Petroleum, Or Snake Oil?

I read recently that “A minority of Americans are against allowing inshore oil drilling.”

My reaction: the ignorance displayed by a majority of US citizens is truly difficult to comprehend.

Inshore oil drilling has long been a no-no in this country because of the potential environmental impact of an oil spillage on coastlines. George W Bush, a leader whose decisions are so regularly and monotonously wrong that running the world requires only the taking of an opposing stance to this US president’s viewpoint to ensure success, has of late announced the need for just such action. The American people, suddenly faced with inflated gas prices – though still barely realistic compared to the rest of the world – agree virtually en masse that this is the right thing to do.

Here’s why it isn’t:

  • 1. There is no shortage of oil.
  • 2. There is no shortage of oil
  • 3. There is no shortage of oil.

Get the picture?

“Ah!” I hear some of you cry, “But if there is no shortage of oil, why is the price so high?”

“Simple,” I answer, “the price is high because, yet again America, you’re being ripped off by your fellow countrymen.”

Oil prices have risen dramatically in the last five years due to US speculators using the Iraq war and its attendant Middle East crisis as fuel for speculation. It is that speculation that has pushed prices to $140 a barrel, resulting in $4, and likely $5, gas prices at the pump.

Opening up inshore oil fields may help stabilize the price of oil, but it will take ten years to do so. Hardly a quick fix for the cash-strapped citizen struggling to fill his gas tank.

There’s one other minor consideration to be taken into account before inshore oil production becomes the panacea to all America’s energy problems. It’s an irritation, admittedly, but one unlikely to go away, though most of the world seems bent on hoping it will.

Yesterday, the US Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research published a report stating emphatically that the severe and unusual weather being experienced over much of the United States is due to man-made global warming.[1]

A large percentage of the CO2 emissions responsible result directly from the burning of fossil fuels, primarily oil. Drilling more oil from inshore fields will only aggravate a situation already near, if not already, critical.

By suggesting inshore drilling is a practical possibility, George W Bush (supported by John McCain) is totally ignoring the longterm effects on the American populace of global warming, and pandering only to the short-term interests of the oil companies.

Of course, this is exactly what George W Bush has been doing for the whole of his eight years in office. Originally, he planned to make them a present of the Iraqi oil reserves. That proved an abortive idea, so now he’ll strive to present them with the inshore fields as a parting gift.

Fuck the American people; fuck the environmental devastation that may result; fuck the catastrophic effects of global warming already being experienced in the American Mid-West. If the American people have hesitated to accept that their president and his nefarious clan are only interested in feathering their own nests, and those of their pals, this sudden about-face really should make them sit up and take notice.

When they are drowning in catastrophic floods, burning alive in drought-fueled forest fires, suffering severe financial deprivation, unable to feed their families and dying of thirst as reservoirs dry up, they can draw satisfaction from the knowledge that George W Bush and his cohorts are experiencing none of these things. They will be well away from the events their policies have created.

Let me repeat: there is no shortage of oil.

Unsurprisingly, no-one is suggesting there is. OPEC is refusing to pump more because there is simply no need.

Why is no-one asking the question: Who gets the profits? On the sidebar of this blog is a simple statement: “The world consumes around 86 million barrels of oil every day. When the price of a barrel rises by $3, it generates an additional $94 billion dollars per year for…….someone?

Who is that “someone”?

Ask yourself another question: if oil is not in short supply, what is causing the price to skyrocket?

There can be only one answer: speculation.

Webster: Speculating: “To buy or sell in expectation of profiting from market fluctuations.”

If markets are manipulated, then speculation takes on a more sinister stance. The oil markets have been manipulated throughout the presidency of George W Bush. The situation we find today directly results from that manipulation.

And yet, only “…… a minority of Americans are against allowing inshore oil drilling.”

The ignorance displayed by a majority of US citizens is truly difficult to comprehend.

[1] “Scientific Assessment Captures Effects of a Changing Climate on Extreme Weather Events in North America” NOAA, June 19th 2008

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