Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Drill Here. Drill Now. Destroy Everything!

The price of oil hit another record today. And it probably will break that record tomorrow. And it’s shattering what was left of our economy after the mortgage meltdown and the credit crisis and the nearly $533,000,000,000 that it’s taken, so far, to invade Iraq. And we all knew it was coming.

We had decades from the energy crisis of the 1970s to invest in, and develop, alternative sources of energy. Wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and wave power. I learned about the energy crisis in elementary school, and my school books assured me that the future would be cleaner and healthier with lots of new technologies. Apparently, the leadership of this nation didn’t go to Roosevelt Elementary.

We had 40 years to prepare, and instead we drove SUVs and built McMansions. We sprawled from the suburbs into the exurbs and let our public transportation systems crumble into uselessness. We voted for warmongers and oil barons and made fun of tree-huggers. And we watched as Exxon-Mobil consistently broke its own record for largest annual profits in history. And now, we’re fucked.

And, still, conservatives are ignoring the obvious solutions while fighting to drill more, drill here and drill now. My friend Stimpy received an e-mail forward that’s been making its way around the internets, and of course, he forwarded it to me (with a warning that I should take blood pressure medication before reading any further). It’s too long, and too ridiculous to re-post here, but the gist was that the current energy crisis is Al Gore’s fault because he opposes allowing oil companies to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It also mentions that bears and caribou really like oil pipelines and would actually prefer the relaxing hum that oil drilling provides. Here’s a photo included in the e-mail as evidence.

I really think if they had Photoshopped a few unicorns into the photo as they were adding the caribou, it would have had a lot more impact – but that’s just my opinion.

I know people are now really feeling the consequences of 40 years of inaction. Trust me, I’m not currently big on filling my tank, or grocery shopping or paying the “fuel surcharge” that’s been added to everything over the past couple of months. But, drilling and drilling and drilling is not going to change one fucking thing, except to allow Exxon-Mobil to continue to break their profit records every year until there isn’t a drop of oil, or a spot of wilderness left on the planet.

To a lot of Americans, who are in personal financial panic mode, drilling in the ANWR, or off the coast of Florida, sounds like a quick fix to current gas prices. What hasn’t been conveyed to the public is that even if we started drilling tomorrow, current gas prices would not be affected at all.

Let’s look at a couple of facts….According to the United States Energy Information Administration’s own May 2008 report, we wouldn’t even be able to extract any oil from the ANWR area until 2018. And, in the year 2025, ANWR drilling might reduce the cost of gas by 75 cents. That’s 75 cents in 2025.

In the meantime, other nations are investing in their infrastructures, building efficient mass transit systems and moving away from fossil fuels – while the United States, lost to its addiction, falls further and further behind. Soon, the oil consumption of China and India will far surpass the United States. At which point, it won’t matter how much oil we produce from drilling our federally-protected lands, because, it will all be going to China and India. Will our government require the big oil companies to only sell their black gold to America? Um, yeah. I would guess not. The world’s great superpower will be reduced to competing with the third world for energy, and we’ll lose. It’s already happening.

And suppose, just suppose, that we do get oil rigs up and pumping in the ANWR and off the coast of Florida. Of course, there will, at some point, be massive oil spills. We don’t have far to go to imagine what the coast of Alaska would look like – we’ve seen that several times before. But, picture, just for a moment, Miami Beach after an offshore oil spill. Or Ft. Lauderdale. How about the Tampa Bay area? Or maybe the conservatives hope that any spills in the Gulf would just float north and do New Orleans in once and for all?

And, know that the people standing in the shadows behind the Drill Here, Drill Now crowd are the oil company executives. Ah, those fine Americans, living the American dream of building profitable companies through the natural economic laws of supply and demand. Well, except that their record profits are not based on supply and demand. They’re based on corporate welfare and tax subsidies. And, if we hadn’t been subsidizing the entire oil industry, for the past 40 years, sustainable energy technologies would have been able to compete and win against fossil fuels, thereby ending our dependence on OPEC. But, of course, oil executives continue to argue that they need our tax subsidy dollars, as well as our dollars at the pump. And they’ve got their conservative pundits and bloggers out there arguing their case for them. I mean, without corporate welfare and access to every last piece of plunder-able wilderness, how could they ever put food on their families’ tables?

Yes. Drill Here! Drill Now! Destroy Everything! And don’t listen to those moonbat tree-huggers….the oil in Iraq will more than pay for the war.


fpteditors said...

Eloquent. A moving post.
When you mention subsidies, it seems that you are talking about direct subsidies. Don't forget the externalities.

stimpasaurus said...

I can't wait until we have a way for these short-dick a-holes to get cock-jobs so that they don't feel so inferior and have to show their manliness through guns, cars, and drilling their big oil sticks down any hole they can find.

David said...

The price of oil is getting silly-high, lol. Nice post man.