I grew up in a place where a kid wanting to get from here to there had to frequently hop a fence or two. One quickly masters the skill of easing through barbed wire. One time in our explores we sighted a new body of water, a prize indeed in the hot summers of the South. With our sights set on a cool dip, we jumped the fence and started our way across the seemingly normal pasture when we found ourselves in the center of a herd of Brahman bulls, two ton animals with the temperament of rattlesnakes. Needless to say, we made record time getting out of there!
As America continues to reel from the financial crisis, let's go back to what exposed it, the ultimate cause; the raping of the world by the oil companies. Where is the oil crisis now? What happened to the lack of supply? When did worldwide demand drop by over 50%? How is it possible, with all the talk about supply-and-demand, that the price of oil is now down around what it was before hurricane Katrina?1, 2
Did we somehow drill ourselves out of it? When the oil companies were granted permission to drill in otherwise forbidden off-shore places,3
were the drilling platforms sitting in a warehouse somewhere waiting to be deployed? Was there a secret pipeline from Alaska, ready to start delivering the vast untapped oil known to be there? In spite of not being able to get loans, did Americans somehow magically buy enough "fuel-efficient" cars to park their SUV's and thereby reduce American demand by 14.8 million barrels of oil a day?
What happened to the grandiose plans to reduce oil dependence in 10 years? Are the wind farms really that efficient, or did our National Guard cover Nevada and Arizona with solar cells? Maybe I haven't been paying attention, and the world has adopted my oil reduction plan.
Does anyone believe the past few years' oil prices haven't been purely a result of market manipulation? If so, I have some ocean-front property in
Kansas I'd like to sell you. There are myriad questions I'd like to ask and will likely never be answered due to lack of current interest. It's hard to worry about the mosquito on your arm when you've got a swarm of hornets around your head!
I do wonder, however, what really happened in the scrums of the oil companies' conference rooms. Maybe their initial plan was to simply raise oil prices to the limit. Was it the question, "How do you get 300 million Americans to want to pay $3.00 a gallon for gasoline?" The intent to slowly raise the prices to find the maximum sustainable, an "Oh-Kee-Pa"4
of budgeteering. The plan turned sour when the weight of the debt became too much to bear, and they found themselves in the midst of 300 million angry Brahmans.
Maybe the oil companies wanted to bring on enough pain so they could drill in places otherwise banned. If they could create enough of a public outrage under the guise of foreign oil-rich countries holding us down, folks would be glad to give up pristine shorelines and wilderness areas in the interest of oil dependence. Is it possible that the oil companies held the world hostage to get what they wanted, but then backed off when they realized what they had exposed?
We will likely never know the real answers. The oil companies are certainly retreating as fast as money is being drained from our bank accounts. They want us to concentrate on another cartel of greed, and hopefully we'll forget about them. The truth is, we never needed to protect ourselves from foreign oil dependency. We needed to protect ourselves from the greed of the oil companies right here in America.