But you can't deal with the price of oil without dealing with the supply and demand of dollars. When you devalue the dollar -- and the dollar is going down every day. And the further the dollar goes down, the higher the prices of oil are going up. We have to understand that.
MCCAIN: At that price of oil, we're going to send $400 billion a year overseas to oil-producing countries. Some of that money will end up in the hands of terrorist organizations. It will certainly end up in the hands of dictators who do not have our interests or our values, and sometimes want to harm America.
We have to reduce the dependence on foreign oil, and we have to eliminate -- we have to address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.
MCCAIN: I think it's a nexus of two critical issues facing this country: alternate energy -- nuclear power, wind, solar, tide, hybrids. We have to unleash the technology of America -- and we must reduce and eventually eliminate this dependency on foreign oil, because it has become a national-security issue, and we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because I believe there's enough evidence that we are going to damage this planet beyond repair unless we begin to address that issue.
SPRADLING: Senator Thompson, Americans are also watching the profits of companies here in America that are making a lot of money as these prices per barrel are skyrocketing. They're bothered by it. People in New Hampshire are bothered by this. Aren't you?
THOMPSON: Bothered by the high profits, you say?
SPRADLING: By the profits, yes.
SPRADLING: Should something not be done?
THOMPSON: Well, I take note of those profits, and I take note of the losses when they've had them.
SPRADLING: But you wouldn't step in to do anything to change the...
THOMPSON: Such as what?
SPRADLING: Excess profits tax?
THOMPSON: Windfall profits tax? No. No.
You know, the oil price basically is a function or a result of supply and demand.
THOMPSON: Now, we can throw rocks at each other, and we can demagogue the issue and all that. And, of course, there's plenty of it.
But getting back to your original question, Charlie, I mean, nobody knows what the price of oil is going to be in the future. But I think you make a good case that it's going to be -- it's going to be very high. Because it's not just us. The Chinese are demanding more oil, going around the world and making all kinds of deals with dictators and causing all kinds of other problems because of it. India. There are a lot of growing economies out there.
And that's the world we live in for the immediate future. We're not going to be energy independent in a few years.
Now, we have to be more diversified. We're getting too much oil from trouble spots in the world. Everybody knows about the Middle East. Everybody knows about Chavez and Venezuela. And we're just too dependent on the wrong kinds of people.
THOMPSON: And we need to do all the things that John mentioned -- as I recall, the things he mentioned -- plus cleaner coal technology, plus using the oil reserves that we have here in this country and nuclear -- more nuclear.
But, you know, we are not -- you know, we're not a nation that regulates the profits or the losses of our economy. We want people refining that oil and we want people -- and there hasn't been a refinery built here in a long time in this country.