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The choice is ours: Big Oil or Chavez?
Houston Chronicle ^ | July 29, 2007 | Scott Tinker

Posted on 07/29/2007 8:11:31 AM PDT by NRG1973

The choice is ours: Big Oil or Chavez?

As we wait for emerging energy forms to develop, we should create policies that support oil companies

In the coming century, the world will transition from cars that run on liquid fuels to cars that run on something else, perhaps electricity or hydrogen. Until then, we have a choice. Either support the "Big Oil" companies that are SEC and IRS regulated, traded on the major stock exchanges, contribute to our economy and national security, and whose employees are our neighbors, or butt into energy myths and stand by idly (gleefully?) while Hugo Chavez ejects "Big Oil" from Venezuela.

The American public is severely misinformed about energy. A few energy myths:

• American energy independence is possible. • "Big Oil" companies control gasoline prices. • "Big Oil" companies make obscene profits. • We are running out of fossil energy (oil, natural gas and coal). • There are renewable (clean) alternatives to oil, natural gas and coal available today. • People will pay more for clean energy. • The oil industry is a major polluter today. • Energy efficiency and conservation can solve the problem.

Here are a few energy realities.

• Political spin has little basis in energy reality; talk about energy independence is misleading and naive. America is energy interdependent for the foreseeable future and policies should be made accordingly. • The cost to transition the transportation infrastructure to nonliquid energies is in the trillions of dollars and will take many decades, even if we implemented a full-scale commitment today. • Big Oil companies combined control less than 10 percent of the world's conventional oil reserves. So "Big Oil" cannot control gasoline prices. • U.S. political leaders beat up on Big Oil with unfounded rhetoric about obscene profits. Big Oil companies, even in the past few "obscene profit years" have typically made less than 10 percent profit annually, which is not very good relative to many other industries. A healthy industry does not exhibit the kind of layoffs and mergers that continue to characterize the U.S. petroleum industry. • Oil, natural gas and coal provide 86 percent of global energy. Consumers must be prepared to pay for cleaner forms of fossil energy, such as electricity from gasified coal plants that are ready to sequester carbon dioxide emissions underground, and unconventional oil and gas reserves whose exploitation demands more expensive technology. • Because of its massive pursuit of coal-based power, China must be a major part of any global strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

Energy can do many things, but it cannot be renewed. Sources of heat and motion that seem sustainable on a human time scale, such as wind, solar and geothermal, supply only around 1 percent of the world's energy.

Research on solar energy makes eminent sense and should be embraced; it will be needed later this century. Wind, geothermal, tidal and hydro make sense as regional supplements. Nuclear energy is a viable, scalable, clean alternative for power generation. Biofuels require more research; currently the cost in soil, water and energy to convert a carbohydrate into a hydrocarbon is simply too great.

Since the dawn of energy as a commodity, people have made choices based largely on price. There is no sign that will change, regardless of how we respond to clean energy polls; when the price of gasoline, heating fuel or electricity rise, the consumer yelps.

Combustion of any fuel produces emissions; everyone who drives a car, turns on a light or heats and cools a home is likely combusting fuel. Emissions standards, oil and gas operations and coal mining practices have and should continue to improve.

We can and must become more efficient in how we use and save energy; it is a significant part of the solution. But global demand will continue to grow; there are simply too many people consuming and modernizing and we can't "save" our way around the problem.

While emerging energy forms take shape, we still need to run the planes, trains and automobiles of the modern era. Until we define and can produce at scale the next major transportation fuel, we owe it to ourselves to develop national energy policy with a mind toward supporting the major oil companies that provide the energy required for a healthy economy, which is in turn required for a healthy environment. To do otherwise would put control of oil, and global security, in the hands of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and a few countries with major reserves of conventional oil.

The choice is ours.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bigoil; energy; energyindependence; geopolitics; hugochavez; myths; oil
Great article. The writer understands that, even with some conservation, the USA will demand more energy in the coming decades. Too many people/interest groups are hung up on issues like global warming and hatred for oil companies and can't see the forest through the trees. We are facing very serious energy challenges and any attempt to villify oil companies will negatively impact our economy.
1 posted on 07/29/2007 8:11:33 AM PDT by NRG1973
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To: NRG1973

The answer from the moonbat left is easy....It’s Chavez by a wide margin. That way not only to we get to punish big oil but we get an up and comming socialist dictator hero to worship. After all, Castro as wonderful and true a hero as the left could ever want isn’t going to be around for ever.


2 posted on 07/29/2007 8:17:12 AM PDT by marlon
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To: NRG1973

The Democrats will continue to play the evil-oil card for all they are worth, because it has worked so well for them, and the media will continue to eagerly push the Communist line and shut out the truth.

They are the ones chiefly at fault for our current mess, but I would also fault President Bush for not pushing more strongly for his sensible energy plan. He had a majority in congress for six years, but he never twisted any arms or bothered to explain why it was so important that we should open the north slope for drilling and why we should ease the crippling regulations on refineries. He let Lincoln Chaffee kill drilling in Alaska by one vote, and then gave him money for his primary campaign. It was not skillfully handled.

Also, someone should point out that “Big Oil” is no longer big oil. Even ExxonMobil is dwarfed by the state controlled oil companies in Russia and elsewhere around the world. The Seven Sisters, now sadly reduced, no longer have more than a small piece of the oil market. And that is rapidly decreasing, even while the Democrats play political games and the President shrugs.


3 posted on 07/29/2007 8:25:21 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: NRG1973

Increased CO2 is a plus for plant growth, and thus food production. We should not discourage it.


4 posted on 07/29/2007 8:25:26 AM PDT by Voltage
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To: NRG1973

“..electricity or hydrogen..”

Proper containment of hydrogen at high pressure is a bitch - smallest known molecule in the universe.


5 posted on 07/29/2007 8:25:47 AM PDT by 353FMG (America, first, last and always.)
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To: NRG1973
The article was exactly right with this one exception, it states that energy independence is not possible

That is incorrect. We have vast stores of energy in this country via coal, shale oil, and nuclear power which could provide every watt we need if it were politically acceptable. The hardcore leftists are also the hardcore environmentalists and oppose every effort for us to achieve energy independence. They want this country to fail. That is their objective.

The real beauty of nuclear power is that it can generate the electricity we need and using "breeder reactors" the fuel available can be measured in hundreds of years. The one thing that shale oil and coal to liquid hydrocarbons need is a lot of heat to extract the hydrocarbons and or convert them to liquid hydrocarbons. Nuclear power can provide this heat. Nuclear, coal, and shale oil energy can give us independence.

We do not have an energy problem we have a political problem.

6 posted on 07/29/2007 8:25:52 AM PDT by cpdiii (Pharmacist, Pilot, Geologist, Oil Field Trash and proud of it.)
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To: NRG1973

It was a good article from the writer. He got my attention. Which means I need to see another article before I write him off as a blind squirrel.

Now he should write an article about how we should drill ANWR, liquify coal and build a few nuke plants.

That will keep me coming back for more.

Hey Houston Chronicle, This is how you sell newspapers.


7 posted on 07/29/2007 8:31:24 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (The Democrat Party: "Everyone is equal, but some are more equal then others.")
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To: marlon
The answer from the moonbat left is easy....It’s Chavez by a wide margin. That way not only to we get to punish big oil but we get an up and comming socialist dictator hero to worship.

You mean THIS moonbat left...

Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.

Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott! by Jeff Cohen

[published on Monday, May 16, 2005 by CommonDreams.org]

http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0516-25.htm

8 posted on 07/29/2007 8:34:17 AM PDT by exposing_the_left (the primary threat in the world today is the commie - islamo/nazi alliance. their common enemy is us)
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To: 353FMG
Proper containment of hydrogen at high pressure is a bitch - smallest known molecule in the universe.

No, it is a BITCH AND A HALF. liquid hydrogen take cyrogenic tanks to hold it and it can not hold it forever. Just think about a closed parking garage with hundreds of cars "leaking" a little hydrogen into the air. This is not good. If you use high pressure gaseous hydrogen you are talking about a tank of gas under several thousand pounds per square inch of pressure. Not good, not good at all!!!!Also, due to hydrogen embrittlement you can not use high carbon steels as a containment vessel. Unless they solve the problem of storage via metal hydrides hydrogen will never be a source of power for cars and trucks.

9 posted on 07/29/2007 8:35:05 AM PDT by cpdiii (Pharmacist, Pilot, Geologist, Oil Field Trash and proud of it.)
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To: NRG1973

10 posted on 07/29/2007 8:37:53 AM PDT by UnklGene
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To: marlon
.It’s Chavez by a wide margin.

Ofcourse. Their official stance is "anyone but Bush".

11 posted on 07/29/2007 8:39:14 AM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: NRG1973

12 posted on 07/29/2007 8:45:21 AM PDT by UnklGene
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To: NRG1973
People will pay more for clean energy

Yes, indeed. They will pay and pay.

13 posted on 07/29/2007 8:47:42 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: NRG1973

Any place which has a “Citgo” sign out front isn’t any place I’d even stop to take a leak, much less purchase ANYTHING.


14 posted on 07/29/2007 8:54:14 AM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: cpdiii

Remember the Hindenberg!


15 posted on 07/29/2007 8:58:26 AM PDT by richardtavor (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem in the name of the G-d of Jacob)
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To: NRG1973
Me, I’ll go with “big oil”, big auto, big technology and computers, big medicine and pharma, big aviation, big science, big capitalism and economics, etc., etc., etc. It’s called economy of scale. I like big stuff, big advances, big money. What, I'm going to shovel manure in my backyard, make my own shoes, ride a horse to work? I don't think so.

No wait, lets all grow our own food, build our own houses and cars and machines, kiss off the phone and communications industries, do our own medical care, make our own antibiotics, shovel our own manure from all the low carbon footprint horses, etc., etc., etc. It was such a big success in China during the “Giant Leap Forward” wasn’t it? Everybody can make steel in their own back yards.

That’ll make everything more efficient and “environmentally “green” and correct won’t it?

“Big Oil”? It belongs to America, the UK and Western civilization. We found it, we got it out of the ground, we developed it, it belongs to us.

Screw the 3rd world. Their misery is their own damn fault because of their stupid religions, lousy repressive governments and their lousy choices.

16 posted on 07/29/2007 9:03:41 AM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now, courtesy of Islam.)
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To: NRG1973

I get tired of the rantings over big oil, would we rather the biggest oil co. in the world were somewhere other than the USA so we could be sending all this money overseas.


17 posted on 07/29/2007 9:14:16 AM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
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To: exposing_the_left

I’m not even going to him them the thrill of a hit on their web site. From your little blurb description I can tell there a bunch of unhinged moonbats. And here I thought I was writing a little tounge and cheek. It just goes to show no matter how absurd you try and make the left sound with parody they can always top us with their actions.


18 posted on 07/29/2007 9:49:14 AM PDT by marlon
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To: NRG1973
stand by idly (gleefully?) while Hugo Chavez ejects "Big Oil" from Venezuela.

So if I give Exxon a hug they'll stop Venezuela from exporting? The author seems to be combining several issues to make an unrelated point.
19 posted on 07/29/2007 10:12:19 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: NRG1973

It is a great article.


20 posted on 07/29/2007 10:23:19 AM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: garyhope

“What, I’m going to shovel manure in my backyard, make my own shoes, ride a horse to work?”

Don’t forget, wipe with one square of TP — it’s core theology to the Greenies.


21 posted on 07/29/2007 10:46:38 AM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: NRG1973
Thanks for the article. It’s sensible and seems well informed.

Big oil isn’t the problem. The problem is big stupid government. Government should get out of the way and allow the oil companies to exploit our oil resources in ANWR and offshore. The environmental and political risk of US oil is far less than that of foreign oil. We need to streamline and ease the process of allowing new refineries in the United States.

We do not need complete energy independence. Just a little more US oil and refining would greatly improve our national security. Prices are set at the margin and small changes in supply may have a significant impact on price. That would piss off Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. De-funding communists and Jihadists is a good thing.

22 posted on 07/29/2007 10:46:41 AM PDT by ChessExpert (Reagan dismantled the Russian communist empire despite the Democrats and the MSM)
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To: cpdiii

“..hydrogen embrittlement..”

And let’s not forget hydrogen internal blistering. It’s easy to say that we will use H2 in the future but, as usual, our politicians posture and look important and come up with all kinds of technical BS, but most of them do not know what they’re talking about. Every known material looks like swiss cheese to a H2 molecule. I, personally would not like to be around when two H2-fuel cars collide.


23 posted on 07/29/2007 11:04:44 AM PDT by 353FMG (America, first, last and always.)
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