Purchasing civility. What culture enjoys such opulence? In his autobiography, Alan Greenspan cites four privileges of an aggressively competitive economy. One example is "the ability to enhance our environment by setting aside natural resources in national parks rather than having to employ them to sustain a minimum level of subsistence." He adds, concerning the subject of economic affluence in general, "At a fundamental level, Americans have used the substantial increases in wealth generation by our market-driven economy to purchase what many would view as greater civility." On these terms, limited land access seems to be an example of the success of being the U.S., and in the interest of continued American prosperity. This is flattering, but is it reasonable? Americans should recognize, and preserve, their energy-pricing power that makes them price-makers and makes preservation of domestic resources possible. Americans should not come to this realization too late. Of course, what is "too late" is subjective. Domestic resources may be what provide balance to a global energy future that may require a great percentage of what today is considered "alternative energy." Even the greatest proponents of alternative-energy sources recognize that crude oil and natural gas will play some role in the energy future. By preserving at least some of these domestic oil and gas resources, Americans are assuring a domestic supply of this fuel in the many-years-out American energy mix. Yet, are too many domestic resources being preserved? And what is the true cost of this civility? Is it more uncivilized to have U.S. policy that props up friendships with oil exporters whose domestic policies are not ones proponents of freedom and free markets would condone? –Nissa Darbonne, Executive Editor, Oil and Gas Investor, A&D Watch, Oil and Gas Investor This Week, www.OilandGasInvestor.com; ndarbonne@hartenergy.com P.S. Greenspan cites three other examples of the power over quality of life that is created by an aggessive economy: "Greater longevity, owing first to the widespread development of clean, potable water and later to rapid advances in medical technology; a universal system of education that enabled greatly increased social mobility; (and) vastly improved conditions of work...." (This is the first in a series of blogs based on comments made by Alan Greenspan in his autobiography, The Age of Turbulence, and comments made in biographies of Greenspan by Justin Martin (Greenspan: The Man Behind Money) and Bob Woodward (Maestro: Greenspan's Fed and the American Boom) as well as from reading Greenspan's speeches and other reports. A great resource of Greenspan's view in his own words is in his speeches at www.federalreserve.gov.)