Another Email in the Inbox: “National Gas Strike”

I received another email where the idea is to avoid buying gas for an entire day in hopes of forcing the prices to go down. Yeah, right. What happened next is me deleting it. And then I started reading about big oil, the cost of energy, Shell, Exxon, etc online. Most of the opinions out there blame big oil for the cost of gas. So wrong. But energy isn’t about to get any less expensive. That’s a given. Here are some of the articles I read.

First Article: Glenn Beck interviews John Hofmeister from Shell Oil

Of course the topic of allowing more drilling came up, but what really caught my attention was when Glenn asked Hofmeister about what kind of a timeline our society is on until energy becomes too expensive. We’re already going down, according to Hofmeister, because we didn’t compete with the scramble for developing energy in places like China and Inda. Our energy is expensive because of limited access to it. How hard is it to get a new power plant built? A nuclear power plant? In the words of Hofmeister:

We have not done anything other than punish those who would like to produce more energy by restricting their ability to move, let’s say, to the outer continental shelf… or made it so difficult to add expansions to our refineries… Try to build a power plant today. We are making it so difficult by public resistance, often coming from just a few elite sources that don’t think about the implications for low and middle income Americans…”

He then shares his idea to create a non-governmental agency called Citizens for Affordable Energy. I think I’d join.

Second Article: Petition against Shell Oil

Here’s an online petition adressed to Hofmeister regarding Shell signing a contract with Iran. Okay, I understand that we don’t want to support the regime that’s in control over there. But aren’t the people that sign this petition the same people that complain about the cost of a gallon of gas? If we’re refusing to do business with Iran, one of the world’s top three holders of oil and the fourth-largest exporter of cruide oil globally (after Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Norway), how do we expect Shell to drive down the cost of energy? If you limit your sources, it doesn’t exactly help to meet your demands.

Third Article: Running Out of Oil

First off, the website is called treehugger.com. And yes, there’s plenty of green graphics, text, etc on the page. My initial response it to immediately assume that they consider big oil to be THE ENEMY. But, in my attempt to try and hear all the sides of the arguments, I read this article and felt like they put the emphasis of their quote from the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell in the wrong place.

Their emphasis:

Regardless of which route we choose, the world’s current predicament limits our maneuvering room. We are experiencing a step-change in the growth rate of energy demand due to population growth and economic development, and Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand.

My emphasis:

Regardless of which route we choose, the world’s current predicament limits our maneuvering room. We are experiencing a step-change in the growth rate of energy demand due to population growth and economic development, and Shell estimates that after 2015 supplies of easy-to-access oil and gas will no longer keep up with demand.

I would rather have an article defining the predicaments limiting maneuvering room. This could refer to limited oil or it could refer to the lack of support ($$$) for alternative energy (wind, solar, nuclear), the inability to access oil in Canada, Alaska and the Arctic, or perhaps it’s refering to the constant political struggles and warfare in the OPEC countries. I’d rather read about that than about how we’re running out of oil and probably all going to die or start riding bikes and losing weight. Yikes.

Fourth Article: Ben Stein’s remarks on Exxon from NYTimes

This is my favorite article that I read. (I’m planning on getting to the theatres soon to see his documentary, too.) Leave it to Ben Stein to actually add some credibility and research to an argument. Best quotes:

Exxon Mobil, in fact, is owned mostly by ordinary Americans. Mutual funds, index funds and pension funds (including union pension funds) own about 52 percent of Exxon Mobile’s shares. Individual shareholders, about two million or so, own almost all the rest. The pooh-bahs who run Exxon own less than 1 percent of the company.

So, Mr. Obama, which union pension plans — and which blue-collar workers who benefit from them — will be among the first you would like to deprive of the income that flows from Exxon’s rich dividends?

…Envy is simply not good economics… I respectfully suggest that [Clinton and Obama] might want to reconsider their attack on Big Oil. After all, Big Oil is big us. And we need us.

And on that note, I’m going to go fill up my car with gas. And my new favorite word: pooh-bahs.

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