Wednesday, July 16, 2008

George Bush: The Best President Big Oil Ever Had

If you work in the oil industry, or if you depend on that industry for your lively hood, you should build a little shrine in your home for our current president. The best president big oil has ever had.

Not everything in this speech is wrong although a good deal of it is. The main problem with the speech is how unimaginative it is and what President Bush is really trying to do. This speech provides support to the argument that our president is biased, for whatever reason, toward oil companies which are now enjoying record profits in the slash and burn economics of the free market economy in its current manifestation.

In an effort to take the blame off of his administration's shoulders President Bush in essence is blaming the Democrats for the current high energy costs while providing an essentially useless "solution." Allowing off shore exploration and exploitation of whatever oil resources may, or may not, be lurking there is an anemic stopgap measure at best which will not have any major effect in the longterm energy needs of the nation. Also, from what I can gather those resources, whatever they may or may not be, would not even start to end up at the gas pump until two presidential elections from now.

Who stands to gain by lifting the exploration ban? The American consumer would see a relatively poor return as energy and energy production costs continue to rise. Those resources off our shores in the global market would be literally a drop in the bucket and do little to relieve our underlying systemic problems - such as the fact we are running out of oil and that we are poisoning our planet. The only entities to gain from the lifting of these bans are the oil companies. As oil prices continue to increase historically, which they will, any known reserve will be enormously profitable even if the world can begin the process of weening itself from petroleum. The real purpose of this speech was to set the agenda in the remaining six months of his administration for the lifting of the restrictions of off shore oil exploration which still has the final hurdle of being given a green light by congress.

So why this speech? This speech was designed as an attempt take the pressure off of the current administration for its lack of stewardship in looking after the interest of the American people, and to begin the process of allowing oil companies access to offshore oil deposits. To the very end Bush is proving his loyalty to big business, his lack of vision, and his disregard for the American people. The question is why?

The one explanation that makes the most sense to me is that this guy really believes that whatever is good for business is in the end somehow good for the country. Business comes first and if business prospers that will somehow magically make things good for the rest of us (not paying attention to the fact that corporations are very careful to prevent profit leaks and pay smart people a lot of money to contain profits rather than let them leak to the unwashed masses). Putting business first is not a new idea but it is one that is increasingly becoming the creed and mantra of our society. I would call it a religion. Even those who stand to loose from such a proposition, meaning about 90 percent of the population, are starting to buy into it. See the book What's the Matter with Kansas. Bush is certainly not alone in this magical belief in the inherit good of profitability and in another column I will show how a good many members of the Democratic party have learned to put business first and people second.

I don't agree with her completely but I do think that in light of President Bush's speech you should at least take a look at Naomi Klein's theories:

No comments: