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AND THE BAND PLAYED ON:
Roscoe Bartlett Meets Bush on Peak Oil
Michael C. Ruppert
© Copyright 2005, From The Wilderness Publications, www.fromthewilderness.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.
July 1, 2005 0800 PST (FTW) -- Well, this is a real head scratcher. A story pops up today saying that Congressman Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland just had a private one-on-one with George W. about Peak Oil. I spent just over an hour with Mr. Bartlett in his office in Washington two weeks ago. I was there for a family reunion after the death of my father. (Three generations of my father's family have lived in D.C. since coming from Germany. Three - including me - were born there. Irony: my father flew in B17s bombing Germany during WWII.)
Bartlett seemed incredibly well versed on the subject of Peak Oil and Gas - aware; and he also sang the praises of many people well known to us at FTW like Richard Heinberg, Julian Darley, Dale Allen Pfeiffer and Matt Savinar. None of us are conservative Republicans to say the very least and I'd pay good money to see Roscoe Bartlett sit down with Stan Goff or Jamey Hecht for an hour. But that's only part way through the looking glass. It got deeper. More irony.
Bartlett asked the right questions. He shared the right doubts. He asked my opinions. I praised many of us out here, offered to send him more information. I told him who could answer his questions. He asked for help before I could even make the offer. What else could/would I do? He was paying attention. He delayed his next appointment for a few minutes because he hadn't finished with me yet. It was a big one.
In short, I liked him. I told him he had become my second favorite Republican after Ron Paul of Texas (Houston to be precise) who doesn't seem to believe in Peak Oil. So this sudden meeting between Bartlett and Bush puzzles me. Bartlett has made, I think, six special order presentations on Peak Oil on the floor of the House. I had seen two. A map I had made for FTW had been shown in one of them.
Bartlett's staff knew who I was and that I had written a book charging George Bush and Dick Cheney with murder: with premeditation; and on multiple counts. His staff knew that I have a 29-year record of opposing the Bushes. GHWB was the Director of Central Intelligence when the CIA attempted to recruit me into a drug protection operation in 1976. That's what ended my LAPD career and nearly my life... on more than one occasion.
But there in his office (along with many other charts produced by peak oil activists) was one of our FTW world maps. I guess it went to the White House with Bartlett and the rest of the charts and graphs. Who could write such irony?
There are many things in play and many things -- as Cynthia McKinney and I say to each other -- "moving under the carpet". (Thanks to Al Giordano of narconews for that one.) The meeting between Bartlett and Bush may have many possible meanings and I won't jump to conclusions yet. But if I were forced to speculate, I'd say that probably someone in Washington or the administration asked a really stupid question like: "You know, it might be a good idea to figure out how much the people really know about Peak and what they're starting to do about it. Who's leading them? What are the various positions? Have Roscoe start talking about it on the floor. DeLay or Hastert can arrange that. The people will come to him. Then he can brief us."
That would be my guess. I sure can picture Karl Rove saying that. But who knows? It is equally possible, based on present knowledge, that Mr. Bartlett just took it up on his own, and really might be a good guy (of sorts). Lord knows, they're all hearing about it every day on the Hill. It had to attract somebody's attention sooner or later. It was only the oncoming collapse of most of human civilization…
Bottom line: It's entirely possible that Mr. Bartlett actually gives a s---.
It's possible that what he's learning is moving him. It remains to be seen what an elder-senior Republican congressman with few allies (on the subject) could accomplish; or whether he could fight the fight if it became necessary or for how long?
We can only hope. And we can pray.
There are far too many good reasons to hold one's breath these days.
The saddest thing however -- even almost as sad as my father's death -- was the fact that as I walked the halls of the Rayburn, Hart and Cannon office buildings I saw that all the hallways were empty, deserted, vacant. In just a few small spots, outside hearing rooms or where tour buses stopped, there were a few people. Otherwise, the Hill, where Washington's lifeblood flowed, was a ghost town.
I first started walking Capitol Hill in 1981. Then I was seeking help for what had happened to me as a whistleblower in an era when I still believed. My belief has died in layers; Velcro fastened to raw flesh and exposed nerves. So many names, so many offices. Dornan, Hayakawa, Cranston, De Concini, Gonzales, Waters, Conyers, Waxman, Paul, Kerry, Lee, McKinney... several committees.
Too many doors. Too many layers. Hope fading. Lessons learned.
In the early days these halls were crowded with lobbyists, citizens, pizza delivery boys, staffers, clerks, military personnel in uniform and mail deliverers. You had to talk above a normal voice to be heard by someone walking within five feet of you. When I was there this time, if you whispered or coughed at one end of a corridor, you could faintly hear it at the other end. Some of the corridors are more than 75 yards long. I found myself inherently walking silently, feeling as though I were in a library. I was grateful when anyone walked past me, smiled and tried to figure out who I was in the nice suit with cuff links. Cuff links are a secret symbol of power in Washington dress codes. Twice, outside two office buildings, tourists mistook me for Bob Barr.
9/11 really crimped things on the Hill, but just three months later, despite the fear and the security and the shock, there was still plentiful hall traffic, But this time almost four years later -- even though both houses were in session -- there was no blood flowing in the heart. Only at the Rayburn building, which houses many committees, public hearings and functions could I find anyone walking around. Still, even that traffic was light.
I spent the whole day of June 20th on the Hill, from 9 AM until 5 PM. There were a few tourists at the tourist spots but little else. Even though any citizen can still walk these halls to visit members of the House and Senate unannounced, no one was doing it. Not even lobbyists. It was as though America had given up inside and out. The good news was that the bookstore closest to Capitol Hill had several copies of my book out but that didn't cheer me up much.
At the end of the day today, July 1, I did a live African-American radio talk show in Philadelphia on WURD. We talked about drugs and the CIA. We talked about democracy; we talked about life as it is. That's what they want to hear in inner cities; about life as it is. I kept coming back over and over and saying that the Old BPP (Black Panther Party) had it right. They had the money figured out. They had the local solutions figured out. They understood the balance between legal violence and illegal violence in a way that was totally threatening to the establishment. It would have given them an equal footing had it been allowed to continue. The BPP had read the Constitution better than us white folks had. And they were brutally and heinously destroyed for it because they dared to live it in their own way as free men and women.
Probably my favorite political quote of all time is from BPP leader Fred Hampton. - We get answers that don't answer; explanations that don't explain; and conclusions that don't conclude."
At one point in the show I made the comment, "It may not be too long before us white people have to come ask you black people, "Say, can you show me how to do this slave thing?"
If Washington DC is still alive then it has morphed and its lifeblood now flows in other locations and directions, through organs we are only beginning to divine and a brain that is too terrifying to imagine. What I saw was a corpse, rotting from the inside with only a few brave and valiant fools hanging in there just to see if they can do anything right before it's too late.
I like fools. I identify with them.
I'd like to say "Happy Fourth!", but, well, you know...
Michael C. Ruppert
Congressman Bartlett discusses peak oil with President Bush
Published on Thursday, June 30, 2005 by Bartlett website
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
This afternoon, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett enjoyed an extensive discussion about peak oil with President George W. Bush at the White House. Congressman Bartlett declined to discuss or characterize any of his private conversation with the President, but said that he was very happy about the meeting.
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has discussed global peak oil extensively in the past seven weeks including six Special Order speeches. Copies of the text and charts are posted on Congressman Bartlett's website at www.bartlett.house.gov.
Congressman Bartlett was a guest on a one-half hour program, E&E TV's "On Point," available via the Internet in flash video format. It was distributed on Monday, April 18. Host Colin Sullivan, Editor of Environment and Energy Daily, moderated the discussion about peak oil with Congressman Bartlett and Mr. Roger Diwan, Managing Director, Markets and Countries Group, PFC Energy. A transcript can be downloaded from E&E TV's website at www.eande.tv/main/?date=041805.
Congressman Bartlett said, "America has only 2 percent of the world's known oil reserves." We produce 8 percent and consume 25 percent of the oil produced worldwide and import close to 2/3 of the oil we use. We imported 1/3 at the time of the Arab Oil embargo. Oil production in the U.S. peaked in 1970 and has declined every year since then. Alaska and Gulf of Mexico oil slowed, but haven't and can't change that trend. Energy experts agree that America can never produce enough oil domestically to meet our current or future demand."
"Peak oil is not unique to America," added Congressman Bartlett. "There is a consensus among energy experts that global peak oil will occur and is fast approaching. Forty percent of the world's oil is shipped through the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf that is vulnerable to terrorist attacks. China increased its oil imports 25 percent last year. China is investing in oil projects around the globe and building a blue water navy to secure oil shipping lanes."
Congressman Bartlett said, "The United States is the most efficient and productive country in the world. We do lead the world. We cut our use of energy per $1 of GDP by 50 percent since the early 70's. That's really good. However, with only 2 percent of reserves and 8 percent of production, we're depleting our reserves four times faster than the rest of the world. American needs a national energy policy and a program on a scale of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb during World War II to prevent or mitigate the consequences of global peak oil. Doing nothing or doing too little too late will lead to a global economic and geopolitical tsunami with potentially devastating ramifications."
Congressman Bartlett, a conservative Republican from Maryland, has been the only member of Congress to speak out about peak oil. Energy Bulletin has published Bartlett's talks and interviews, including the most recent talk on May 11. Search the EB site for more.
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