America is the land of "freedom of choice," right? Well how do you like this choice: either process low quality, heavy crude – the stuff that’s normally left in the ground because it’s too polluting and too expensive to extract, or pay even more for the good quality gas, of which there’s less and less and …less.

"You choose" say the drilling companies. OPEC is not raising its production quotas. Canada says they’ve got lots of sub-standard heavy stuff to pump – so how about it?

Environmentalists are fighting back. So far, drilling plans by Conoco, Chevron and BP have all been stopped. But Big Oil still says choose: pollution and heavy crude, or more ways to go broke. Environmentalists point out that you can’t drive if you can’t breath the air. So let’s get serious – there are other options. It’s also part of the American tradition (isn’t it?) Let’s choose to come up with a better idea.

The F Word is a daily commentary by Laura Flanders.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders, author, and host of RadioNation on Air America Radio, has built a reputation for courageous investigative journalism coupled with compassion and a sense of humor. In writing her last book, Blue Grit, she traveled the country reporting on grassroots success stories and broadcast live to over 150 radio stations from community centers in places including Helena, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Miami, Las Vegas, and Milwaukee. In her television appearances (Lou Dobbs, Larry King Live,) on radio and in her many books (including Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species) and articles (The Nation and others,) Flanders calls for a new politics of fairness, equality and citizen action. Articulating the human dimension of American communities in trouble, her programs have become destinations for those seeking the skills and the will to make a difference. Flanders is a regular contributor to the Nation Magazine and CNN. Before joining Air America, where she was part of the original lineup, and hosted “The Laura Flanders Show” for three years, Flanders was the founding host of the award-winning “Your Call” weekday mornings on public radio, KALW in the Bay Area and CounterSpin, the radio show of the mediawatch group, FAIR.