Sunday, January 18, 2009

The new shell game

Years ago when carnivals hit the countryside in the summer, there was always a carney that had a shell game. He has 3 shells and puts a pea under one of the shells, shuffles them around and has you pick the one the pea is under. He always won. Now let’s fast forward to 2009. The shell game now is being run by the oil companies and congress is the dummy. There is a coalition that is in Washington D.C. lobbying congress to use what is called a cap-and-trade system. I don’t have a clue how this will work but the coalition says the way it works ultimately will lower greenhouse gas emissions to the federal standard by allowing oil companies to buy and sell allowances to release pollutants blamed for global warming. The Obama administration is in favor of this type of control because, hopefully, it will get the oil companies and the coal companies in line. The Democratic leaders have said they are going to fast- track this thing. Polluters would have to meet new limits for greenhouse gas emissions, which would be capped at 58 percent of 2005 levels by 2030 and 20 percent of 2005 levels by 2050. I don’t know about you but I don’t consider taking 40 years to do something fast-tracking. Why can’t they just come out, make a decision and go with it. They always have to put new spin on something.
Now what part of this is going to be enforced? What I really don’t understand is why they are giving them 40 years to do this? Don’t jack people around. There hasn’t been a refinery built in the last 35 years, but Congress is going to give these guys 40 years to come up with something that works. DUH! . I’m sorry to say this, but we don’t have 40 years to solve our energy problems. Are we the only ones that can see this?
They always say that necessity is the mother of invention. Somebody will come up with a way to do this. This isn’t something that is confined to the United States, this is a worldwide event. They tried to control exhaust emissions with automobiles and the auto companies said they couldn’t meet those standards so they relaxed the standards. What makes you think the oil companies could meet these standards by the year 2050? That is 41 years from now. We will all be dead and buried by then so I guess it won’t make any difference to you and me, but what about the next generation, and the one after that? I am about to the point where it doesn’t make any difference what the “little people” do or say, big money is going to do what they want to do and we can’t do a damned thing about it.
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, said the companies face a dilemma. “They are reluctant to invest in old, polluting technologies because they know that tougher regulations are inevitable, but they can’t invest in new, cleaner technologies until they know what Congress is going to require.” Waxman said. What the heck did he just say?
Let’s take a look at what he just said. He is talking to the Big Boys now, Conoco Phillips, British Petroleum, Shell and Exxon Mobile. These companies are not going to expand or build new industries because they are worried what Congress is going to require them to do. I’m telling you, we are being flim flammed here. On one hand Congress says this, and on the other hand the oil companies are doing that. We, the taxpayers, get left holding the bag. I think they are looking at this as some sort of game and no matter what the outcome is we get screwed.
The following information was obtained from the Financial Post on January 14th. - BA Energy Inc, developer of a $4 Billion Heartland Upgrader near Edmonton Canada is the first oil company in Canada to file for bankruptcy protection, fearing its parent company’s major lender, Credit Suisse, will recall a $507 million loan. I think this is the tip of the iceberg friends. Or should I say this is the first domino that is falling. They blamed the credit crisis for their need to file for court protection. Yeah right! The oil company has the audacity to say “Who could have foreseen this recession and the oil price going to $30 a barrel. I’m no genius, but we have been headed for recession for a couple of years haven’t we. They said all the equity and debt markets are totally frozen and they are in the middle of a major project that needs money. As oil prices fell BA Energy became one of a long list of oil sands companies that deferred projects. I’ve always said this is a boom or bust industry. Now it is going B U S T !
Wouldn’t it be better to expend our energies on something more useful like wind power? Wouldn’t you much rather spend your time and energy on something that is positive that will benefit all of us? I don’t have the desire or the inclination to spend all my time defending myself against progress. Oil is not progress. Alternative energy is. Oil unfortunately is the easy way out. In my lifetime we have always had access to cheap oil. But times have changed and we need to change with it. Why is it that we are always playing catch-up in things like this? We are the most powerful country in the world so why aren’t we leading the world in search of alternative energy sources. I think it is because we are just plain lazy.


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