Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Thoughts on the Oil Business

I only have a few minutes, and had a couple of things irritating the heck out of me before I saw this piece on the forthcoming push to drill for oil in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.
They're going to do what they're going to do, the Republicans, because they have a majority in both chambers and the White House, and because very few of you are really paying attention; but it ticks me off.
The oil industry is going to take maybe five years I believe it was to try to find less than ten years worth of oil and they're going to destroy the existing eco-system up there in the process. In return the American public is going to get bupkis.
For some reason people seem to buy into the bull that the oil industry is shoveling... and, bless their hearts, I suppose to some extent ignorance is bliss... but this has nothing to do with dependence on overseas oil. It's all about greed... a few million barrels of oil... not enough to make a difference really... and all it's going to cost is the environment. Drink up.
I live in California where they've jacked up gas prices because they had to change the formula of our gasoline which they've been doing twice a year every year for about... twenty years? Now I'm not an MBA but I'd bet that those oil companies have a five-year business plan that accounts for periodically switching fuel refinery standards, periodically doing maintenance and upgrades on their refineries, etc. If they're really and truly caught off guard twice a year every year by the reformulation I'd be really, really disappointed. Every time they tell me they had to raise prices because they had to take a pipe or refinery offline for maintenance I smell fertilizer.
Oil is $53 a barrel? So what? Do the oil companies not control the production, the refineries, most of the distribution system? Are they not charging themselves $53 a barrel and passing the bill on to us? I know they pay royalties out of that, but they're buying and selling oil to themselves.
Do you know what the oil companies are doing with the oil they're currently getting out of Alaska? They're selling it in Asia and still bringing in our oil from other countries! Do you know what they're going to do with the oil they get out of ANWR?
Listen... I'm not laboring under many illusions here. These people won the elections, and the ANWR is... in all likelihood... toast. If they're not going to hesitate at thousands... tens or hundreds of thousands... of human lives lost and countries in ruins, they aren't going to slow down for some wildlife and some scenery. I just think it's a damn shame is all. I generally hold that, while evil will come and go, the good will prevail over time. I just don't know what will be left when it goes this time.


Anonymous Ronni Bennett said...

You're more optimistic than I am about about good and evil - at least until we get a shot at another election.

3:47 PM  

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