: The 9/11 attacks cost about $400,000, he said.

Woolsey disagrees on the threat: "The point is the money to support terrorism, whether $10 a barrel or tens of dollars a barrel moves hundreds of billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia and Iran . . . which indirectly or directly support terrorism."

Pending

Oil savings and fuel efficiency bills from the last and current Congress

The DRIVE Act: Reduces dependence on foreign oil by 7 million barrels a day by 2016. Also provides tax credits for manufacturers for hybrid and flexible-fuel vehicles and increases availability of ethanol. Sponsor: Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). Reintroduced in Senate and House Jan. 18, originally introduced 2005.

H.R.5543: To ensure that automobiles made after 2016 have an average fuel economy of no less than 33 miles per gallon. Sponsor: Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.). Introduced June 7, 2006.

H.R.3762: Requires higher standards of automobile fuel efficiency in order to reduce the amount of oil used for fuel by automobiles in the United States by 10 percent beginning in 2016. Sponsor: Originally Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), now retired, and Edward Markey (D-Mass.). Introduced Sept. 14, 2005.

S.3543: To improve passenger automobile fuel economy and safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce dependence on foreign oil. Sponsor: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Introduced June 20, 2006.

S.3694: A bill to increase fuel economy standards for automobiles, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Introduced July 19, 2006.

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