Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oil Profits And The Big Green Machine

The big green machine I'm referring to is not oil company profits. It's the environmentalists and a bureaucratic government that has grown so large it can do little else than stumble all over itself.

There is no center of cohesive thought. It is not the lack of oil that has caused the price of gas to rise. It is not the fact that Opec refuses to pump more. It is not because the speculators are trying to make a buck while they can. It is because we won't pump our own resources and couldn't refine it if we did.

Even if we could, the easy to refine stuff is pretty well depleted. What is plentiful, heavy crude, is currently less expensive but more costly to refine and because of the increased need of energy to do so, more emissions are released into the atmosphere so the greens have put a kabosh on that.

You know what? We can't have it both ways! Those who are in the position to do so need to find a middle ground.

Bio fuels are a long way down the road. In the meantime, our insistence on incorporating them has threatened the food supply. Corn. It feeds not only people but the animals we consume for protein  and the shortage of it has struck consumers around the world. This doesn't even have to be an issue. Ethanol manufactured from sugar beets is better and less expensive - but our sugar beet industry couldn't' begin to meet the demand.  Instead of reviving it we've thrown kazillions into building facilities to produce the corn based product.

There is, however, a source for sugar beet ethanol. Brazil. Not only have they recently discovered highly lucrative oil fields, they are a chief producer of ethanol made from sugar beets. So what's the problem? We've saddled it with a tariff so high it's not economical to import. Is it more important to subsidize corn producers than provide cost effective solutions for we folks who have to pay the price?

There is no easy or quick fix.  That opportunity passed with the last crises back in the '70s. I remember having to line up for gas on alternate days depending whether you license plate ended with an odd or even number!

Is it time for the upcoming administration, no matter who's it is, to put aside the politics and policies of the squeaky wheel and actually find a middle ground that can benefit all of us?

Remember that all those chauffeured limos running around Washington and all those planes squiring  politicians around the world have to pay for their fuel too.  

As with our own cars or trips where we'd prefer to fly - it's paid for with our money.  It seems like we  are the ones who have the least of it.

1 comment:

Word Tosser said...

Since the 1950's or more. we have paied farmers to NOT grown produce.. it is about time to stop those, and let them grow beets and corn...