Andster and I were chatting via Google Talk last night, and the topic of gas prices eventually came up. What the hell is going on with these prices lately? It seems that OPEC
is jumping at every opportunity to gauge customers in the United States every chance they get, including the latest catastrophe, Hurricane Katrina. When I was in California, the gas prices were creeping up to $3.00 per gallon. Here on the East Coast, the average is around $3.50 per gallon. Now, I know that the East Coast has less reserves than the West Coast, and I know other countries like Europe pay far more than we do, but let's take a look at the bigger picture here:
We are the problem.
That's right, I said it. Someone's got to. We are the problem. If you don't believe me, check this out
OK, seriously, before you defend your right to drive your SUV, bear with me. The problem is not necessarily the kind of car you drive; you knew when you bought it what you were getting into, and that was your decision. There's a bigger problem, and its called the Environmental Movement and the EPA and the politicians who give credence to this said movement. We have plenty of gas right here in the United States. Plenty! I'm not talking about reserves; I'm talking about the kind we have right in our back yard! Just take a look at how many oil refineries have been shut down on the West Coast in the last 10 years alone! Why? Because the environmental wackos have pressured and lobbied the EPA to shut more and more down (as well as more refineries from starting in places like Alaska or off the shores of Washington and Oregon), just so one particular little fishy can swim up river!
Enough! How many more restrictions are we going to put up with before we let our overpaid, falsely-motivated politicians know that deforestation is sometimes necessary, oil is sometimes necessary, and electricity is sometimes necessary for people to survive in this day and age? And what is the President going to do about it? Nothing! It's not his priority.
Let's take it one step further: We can send a man to the moon, we have the largest and most powerful military on the planet, we can clone a sheep, but we just can't seem to relinquish our need for oil. Let's take a serious look at other energy options, not because it will feed the environmental movement, but because it will send a message to the towel wrappers in charge of OPEC and hit them in the pocketbooks.
Immediate oil replacements:
*The first energy sources to benefit from lower oil use are oil-substitute fossil fuels, natural gas, coal and nuclear power (yes, that's right -- nuclear power).
*Natural gas is already the best substitute for oil. Natural gas can replace oil in heating, electricity generation and industrial power production. Moreover, the resources are abundant: according to the US Geological Survey, there are 386 trillion cubic meters including undiscovered resources, corresponding to 155 years of world consumption.
*Coal, the victim of the oil revolution following the Second World War, is the second obvious replacement for oil, mostly used for energy generation. Coal offers ample reserves, almost 200 years of global demand.
*Nuclear energy. Public opinion and politicians have had an adverse view of nuclear energy in recent decades, mostly in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. However, nuclear energy has recently returned as a growth theme. New technology for nuclear reactors and tougher safety rules have considerably improved the security of nuclear plants. In this context, nuclear energy offers unparalleled assets: independence for OECD countries, low production costs ( 0.05 euros per kilowatt) and no greenhouse emissions. The replacement needs for out-of-date infrastructure (mostly the power plants of the 1960s) should definitely trigger investment in nuclear energy.
Until that time, it's a huge shit sandwich, and we're all gonna take a bite!