Mason County News
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Texas Oil & Gas
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 • Posted April 6, 2011

Dear Editor:

Finally, we have had enough!!! The fact that Obama is going to allow Petrobras to produce oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico when he won’t let American companies produce fossil fuels in the Gulf is beyond comprehension. The oil industry has been providing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the USA since Spindletop blew in at Beaumont in 1901. Indeed, oil production had already begun in various U.S. locations during the 1800s. Oil and natural gas are safe and economical fuels for many, many applications plus petroleum is found in almost every product created by modern science. AND, with modern drilling techniques, fossil fuel production generally has a small ecological footprint.

Certainly, the oil spill from last summer was a terrible accident but it was the first accident of that magnitude in decades of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Yes, the Exxon Valdez accident was ecologically damaging. However, none of the dire consequences that the Alaskan pipeline was supposed to create have materialized despite the fear-mongering that accompanied that project. The hew and cry about drilling in ANWAR is another fear-mongering campaign of the first order. The site for the drilling is on the far north slope only a few hundred miles from the current north slope production on a bleak, featureless stretch of tundra. There’s not a pristine forest, cuddly moose or scenic mountain within hundreds of miles of the proposed drilling site.

The fact is that the rest of the world is laughing at us while we use our country’s resources to buy oil from our enemies, ignoring the fact that we have many decades worth of fossil fuels in our own country. We no longer have the luxury of not developing our own energy sources just so that Florida & California don’t have tar balls on their beaches. We have tar balls on Texas beaches and our state income from tourism is among the highest in the country. And, we’ll bet that not a single person in California or Florida refuses to use gasoline refined from Texas oil!

As demand for fossil fuels increase from developing countries, do we actually think that we will be able to import as much petroleum as we have in the past? Do we propose to sit here while our standard of living drops just because we don’t have the good sense to stick a drill pipe in the ground to extract nature’s riches? And please, don’t even start with wind and solar power, which produce an infinitesimal amount of power in the U.S. Just the concept of using electricity to power a car is ridiculous - - it makes no sense to burn natural gas or oil or coal to produce electricity to power a vehicle that would run better and longer on the oil in the first place. And, as far as we know, not a single person on the planet has a tree in their backyard that produces electricity. Do we think solar and wind power have a future?? Yes, but only in a capacity that recognizes their limitations

And, our last point - - do we really believe that the Brazilians or the Chinese or any other foreign country will do a better job protecting the Gulf of Mexico ecology than Americans will??? Soon, the Chinese will be drilling off of Cuba and if one judges from the pollution in their own country, protecting the Gulf of Mexico will be China’s last concern. If an oil spill from a Chinese facility causes a problem the size of the BP accident, do we actually think that the Chinese will set up a multi-billion dollar fund to clean up the mess?? Let’s don’t hold our collective breaths until that happens.

As a nation, we must pressure our "leaders" to develop a comprehensive energy plan for the USA that utilizes all of our possible energy sources in a logical manner that takes into account the chemical and physical properties of each source along with the ecological impact of energy development. Unless we do, the American way of life will be seriously downscaled in the future and that is NOT a pleasant prospect!

Mike Shanley & Gail Coldiron


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