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View Diary: "America will always rely on foreign oil" (19 comments)

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  •  Where you sit is where you eat (4.00)
    Exxon and the rest of the Seven Sisters (count still valid?) are paid transporting energy from one side of the planet to the other.

    They are paid a premium in proportion to the length of the virtual pipeline leading from the oil pump to the gas pump, and the volatility and risk in getting a given gallon of fuel to you.

    It's a special expertise that people pay dearly for. It might cost, tops, $6 to get a barrel of light sweet crude out of the ground in Saudi Arabia, that including all the infrastructure and security costs. (In comparison it currently costs about, oh, $80/bbl to get Iraqi oil out of the ground, once the cost of the WMD War and subsequent occupation are included. It used to cost $2/bbl, per the Bushies' own estimates.)

    Anything that reduces the scale, complexity, volatility and risk of the oil production process reduces Exxon profits.

    It's not just a sea change in energy economics that the Exxonians fear. Even a modest reduction in energy consumption is death to dividends. God forbid nuclear or coal or those monstrosities wind and hydroelectric ever make a comeback, not when we've got plenty of oil and natural gas reserves to fuel all the brand-new oil and gas-burning power plants the Exxonians have lobbied 20 years to attain.

    And that oil and gas comes from far-off, dangerous lands and has to pass through several strategic (and risky!) gauntlets to get here.

    Only our expertise can get your gasoline to you, through such challenges, the Exxonians declare.

    The idea that those challenges are moot is anathema.

    The idea that hybrid cars, for example, might reduce demand for fuel gasoline by 40% inside of fifteen years terrifies.

    The idea that people will start turning out the lights, always, when they leave a room, or choose not to get in the car and 'go do something', but instead plan activities and consider entertainments close to home, or at home, rather than drive, drive, drive is a nightmare scenario.

    And the notion of people deciding that perhaps they just don't need to get in the car and drive to a mall, then an outlet store, then a specialty store, in order to buy lots of stuff that takes lots of energy to produce, in order to have life satisfaction is nothing short of an extinction-level event.

    So, when I hear an Exxonian say that we're never going to kick the habit, I just chuckle.

    What do you mean 'we', oil man? :)

    The Republicrime Party is coming for your money and your life.

    by cskendrick on Thu Feb 09, 2006 at 05:50:38 AM PST

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