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I Hate Linux

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Country of Origin Labeling for Fuel?

In the 2002 Farm Bill, President Bush signed into law a bill that among other things, required country of origin labeling for beef, lamb, pork, fish, perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts and was widely heralded by many in the agriculture industry as a way to allow their produce to compete better with that from other countries.

Why not do the same thing for fuel?

This nation has been told (and has known) that it must end its dependence on foreign oil, but especially from that from the middle east and those nations that are rabidly anti-American and/or support those who are.

Already we've seen boycotts of Venezuelan owned Citgo and its gas products due to some of the shenanigans of its President, I can only imagine what would happen if Americans suddenly had the choice between Mexican and Iranian, Canadian vs Saudi gas, Gulf of Mexico vs the Persian Gulf when it came to fueling up their SUVs.

Of course, the ones suffering due to such a thing wouldn't just be those oil producing nations that we aren't all that fond of, instead many American small businesses would suffer as their locally owned gas station would see a decrease in sales because they just happen to be supplied with Saudi gas.

The result? Little Sally can't get her braces this year if daddy can't get fuel from a more favored nation.

I'm one who believes that country of origin labeling (COOL) should not be mandatory on any product but should instead be up to the producers. Even if not all beef packers were to voluntarily label their products, you can bet that when an American consumer is given the choice between a steak that says "slaughtered and packed in the USA" vs one that says nothing, they'd be more likely to buy the labeled American version.

To a grocery store it wouldn't really matter as even if they had both American labeled and non labeled produce, people would always end up buying their steak there, while if they only stock one variety their customers would insist on domestically labeled beef.

Can the same be said for the gas stations?

I must admit a bit of ignorance as to the kind of relationship individual gas stations have with their suppliers so I do know how easy it is for a franchisee of one company to switch to another or otherwise change their fuel supplier.

If some gas stations were to start COOL their gas as being American, I'd wager that a great many others who are supplied from (disliked) foreign oil fields would not be quick to do so and admit the source of their product as doing so would likely only hurt them. While such labeling would be useful in sending a message to the foreign producers who we aren't all that keen on giving our money to, such a policy, even if voluntary would also hurt a great many Americans who could very well be contractually stuck selling Venezuelan, Saudi or Iranian gas for months or years to come as well as all of those others working in the production or transport of this foreign fuel after it reaches our shores.

So long as such a policy was voluntary, I'd support it fully. Even then I may just write my Representative and Senators about. Not to get it made into a law, but to have it be talked about at the high levels in the hopes that others would hear of it and perhaps ask their gas station where their gas came from.


  • *In S. Calif. i would bet the people behind the counter do not know where their gas comes from. But, i have been looking, and noticing that almost everything i touch with a label looks to have come from China!
    And...I like Linux. ME

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 PM  

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