Energy, Pain At The Pump
When the President and Prime Minister of Great Britain announced the releasing of strategic oil reserves for this coming summer brings to light the blatant disregard that the oil industry and our own government has for the general public. Ever since the mid 1970's the United States has had numerous opportunities to develop, manufacture and produce affordable automobiles using alternate fuel sources. Hydrogen fuel cells and natural gas are just a few alternatives that could have been incorporated into auto manufacturing and yet just like what happened to the Tucker automobile oil conglomerates, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all continue to pump out car after car relying on fossil fuels. Too many times during the past 40 years has the United States faced critical price increases at the pump. Every time the price of gasoline increases it disrupts individual finances as well as the nations economy. The stability of a nation requires that the energy needed to supply everyone's needs be plentiful, and affordable without fluctuating in price.
What happened to the Tucker automobile shows how the oil industry and the big three car manufactures of 62 years ago purposely set out to undermine and eventually destroy the Tucker auto before the Tucker company had a chance to mass produce their automobiles. Here was a car that back in the 1950's was able to go over 50 miles on a single gallon of regular gasoline. A car with revolutionary concepts all equipped with the safety features that were unheard of back then. By 1950 the United States was the worlds leading manufacture of automobiles and we were leaders in oil production and refinement. The population was experiencing a Renaissance of an economic boom following World War II which meant that the price of gas was pretty stable and affordable. But, what the oil industry, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler did in making sure the Tucker never reach production ensured the profits being made by oil and the "big three" would continue to flow in. Had the Tucker been able to mass produce the "big three and big oil's profits would be drastically reduced because the population would now have access to a car that used so little gasoline.
By 1950 Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, U.S. Steel, and American oil companies were the dominate industries in the United States. They pretty much had a hand in practically every legislation that Congress passed. In the mid 1970's domestic oil production began to wane and importation of crude oil was starting to increase. The United States still had the most refineries on line to process crude into regular gasoline, diesel and other petroleum based products. But, as in life their are always disruptions. When Watergate was grabbing the nations headlines there were forces at work in the Mid-East that were disrupting the flow of crude oil that the United States was beginning to be so dependant on. This disruption in the flow of crude oil Wall Street took full advantage of by speculating that oil futures would increase in value. This speculation not only increased the cost of fuel but created a total economic crisis. Countries like Brazil realized even by 1975 that Mid-Eastern oil couldn't be reliable and set a course to become energy independent. They succeeded. Today, Brazil is one of the world's most bustling economies and is pretty much energy independent. The United States however, our policies haven't altered. Congress is beholding to oil and oil controls Wall Street.
When the United States keeps on relying on more crude oil imports the population was left with no recourse but to suffer and pay at the pump. This pain at the pump ignited the first real push toward developing alternative fuel sources. But, like so many good intentions that often start out only to be shelved latter on the powers that be countered by making any attempt at delivering innovative alternative fuel sources too cost prohibitive to pursue. This is what happened in the 1970's. The United States went right back relying on importation of crude oil while alternative fuel sources purposely remained too costly to implement. The pain at the pump has only continued.
This nation can no longer tolerate energy prices that continually fluctuate which always increase and crush individual finances. To say that more drilling whether it is in North Dakota, Pudue Bay in Alaska, or more offshore drilling any where around the country is an answer to the pain at the pump is an illusion, a false sense of security and stability. Not only is the consumption of fossil fuels having a direct impact on the economy but inadvertently the burning of any fossil fuel is directly proportional to global warming and all the side affects that continue to undermine the economies of every nation. When London became the worlds most populace city during the coal powered first industrial revolution in the late 1800's marked the beginning of an acceleration of global warming. This global warming has only continued to accelerate by the power of the second industrialized revolution. The enormous amount of oil that is needed to keep emerging nations supplied with their energy needs their rate of consumption has tripled in just this past decade alone.
The technology has been developed where alternative fuel sources can be infused into the nations consciousness and integrated into every make and model of transportation. The continued reliance on oil as the main source of energy for the foreseeable future continues to be detrimental to not only the United States economy but for the other nations that continue consume more and more oil. When the exportation of refined petroleum whether it is gasoline, diesel, or other oil based products as the nations largest export signifies that the the oil industry has no intention or incentive to convert to hydrogen fuel or natural gas as the main source of automotive fuel. Congress in the meantime continues to pass legislation that only teases the proponents of alternative fuel.
No matter what many say about more drilling will in fact reduce the pain at the pump really isn't the cure all for healing our energy and economic woes. The fact of the matter is that Congress is in bed with the oil industry, and the oil industry is in bed with Wall Street. The continued speculating of oil futures is the predominant reason why everyone is paying dearly at the pump today.
To supplement our ever increasing energy needs have only led the Republican party to endorse more offshore drilling whether it is in the wilderness of Alaska or off the gulf coast of Florida. This blatant disregard for our environment whether it is the marine life or the coastal communities, offshore drilling only exasperates the problem of our energy consumption.
Today, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration now have concluded that continued and increased offshore drilling is a potentially environmental catastrophe in the making. This warning form the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration isn't taken very seriously by the majority of Republicans today. They would rather continue to escalate offshore drilling instead of working with the scientific community in developing readily available renewable sources of energy for our nation. This attitude is very short sighted and is now perceived by the global community as a threat to whole environment of the planet. The present Administration now is welcoming new proposals that will limit our dependence of foreign oil but the increasing pressure from the majority of Republicans only continues to thwart the involvement of outside agencies, green technologies, and other renewable energy sources to offset the high cost of our oil imports. Why? Probably because the Republican Party is so linked to the oil and gas industries that any switch from the current oil production to green technologies is perceived as a major financial setback or loss the oil industry won't accept.
In Florida, the United States has one of the largest solar farms in the world. To expand and promote other solar farms not only in Florida but across every state would go a long way to securing our energy independence. Another readily available solution that is continuing to gain popularity is wind turbine farms that are already in place in states like Texas and the mid-west. Instead of offshore drilling that would be potentially dangerous, wind turbine farms out in the gulf would be environmentally safe, cost effective, and supply the United States with a vast amount of renewable energy. Combined with solar and the hydrogen technologies The United States would become energy independent. Further deployment of offshore drilling or increased imported oil that we need now for our energy consumption would only push the United States deeper in debt, our environment would suffer, and the American public would be left with having to pay higher energy costs, that we just can't afford.
All it would take for the United States oil industry is to realize that to switch from the current way we consume oil to actively endorse and start to produce solar, wind and hydrogen technologies will only create greater financial long term rewards. While helping to save and replenish our environment, this switch would actually increase their profit margin, and lower the cost of energy for the American public. This is instead of the current situation of the oil industry that is handicapping the American public by not endorsing and producing the alternative energy technologies that are so abundant.