For 40 years the West's major threats and crises have come from oil states.
ISIS. Al Qaeda. Putin. Assad. The Syrian refugee crisis. Gaddafi. Saddam. 9/11. The Saudis’ spread of an extreme anti-Western ideology. The Soviets’ surge ahead in the nuclear arms race. Iran’s incessant support for terrorism.
With Clean Trade, America can counter the ‘Western imperialist’ narrative that recruits so many extremists.
The United States will peacefully affirm the rights of the people of all nations to their resources—as it gets out of business with authoritarians and armed groups who oppress and attack the people.
Clean Trade can also further other priorities, like reducing military spending in the Middle East, creating good American jobs by developing America’s own energy resources, and moving from ‘Authoritarians to Alternatives’ by replacing imports of autocratic oil with cleaner energy sources.
Congress should pass a Clean Trade Act now.
Why is this happening?
An archaic law turns oil into unaccountable power: ‘Might Makes Right’.
All countries today still make it legal to buy oil from whoever can control the wells by force. ‘Might Makes Right’ puts consumers into business with the world’s most repressive and violent actors. Because American law says coercive control over oil will win large revenues, American law incentivizes armed conflict over the wells and empowers petrocrats to stay in power.
In 2014, the average American household sent $250 to authoritarians and armed groups, just by filling up.
The better, modern rule for resource trade: A country's resources belong first to its people.
All governments must be accountable to their citizens when they privatize resources (as with US offshore oil) or when they sell resources to foreigners.
Popular Resource Sovereignty
Leaders worldwide already publicly affirm popular resource sovereignty. Its language is already declared in major treaties ratified by nearly every country (US, China, India, etc.) covering 98% of the world’s population. The principle is friendly to resource privatization, as in the US.
Test for Popular Resource Sovereignty: Can citizens can hold officials accountable for resource decisions without fearing for their liberty or their lives (e.g., Freedom House ‘Free’ or ‘Partly Free’).
Historic Global Leadership
300 years ago, 'Might Makes Right' was the rule for all of international law.
300 years ago, 'Might Makes Right' was even the international rule for human beings: 'whoever can control them by force can sell them to us.' This was the rule that made the Atlantic slave trade legal.
Even 100 years ago, 'Might Makes Right' still made colonial rule legal.
Even in our time, 'Might Makes Right' made apartheid legal.