The Latest On: Oil
There was a piece in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle that said that people are abandoning their cars in favor of buses and trains in unprecedented numbers and that the experts say the shift may be permanent.
The reason is high gas prices, of course, and that corroborates what some of us have been saying for years—that gas prices should be high, for this very reason. This is painful for some people, no doubt about that, and someone should figure out ways to help them, but overall this is definitely the proverbial silver lining.
Oil and gas company propaganda trots out old 'jobs v. environment' canard. A Denver Post columnist responds 'Oh yeah? We'll take our environment over your jobs!'
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association and the Colorado Petroleum Association must have a lot of money, what with record profits for the industry and tens of thousands of new wells proposed in the state over the next 10-20 years.
Bill is a long-haul truck driver, plying his trade on the highways of middle America. In my last post about him, I told how he called Earthjustice from his truck, attacking environmentalists for bringing him, and America, to the point of economic ruin.
He ranted in my ear for 5 minutes about me being stupid and un-American for not letting oil companies drill us back to the days of cheap gas. Our national backyard, from Alaska to the coastlines of lower-48, is full of oil, he said – utterly exasperated at my inability to comprehend such common sense.
One of the first things I ever had published in a book was a chapter in The Environmental Handbook, a Friends of the Earth/Ballantine Books number, published for the first Earth Day, in 1970. It was called, "Ecopornography, or How to Spot an Ecological Phony."
It's time to dust it off and send it around again.
Ecoporn, as defined by us, is image advertising run by large enterprises, often engaged in enriching themselves and their shareholders via the exploitation of public resources. Oil companies, in other words, and mining companies, and so forth.
The voice mail caller accused me of being a Communist, anti-American, out-of-touch, and stupid. Worst of all, he spat out, I was an environmentalist.
Bill was furious, like hundreds of callers to Earthjustice in the last two months. Driven to call us by rabid, right-wing radio hosts and bloggers, most folks just wanted to rant about how we were driving up gas prices by opposing the obvious solution: drilling the coasts, drilling the Arctic, drilling wherever in America we can to free us from high gas prices and foreign potentates.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the rising cost of shipping everything from industrial parts to living-room sofas is forcing some manufacturers to bring production back to North America and freeze plans to send even more work overseas.
This could stem the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs, if not result in a job increase at home.
The State of Colorado is about to adopt new rules governing oil and gas development in the state.
The strangely named Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will soon change the state's permitting process for oil and gas extraction. (If the Commission is supposed to conserve oil and gas, why is everything it does concerned with taking fuels out of the ground?)
As the average price of a gallon of gas tops $4 for the first time this week, TV pundits are having a field day. There's nothing like bad economic news that everyone can understand to bring out the blather.