Monday, July 31, 2006

..a growing list of allies

There is some hope on the front today. All is not lost yet. There are some in power who see the problems of peak oil and are trying to do something about it.

A few weeks ago I was at an event called "The Taste of Battle Creek", which was a giant outdoor picnic featuring foods from local restaurants as well as other products offered by local vendors. I was there with my company selling Dish Network services. We were a couple tents down from the Democrat Party tent.

Now, I've never been a democrat. I don't agree with the majority of policies brought forth by the democrats or their minions in the environmental lobby. In an attempt to keep this blog non-political, I'll keep my reasons for my affiliations to myself. Also, though I'd sworn never to vote for a democrat, I figured I'd give them a chance to change my mind if they answered any of my questions satisfactorily.

They, of course, did not.

I waited until the tent was empty of all but the staff before I entered. I simply asked, "so, what's the Democratic Party's stand on Peak Oil." I figured this question was as non-partisan and straitforward as any, and expected a similar answer. I was instead answered with another question. "You mean Dick Cheney and Haliburton?"

"No," I said, I mean about the present and future economic difficulties that we face due to a decline in world oil production."

Blank stares.

To summarize the next few things that were spewed back at me... The democrats support a huge tax on oil companies for "taking in so much money and breaking the backs of working-class citizens at the pumps," as well as an increase in hybrid sales, a higher CAFE, and the overall encouragement to consumers to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Hmmm... Okay, a CAFE increase is too little too late but I'm not opposed. But, higher taxes to punish those who supply the backbone of our economy? Come on, people, what's that going to do? It's going to put more money in the pockets of our already too-bloated federal government, where it will be frittered away on a war to get decreasing amounts of oil from other countries. Short term solution at best in my book.

And encouraging people to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles? I thought the price at the pump was taking care of that fairly well, thank you. My choice to stay away from democrats remains sound and secure. From what I gathered, they're still a bunch of underachievers who are angry with wealthy people for being wealthy. No help here.

My next contact was with a gentleman who was running for the Michigan State senate. I don't recall his name, and I never did find out his party affiliation. When I asked him his view on peak oil, he hit me with, "what's that?"

Sigh.

But, in all fairness, these examples were of the local variety, and don't necessarily represent the views of politics as a whole. For this reason, I've decided to go looking for good polititions; the ones that know what peak oil is and don't think that it is going to go away as soon as the Bush administration is out of office.

Here's some that I've found:

Representative Roscoe Bartlett

Senator Richard G. Lugar Opening Remarks (transcript)

Former Secretary of Defense testifies before Senate on peak oil

Representative Roscoe Bartlett's Peak Oil Presentation in the US Congress


These are all good read, though some suggest an increase in hybrid tech as well as alcohol fuels (both of which consume more oil), but at least they're aware of the situation.

More later.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Prophets and profits

This article is a good example of what I was trying to say in an earlier post.

Oil execs are sitting on a huge pile of money. Oil companies are making billions in profits. So what?

So far we have very little of that money being spent on alternative energy sources. $100 million is a number I've read. So, what's the deal guys? I've been sticking up for you so far. I'm against this crazy idea of a windfall profits tax....for now.

Maybe that's what we need. There's a lot of debate going on about what they should be spending all this money on. The environmentalists want it spent on clean energy (which uses more energy), and the liberals want to tax it for midnight baskeetball.

Almost everyone agrees that government subsidies to oil companies are unfair. A huge tax on oil profits would devistate the world economy by lowering oil production. So then what? Perhaps a huge freaking tax that has but one loophole: Alternative energy. If we had a dollar for dollar tax cut (only to offset windfall taxes) for money spent on alternative energy research we could solve this thing in a few years. Perhaps, if they want to keep their subsidies, we could index those to alternative energy projects that see some success. A sort of pass/fail test for government money, so to speak.

As always, these are just my thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Wow....where have I been?

For a while there I'd forgotten I even had a blog. My journey into the depths of technology-free life is finally over.

Who am I kidding. I went for a while without an internet connection. Big deal. I love sounding melodramatic, though.

So, what's new? How've you been?
Does anyone ever read this? Did anyone ever read this?

Ah well.

So, oil prices plunge after reaching an all time high of $79.40. What's the deal?

Every time oil prices spike, the economy gets damaged. A damaged economy demands less oil. Less oil demand equals lower prices. Lower prices equal greater consumption. Greater consumption equals greater prices. PRICE SPIKE! Economy damage. The cycle continues.

Anyone else see this?