Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow Job

Last week I received an email from a friend who evidently believes what he reads. Especially about oil. The story he forwarded purported to come from someone in Alaska, who is convinced that not only do we need the oil in the ANWR, but that the wildlife love pipelines! Just like people in Ohio love earthquakes!

You know, I might give some credence to silly pieces like this, except for one thing: we’re in trouble! I don’t know when it will happen, but it will. We will run out of petroleum. It will all be used up. There will come a time, probably not in my lifetime, but in my grandchildren's, when the pump sucks air. Then what? If, just once, I heard someone who wants to keep on drilling say, "But we’ll put 50% of the income from this well into alternate methods and sources of energy," I might be inclined to say: "Okay. Let’s drill." But the drillers never say that. Instead they tell us that we have so much reserve we shouldn’t even think about subsidies for solar or wind or geothermal or biomass. Especially if it means cutting or eliminating something called the "oil depletion allowance." And besides, who likes cold winters anyway?

I live in a place where wind is a potential resource. One landowner has even proposed a wind farm on the highest ridge in the county. Despite the fact that he can’t find investors who will fund it, and many people don’t like the idea because we live in a place with pristine mountain views and landscapes that draw people to the county. Eventually we will have them, I’m sure. It won’t be a matter of options and choices then, and it might be too late.

Why don’t people care? Just who is it that benefits from $5 gas? I certainly don’t. The bears and the caribou in ANWR don’t. It must be someone. Maybe the shareholders at EXXON and BP, but not me. Not the people who experienced the earthquakes in Ohio. Not the people who will find their water contaminated. You know what I’m talking about.

And when the last slurp is heard here, or in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Venezuela, someone, somewhere, will say: "Obama did it."

1 comment: