Friday, June 20, 2008

Oink, Oink for Oil

By Swampcracker

I am willing to say what no politician or pundit is willing to say: Higher prices force consumers into energy conservation, which is the only immediate remedy on the horizon. Lets look at some facts:

American oil companies have at present 68 million acres under lease. Have the oil companies done any drilling lately? No! Since American oil companies are not producing oil from already leased land, why should we lease them more acreage?

American oil refineries are operating at 100% capacity. If there were a sudden increase in oil supplies, how would more crude be refined into more marketable energy? Have the oil companies built new refining capacity lately? No! Have they announced plans to increase capacity? No!

The U.S. consumes 40% of world energy supplies, yet has only 5% of the world's population and less than 3% of the world's energy reserves. By every definition, we are a nation of energy pigs.

In contrast, European consumers pay triple for gas at the pump ($12 per gallon or more), yet consume less than half of what the average American consumes. Why should we enable an already outrageous addiction?

In contrast, conservation confers immediate benefits. If the average American driver were to increase fuel efficiency by one mile per gallon, it would be equivalent to a major oil field discovery yielding 1 million barrels per day. Saving two miles per gallon... you get the picture. These benefits are immediate, not 5 to 10 years later as with a drilling strategy.

What is the logic of driving a military vehicle (a Hummer that gets 10 mpg) to a shopping mall for the purpose of buying a loaf of bread?

Suburban sprawl: Can there be anything more stupid and wasteful than sitting in traffic, burning gas, and not going anywhere? How about moving commuters into mass transit? How about staggering work hours to reduce gridlock? How about moving office workers into home offices and eliminate commuting altogether?

Last month, sales of motor scooters rose 25%. Europeans have been driving scooters for decades. Riding a bike reduces energy obesity even more!

But let's face it: No politician will tell the truth anymore because lazy, fat, and inconvenienced Americans will bellow in protest.

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