My wife and I spent Thursday afternoon at the doctor’s office. Our physician not only performs medical miracles, but he is also a dyed-in-the-wool conservative who makes it his business to keep abreast of the high crimes of hypocrisy committed by elected officials and the latest outrages in the court of public opinion. Office visits often turn into mutual rants about the state of politics in America. Our Doc was seeing blood this week over energy; not just gas prices, but the fact that many Americans partake of the leftist Kool Aid on energy—no questions asked.
So, we face an energy crisis perpetrated by environmental radicals and their political handmaidens—folks who would like to see the rest of us permanently off the grid and terminally off the planet. These back-to-the-cave advocates are being aided and abetted by otherwise rational people from both political parties; people who have been taught that all we need to solve our energy crisis is:
- Windmills and solar panels.
- Higher gasoline taxes.
- Lower speed limits.
- Larger recycling bins.
- Automobiles the size of go-carts.
That’s not all. These energy knuckle-heads have been convinced by the eco-nannies that Americans shouldn’t drill for oil and gas, can’t use nuclear energy, and mustn’t burn coal—our most abundant fuel.
The breadth and depth of ignorance about what is really required to solve our energy dilemma, a subject vital to the economy and our quality of life, is absolutely breath-taking. How could this happen? The answer is quite simple. It is about Americans exposed for decades to lies and distortions about energy policy—no questions answered.
Since the 1970s, environmental activists have had free reign to spread various forms of manure about energy and the environment unhindered by the truth. They have also been quite successful at silencing those who should have been delivering the facts of energy life to American consumers. The back-to-the-cave crowd skillfully created the so-called Corporate Social Responsibility movement to pressure business executives into towing the environmental line on energy and climate change. Executives who dared to tell the truth suffered media attacks and accusations of “anti-social” corporate behavior. Sound familiar? Madame Mao would have been very proud.
It wasn’t until the recent explosion in crude oil prices, and efforts by leftist legislators to once again blame U.S. oil companies for the crisis Congress and the activists helped to create, that industry leaders decided to get out of their Jacuzzis and deliver the truth.
For the first time in decades, Americans are now having their questions answered about the energy facts of life; facts delivered by oil industry executives and their trade associations:
- Fact: “Big oil” doesn’t exist in the U. S.—investor-owned companies like Exxon-Mobil, Conoco-Phillips and Chevron control 6% of the world’s oil reserves—how could they possibly fix the price of crude oil?
- Fact: International oil companies—owned by foreign governments like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela—control 78% of oil reserves, with another 10% under their negotiating authority; 6% of crude oil reserves are controlled by Russian companies.
- Fact: The price of crude oil represents 70% of the price of gasoline at the pump, that’s $2.80 out of a $4 gallon just for raw material; refining and retailing account for 17% of the price.
- Fact: Oil and natural gas industry earnings are 7.4% compared to 7.6% for all U.S. manufacturing—so where are these huge windfall profits?
- Fact: Taxes account for 13% of the price we pay at the pump for gasoline—that’s about 52-cents a gallon at today’s prices—compare that to oil industry earnings— talk about a windfall!
- Fact: Oil, coal and natural gas represent about 84% of our energy mix—do you still buy the clap-trap that wind and solar will come to the rescue during our lifetime?
- Fact: The prices Americans pay for gas are the result of increased demand for oil, a decline in the value of the dollar, political instability in the Middle East, and government regulations that prevent exploration, disrupt markets and raise prices at the pump.
Consider those indisputable facts the next time your local Congressman gets on the tube bragging about how he hauled oil company CEOs before a congressional kangaroo court and threatened them with a windfall profits tax. My suggestion? Next election, get off your butt and go to the polls!
What should you do when some environmental activist shows up at your door begging for a contribution? Hand the cave dweller an invoice for all the cash you have shelled out at the pump thanks to the handiwork of the radical environmental movement. And, if it’s hot outside, offer up a big glass of green Kool Aid.
I usually spend my time haranguing about corporate appeasers and their public relations flaks who make nice to every activist demanding tribute. However, for the first time in a long, long while, I would like to congratulate the oil and gas industry executives who have obviously concluded that the most socially responsible thing they can do in these difficult times is to tell the truth.
Perhaps it is time to adopt a new slogan for the Corporate Social Responsibility movement. How about a quotation in Latin? That would make it acceptable for those who scorn the English language. I would suggest to all business executives that the next time some environmental activist threatens you because your company will not kow-tow to their political agenda, hit him upside the head with this new slogan: Veritas vos liberabit—the truth will set you free!