Does anyone remember George Bush's speech where he said that America was addicted to oil? That's the one thing he was dead right about. We could have completely replaced the energy equivalent of all the oil produced by Iraq with clean renewables with the amount of money we spent in the first year there.
Why is it that 90% of the commercials I see from American automobile manufacturers are trying to sell trucks and SUV monster gas hogs? All three big Detroit auto manufacturers lost billions last year while Toyota can't crank out the Prius fast enough to meet demand even when they cost more than a low end hummer? What is it that Detroit automakers don't get? Too many years of exposure to lead taken it's toll? I can't help but wonder who really controls them, they seem to not be market driven.
I also remember a GW speech about a coming technological breakthrough? I'm trying to figure out which technological breakthroughs he's talking about? There have been many but something seems to keep them off the market.
I've got a friend from South Africa, he was an engineer there. He comes to America and is completely miffed by why we have an oil issue because they make most of their gasoline there from coal and America has huge coal reserves. That doesn't speak to the issue of global warming, but it sure does ask the question why are we involved in the middle east at all? If you tack on the cost of the war to the cost of the oil products we consume, coal would be a bargain. The problem is the oil companies wouldn't be able to pump oil out of the ground for $3-$8/barrel and sell it for $70/barrel, and the banks that financed them wouldn't be able to collect the interest, and since the war is being paid for by tax payers, that's not coming out of their profits.
Actually, it's a misnomer that America doesn't have much oil reserves. We have lots of oil here in this country, but most of it is heavy sour crude, not the light sweet crude America's oil refineries are built to deal with. In California, we have approximately as much heavy crude as Venezuela, and yet, the US buys 60% of Venezuela's oil output instead of pumping it out of the ground in California. That one really doesn't make sense because the crude from Venezuela is also the heavy undesirable crude very similar to that of California.
Don't get me wrong, I think we should get OFF oil, it's bad for the environment from extraction to combustion, but if we have to use oil; why do we have to spend billions of dollars killing people when there is so much of it right here at home? The answer of coarse is economics. As long as the oil companies don't have to pay for the war, they'd much rather sell oil they can obtain for under $8/barrel, refine it in half-decade old refineries that were designed to handle only light-sweet crude, and sell it for $70/barrel, than to have to obtain it for $8-$20/barrel and sell it for $35.
They couldn't GET $70/barrel if it weren't for the reduction in production caused by the war, the increase in demand caused by the war, and the psychological factor of uncertainty over future supplies that results from the instabilities in the middle east exacerbated by our presence there.
I don't understand why we allow ourselves to be lead by people who are taking us down the path of gloom and doom, when the potential for clean abundant energy without war exists and we have all the necessary technology and resources to have that clean abundance.