What do oil and sugar have in common? The answer is simple, addiction. Americans are addicted to sugar and oil. Americans have reached pandemic levels of obesity on sugar through its insidious use in virtually every food product and oil has led to an addiction to complacency. Unfortunately, our addiction to oil is fueled by short-sighted politicians and those who seem to have a vested interest in keeping hooked on this dwindling, climate altering product.
WASHINGTON (AP, 7/30/08) - President Bush is turning up the heat on congressional Democrats over offshore oil drilling…Bush says if Americans care about the price of gas, "then we better get after finding some supplies of oil and gas."
Critics worry about blackened beaches and argue that any extra oil is years away from hitting the market. They also say oil companies should use the leases they have first.
In addition to this push from the White House, Presidential hopeful John McCain is also a supporter of searching, drilling and mining for more oil. States once avidly opposed to off-shore drilling are beginning to cave into the unquenchable American thirst for oil as prices at the pump, while having backed off a little for the moment, are still double what they were a year ago. To make matters even worse, we want to ravage the west to get oil from shale. But as the Denver Business Journal said recently, “Since the 19th century, we in the West have been trying to extract oil from the vast oil shale riches that lie under our feet. It’s no easy task, and past efforts have failed miserably. Commercial oil shale development would require not only immense financial investments but also an undetermined quantity of (scarce) water from the Colorado River basin and the construction of several multibillion-dollar power plants.” To make matters even worse it is said that producing fuel from the shale would add some 21% to 47% more greenhouse gasses than conventionally produced fuels. It is further noted that production of oil from shale would require massive amounts of water from the Colorado River, a system already under immense pressure just to meet drinking demands. And according to both government and environmental sources, any added supply would not even hit the market until somewhere around the year 2030. What is the point? Increased oil demands from places like China and India will more than consume any increase in production, doing nothing to alleviate gas prices, but doing everything to increase oil company profits.
Speaking of profit, Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, the biggest profit from operations ever by any U.S. corporation. Hess Oil reported a 62% jump in second quarter profits and both Shell and BP recorded a 33% increase in profits. It is obvious that increases at the pump have nothing to do with increased costs of production but everything to do with profit. While record profits are made, the average person is sinking deeper and deeper into debt, small businesses are closing and we are nearing a state of economic depression.
If the billions upon billions of dollars scheduled to find and produce more oil were spent on renewable energy resources, our energy problem would be solved and not just delayed. Those in power and those seeking power must push hard to end our addiction to oil. It is running out and the cost to squeeze out the last few drops from the planet are not worth the environmental costs and the effort will accomplish nothing. Too few are making money and too many are losing money in our continued addiction to oil. Any candidate I choose for upcoming elections needs to have a program that focuses on ending this oil addiction pandemic. Keep in mind, off-shore drilling and shale oil are only placebos, and placebos are made from sugar.