Sunday, January 23, 2011

The State of the… Oh Hell, Here We Go Again

Once again the nation will be focused on what we often laughingly refer to as “the State of the Union” where the president stands before both houses of congress and the nation and tells us how the country is doing. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see we aren’t doing too well.

As we often said in the Army, Situation normal, all ‘fouled’ up!"

People have very little confidence in anything currently. The unemployed are not confident of returning to work. The employed do not feel secure in their jobs. Business owners are not confident of making even slim profits, not knowing what is coming next as politicians continue to “fix” things not actually broken on their backs.

Glib speeches by slick politicians and manufactured applause are not all that is needed currently. A leader is what we need. A leader that can see with so many currently suffering, flying around the world and taking lavish vacations every few weeks, hosting gala dinner parties and asking for more and more from the very ones suffering, does not instill confidence, it erodes it.

A leader that can see the only way to end such high unemployment is let people get back to work, let business create jobs to employ these people and a leader who can identify where jobs can be created that will grow the economy.

We need a leader who can see where government intrusion has destroyed jobs and blocked industry from ‘greasing the wheels’ of our economy to keep it rolling along smoothly.

And most importantly, we need leaders who can identify not only where jobs are sitting and waiting, but that those very jobs and industries have been what has kept America rolling for many decades now.

I have posted in favor of the petroleum industry several times in months past and not because I am heartless and care nothing about the environment, but because although I have never worked in that particular industry, I have benefited my entire life from the product.

It has supplied the electricity and natural gas that has kept me warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It has cooked my food, cleaned my clothes, taken me to and from work, to foreign lands and back home again.

It was there as both of my children were born and has provided the energy needed when I took them and their mother to the hospital or regular doctor visits. It was even present in some medications that helped heal them when sick.

It has kept our society rolling along in countless ways, including providing well paying jobs that spur other well paying jobs in support of it, refining it, transporting it and fueling other industries that in turn create more jobs, more economic freedoms and yes, even revenue to the government so it too can function where needed.

By now you might be wondering how we got from the State of the Union address to the petroleum industry. Just what possible connection could there be between another mundane speech, complete with manufactured applause breaks and inflated standing ovations and the petroleum industry you may be wondering.

While the nation will be focused on what Barack Obama reads off of the teleprompter, disagreeing and agreeing with the various points he will be making, who is paying attention to the State of America’s Energy?

Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute gave such an address earlier this month to a small audience, in comparison as he issued “The State of American Energy, A report that provides [the] industry’s perspective on energy and economic issues and the way the two are inextricably linked.”


For several years now we have heard how mankind is ruining the planet due to petroleum use and how we need so called “Green” energy to promote job growth, save the planet and grow the economy with “sustainable, renewable energy.” As is being found out and reported, such claims are a fallacy!

“Renewable energy subsidies may sustain the jobs of lobbyists, activists, politicians, bureaucrats and politically connected companies. But they will kill millions of other people’s jobs,” says Paul Driessen of CFACT in his article “Renewables are unsustainable.”

As Mr. Gerard so aptly points out, “Our nation will require more oil and natural gas for decades to come. A lot of it will come from deep sea wells and if it doesn’t come from here, then we’ll import it.”

One area where advocates of the “Green” energy lobby claim relief from imports can come is ethanol, fuel created from our food crops. But, does it make any sense at all, at a time so many throughout the world are going hungry and food riots are being seen in all corners, to divert a significant portion of human food to fuel, while we allow bazillions of gallons of a known proven fuel source to just languish in the ground, untapped due to poor political choices?

Beginning a little over two centuries ago, people came together and created the highest average standard of living known to mankind. The average lifestyle we enjoy today was available only to the wealthiest not that long ago. Western civilization grew us out of the dark ages and it was petroleum that fueled that economic growth.

As Jack Gerard says in the speech, “Every sector of the economy depends on affordable energy, every business owner, every worker, every household and family member, every consumer depends on affordable, reliable supplies of oil and natural gas.”

Tuesday evening, Mr. Obama will stand, just as every president before him, and deliver the “State of the Union” address. There will be self congratulatory comments, deserved and undeserved applause, vague proposals, and undoubtedly a plethora of unmerited standing ovations. Parties will be thrown, photos will be taken and politicians will return to business as usual.

You and I on the other hand, will soon be paying $4.00 and more for a gallon of gas and hoping we make enough money to pay our light bills.

We sent a message this past November and I’m not convinced they really heard us. We cannot remain sitting on our laurels, being satisfied with hearing sweet words in our ears about recovery when the very vehicle that could not only provide a significant beginning of a substantial recovery, but fuel it as well sits in the ground untapped.

The State of the Union address might be mandated by law, but the State of American Energy is mandated by necessity.

I urge you to join me in contacting your elected officials and remind them that ‘We the People,’ you and I, sent them there to make the right choices on our behalf. Choices that will grow us out of the economic morass and fuel a sustainable recovery for decades to come.

WOOD MACKENZIE: Energy Policy at a Crossroads

1 comment:

Unknown said...

State of Dysfunction with the Chief-Dysfunctionator at the helm