This author's grandfather was an one-legged oil driller during the Great Depression in Kansas and later in the Salem Field.
His other grandfather was refinery worker and pipeline welder in the Cushing Field in Oklahoma and later in the Salem Field.
So this will be a measured rant about oil as opposed to a full-blown "gusher".
As outlined in fracking, Oil is an integral part of 21st
Oil is like farming. When everyone does well, everyone does poorly.
That is, when everyone has a good crop, it depresses prices and everyone gets less money.
Oil is similar. When there is plenty of oil, the price per barrel is lower.
(attribution: David Horsey/LA Times)
The single most pressing reason not to remove all the oil from the ground and burn it has to do with climate change.
If we burned all the oil that is known to exist in reserves, it would kill the planet.
That's not hyperbole. It WILL kill the planet.
There is also another long term perspective.
There is a finite amount of oil underground. When it is all burned, it is gone.
There will come a day when oil has more value for chemical feedstock and lubricants.
For things made of plastic, polymers and so forth.
These and lubricants are recyclable. And they create no carbon dioxide nor contribute to global warming.
(Granted, the plastic trash vortex in the Pacific Ocean is horrific enough.)
Imagine a scene a hundred years in the future. "Can you imagine they used to burn oil?"
They'll think we were crazy. We are. Burning oil is destroying the planet.
We need to begin a mobilization effort on the scale that America managed in WWII to defeat Fascism.
We need to push new technologies, renewables, electric cars, and replace burning petroleum.
We need to consider petroleum a valuable natural resource of which we have a "savings acount" in the ground.
Thus our children and grandchildren will have sufficient resources for their needs.
We must consider oil left in the ground more valuable than burning it.
First, from a scientific standpoint in the fight against climate change and global warming
and secondly, from a perspective of a valuable resource for future generations to be marshalled out as needed.
The Nation magazine had an excellent article comparing the reserves of the oil companies
to the ownershjp of other human beings by plantation owners prior to the Civil war.
The capital value of southern slaves exceeded the capitalization of all the northern banks combined.
Plantation owners were not going to give up that capital without a fight- hence the bloodiest conflict in American history.
Similarly, the oil companies are not going to give up their capital without a fight of similar scale
or barring that- continued illegal control of the political mechanism via money and bought politicians.
Therefore, it is necessary to face a political reality and work WITH the oil companies to figure out
some manner to get them to more sparingly use their reserves.
Some stimuli or tax credits to substitute renewable energy for decreased oil extraction.
Sort of a carbon credit on steroids.
Make it lucrative enough they willingly find ways to keep the oil in their "savings account".
Compare it to interest on savings.
Add a stick to the measure whereby they must return a portion of their "interest" when they do pump that earmarked oil.
We may get further by facing reality and cooperating on some level with Big Oil.
Of course, they would have to commit to an understanding that oil reserves on Federal land belong to the people.
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