I tried to find a link to Friedman’s post in the NYT from several years ago in response to Matt’s question. I found this snippet from his book instead:
President Kennedy understood that the competition with the Soviet Union was not a space race but a science race, which was really an education race. Yet the way he chose to get Americans excited about sacrificing and buckling down to do what it took to win the Cold War â€“ which required a large-scale push in science and engineering â€“ was by laying out the vision of putting a man on the moon, not a missile into Moscow.
â€œIf President Bush made energy independence his moon shot, in one fell swoop he would dry up revenue for terrorism, force Iran Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia onto the path of reform â€“ which they will never do with $50-a-barrel oil â€“ strengthen the dollar, and improve his own standing in Europe by doing something huge to reduce global warming. He would also create a real magnet to inspire young people to contribute to both the war on terrorism and Americaâ€™s future by again becoming scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.â€
Note how he quotes $50 a barrel as expensive.