Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How to Solve the Energy Crisis

Any time there’s a crisis, some demagogue or politician (is there a difference?) will come up with a magic solution. And somehow this “solution” always seems to be the exact same thing that this demagogue has always wanted to do. How convenient.

Ask Grover Norquist to solve a problem, any problem: “Shrink government down to the size of a bathtub and then drown it.”

How would James Dobson solve the same problem? “Bring Jesus back into our lives. Ban abortion. Kill all those $#!$%&!# homosexuals!”

And now the President of the Oil Industry has the solution to our economic crisis: Drill for oil. Now!!! Get those $#!$%&!# trees and animals out of the way and start drilling Goddamnit!

Funny how this MSNBC headline was worded (it’s that damn liberal media again): “Bush Chides Congress For Lack of Action.” Kind of sounds like our hands-off free-enterprise president wants to roll up his sleeves and get in there and fix things and help people, while those meddling big-government Democrats are just sitting there doing nothing.

According to this survey, gasoline prices are America’s most urgent problem. This is a more serious problem than the war in Iraq? Jobs? Health care? Oooookay.

This is excellent news for Bush and his puppetmasters. (And in a related story, ExxonMobil is just about to become the world’s 18th largest economy. Their year-end revenue is expected to be higher than the Gross Domestic Product of Sweden, currently number 18.)

Bush started today’s press conference by saying he’s “open to any ideas.” And these ideas run the full gamut from A to B: Drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And let's rip open those useless national parks and national forests and drill drill drill!. We need to build more oil refineries, and let's get rid of those cumbersome clean air regulations.

Bush also wants to use closed military bases as sites for new refineries. The oil industry isn't even interested in this idea, since most of these bases aren't near any oil pipelines.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger Snave said...

About two years ago, I was thinking Bush have a plan to get our gasoline prices high enough that it would make people mad demand that ANWR be drilled. Like invading Iraq, I think this has been one of his things he has been obsessed on, since before he got into office.

How short-sighted can he and his friends possibly be? They wouldn't be able to get the oil flowing out of there for a few years, and then even if they were pumping it out full bore there might only be 2-3 years worth of oil in there. Then what? Because I would be fairly sure they wouldn't be using that several years of extra oil to do any serious R & D on alternate sources of fuel for cars, alternatives to plastic, etc.

April 29, 2008 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I've had that exact suspicion ever since the first energy crisis of the early '70s. Environmental had just gotten passed and enforced in the previous few years, and all of a sudden "oh my God, we need that oil! Start drilling. Now!" How convenient.

Unfortunately this scam works every time. The higher the gas price goes, the more people will be screaming "Drill! Now! Faster!"

April 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

You know, trying to locate refineries on closed military bases might be the closest Bush ever gets to "brownfield development."

I'm so frustrated by the mindset of "we need more fuel". No, we need a source of fuel that's easier to get to, more readily available, doesn't fill the air and waterways with pollutants, and easily coverted to power by vehicles.

And frankly, what is it about just treating symptoms? Every Saturday is a car-free day for me. I walk to the grocery store, bookstore, restaurant, whatever. I've walked home from Bed Bath and Beyond with a set of sheets in a canvas bag over my shoulder for two miles.

As comedian Steven Wright once said, "everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."

April 29, 2008 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: You're absolutely right, it's stupid to just treat the symptoms instead of the root cause. Unfortunately millions of Americans will be screaming louder than ever "More drilling! More oil!" And Bush and his puppetmasters are more than ready to pander to them.

April 29, 2008 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

What Bush isn't saying is that high gas prices are caused by inflation. By pumping more dollars into an economy that is backed by nothing, the more worthless dollars become, therefore it takes more of them to buy anything. Drilling in the ANWR won't lower prices, it just means that once again private corporations will make millions from public land at the expense of us, the people who allegedly own it.

April 29, 2008 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Vice said...

This has nothing to do with lowering prices at the pump for you and me, but rather making good of his and Cheney's promise to open up the ANWR to the oil companies. This is probably why Cheney's energy task force meetings were so secretive.
It's all about the economy, "their" economies.

April 29, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Yup, that's it. Everything this crooked administration does seems to be on behalf of their corporate bosses. Drilling in ANWR (Exxon), the war in Iraq (Halliburton, Blackwater) -- Bush has plenty of soundbites but it's all about doing what his corporate donors tell him to do. Yes, technically We The People actually own those "public" lands, but try telling that to the neocons.

Vice: Maybe someday we'll find out what Cheney and his bosses talked about during those secret meetings. Drilling in ANWR, invading Iraq, the Enron scam -- no doubt those plans were all clearly mapped out.

April 29, 2008 at 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched that joke of a press conference this morning while i was at the gym and everytime Bush opened his mouth I got even more pissed off. Let's drill for oil so that we can make our cronies happy and allow EXXON execs to retire with big fat pensions. I'll tell you why gas price is going up...Americans don't want to cut down on consumption and are too lazy to walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation, so they rather pay at the pump and then later whine like a bunch of 2year-olds in a candy shop. If high gas prices is their biggest concern, wait till China revokes the Black Card from Bush, then we'll really suffer.


April 30, 2008 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jo: Very well put. When our Chinese landlords decide to repossess our country, then we'll have a real problem that we can tell pollsters "this is our most serious issue." We won't be able to invade any more countries, and gas prices will be the least of our worries.

April 30, 2008 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Heh, heh, you said drill.

What's so frustrating is what mile high pixie said. We all see reports on the local news and even hear all the politicians (gas tax cut or not) about how terrible the prices are.

Um, what's REALLY fucking terrible is our dependence on THIS form of energy. 50 cents a gallon or 50 bucks, we don't find something else, the future wars for energy will make World War Two seem like a regional conflict.

Hell, I feel bad using the bus to go my job 35 minutes away.

April 30, 2008 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger rockync said...

Once the people started vigorously over the gas crisis of the 70s, the government simply threatened to open our oil reserves and flood the market -- end of crisis. Now, let's see, we have the Bush/Cheney families who are tied to fortunes made in oil, hmmmm. Care to speculate on why the same tactic has not even been discussed in this administration?
Beyond that, we have the most amazing technology and the ability to develop alternative fuel sources. I have a son(working on his PhD in physics) who is involved in research of solar cells that could revolutionize the industry. I'm sure there are other areas of research into alternative fuel sources. We don't hear much about them because, a)since colleges have a heavy dependence on grants from industry, they sure don't want to rock the boat and b) since contributors can specify where their donations go, how much you want to bet certain industries exclude alternative energy research from their endowments.
It is time to move on from the antiquated fuel systems we currently embrace so tenaciously.

April 30, 2008 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Collin Williams said...

A lot of good points... You should look up Sally Kerns on youtube and listen to her crap about how homosexuality is a greater threat than terrorism and Islam. Completely crazy nutbag.

The whole energy crisis thing drives me nuts too... Like war in iraq is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than drilling in ANWR? Sigh.


April 30, 2008 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: True, the real problem is that we're still addicted to the same drug. It's like a junkie complaining about the high price of heroin. And yes, future conflicts over oil could get pretty ugly if we don't come up with some better ideas.

Rockync: Good points. Bush-Cheney's connection to the oil industry is obvious, but it makes perfect sense that universities are also beholden to the industry. These large donors have a lot of clout with the universities they donate to, and these schools probably don't want to rock the boat.

I saw an article yesterday (I should have bookmarked it) about inventors who are working on all sorts of farfetched-sounding (but scientifically valid) sources of safe renewable energy. I hope it's true; we need a silver lining in here somewhere.

April 30, 2008 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Colin: I just now played that Sally Kerns video. LOL. Christ on a crutch! The only thing stupider than that pathetic asshole is the dumbfucks who elected her.

Thanks for the laugh (or revulsion, or something).

April 30, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

Great post, Tom. I was going to make some additional points and comment on it, but you and all of the other commenters have said it all! I am so tired of this moron in office who keeps coming up with these tired arguments and avoiding the real problems.

April 30, 2008 at 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhere Jimmy Carter is shaking his head as the Republicans totally dismantled all of his ideas only to try to bring them back now.

Carter tried to use Sugar Cane (like Brazil) as there were many small tenant farmers in the South that could have benefited from the initiative. He avoided Corn because Corn was a big agribusiness and too much of the food supply.

He built Ethanol plants in the South and put Solar Panels on the White House.

Ronald Reagan said "there is plenty of oil" took down the Solar Panels and sold the processing plants cheap and now all the Sugar Cane comes from Hawaii which is being undersold by the Philippines and further east. Now Bush says lets drill more.

First let's uncap all those Domestic Wells they capped because we gave them tax breaks to go overseas and start a Sugar Cane growth (which grows faster and has a higher yield).

Oh and get rid of Bush


April 30, 2008 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mauigirl: Yup, same tired old arguments and solutions, no matter what the problem is. There's that old saying that "if you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail." That sure fits GW Bush. His solution to everything is more drilling in more places and more tax cuts for the richest 1% of the country.

Erik: I didn't know that about Carter, that he tried to use sugar cane. That would've helped farmers in the south and helped with the energy crisis. It figures that Reagan would dismantle all of that, and agribusiness would rather use corn than sugar cane. Reagan wasn't as bad as Bush but he still looks worse all the time.

May 1, 2008 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Tom, the other problem with corn/ethanol is that it's driving up the price of cattle feed in eastern Colorado and most of Kansas. That's making it harder for smaller cattle farms to stay in business, farms that have been in people's families for three or four or five generations. I never knew that about Carter and sugar cane; I'd love to see that come back. Plus, it would maybe give us a new food additive that might be less wretched to the human body than high-fructose corn syrup. Do you know how hard it is to find food in King Soopers that don't have HFCS in them? Gawd!

May 1, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense. Just what we need, the price of cattle feed going up. It probably won't have much effect big agribusiness; just small family farms. Great.

As far as food additives go, a lot of organic whole-grain cereals contain sugar cane juice instead of HFCS. I don't know if it's any better or if it just sounds better.

May 1, 2008 at 6:52 PM  

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