Tifton Gazette

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October 24, 2012

Your Opinion: The truth about energy independence

Washington has no control over oil and gas prices. We had price controls on oil up until the “suppose shortages” of the early 1970s. The price was fixed at $8 per barrel. The Exxons, British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell (as well as other oil companies) were billion dollar corporations then.

The politicians, Republicans and Democrats, can cry out for energy independence but they have no control over “Big Oil”; just the opposite is true. There is a large “cry” that environmentalist have blocked new refineries and oil exploration. Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Arabia have built the largest refinery in the United States in the Houston, Texas area. This refinery is capable of refining all crude oil, heavy or otherwise. They are exporting refined products today.  

The US Geological Survey (US Department of the Interior) released a report 04/10/2008 that the “Bakken Formation” which is found in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and in Canada’s Providence of Saskatchewan and Manitoba has 3 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil. The next largest continuous oil accumulation in the U.S. is the “Austin Chalk” of Texas and Louisiana with an estimated 1 billion barrels.

The “Bakken”, located in the Williston Basin, is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and has the “potential” to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil.

Today the “Energy Information Administration” (EIA) estimates the “Bakken” at 503 billion barrels. We now have access of up to 500 billion barrels of light, sweet crude oil; the preferred that is less expensive to refine; 600,000 barrels leave the area every day by train, truck and pipeline.

The “ads” you see on television stating “I am an energy voter” is propaganda by American Petroleum Institute. API is the major lobbing arm of Big Oil.

Remember the “Wall Street Brokers” speculate on oil prices. Today’s oil prices have about a $30.00 per barrel higher price because of these people.

The only way that our government in Washington can affect oil and gas prices at the pump is to nationalize the oil companies’ holdings in our country. Most countries around the world have done this.

Prices are high today because of the lack of competition. Do not forget that the consolidation of the oil industry began by Ronald Reagan allowing Standard Oil of California to buy out Gulf Oil. The rest of the consolidation story is history.

What no one in Washington will tell you is that our country is awash in oil and natural gas. Guess what is the no. 1 export product from the United States is today?

It is estimated that we have a 100-year supply of natural gas. It will become in the very near future a leading “export product”. There is a plant being converted (it may be finished by now) in Louisiana to liquefy natural gas for export. A group is exploring building a plant at Coos Bay, Oregon to export natural gas from the west coast.

Russia, who is the major supplier of natural gas to Europe, has great concerns about the United States exporting its natural gas to Europe.

Remember no one but no one in Washington has any control over the prices of a barrel of oil or gas prices at the pump.

The deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico is one of the larger finds of oil in the world. Cambridge Energy Research Associates headed by Yergin estimated oil would be plentiful between 2010 and 2015.

This estimate was made before the Bakken Formation was known to be in the mix. Four to six years ago a spokesperson for Chevron said that the global supply and demand is how oil pricing is determined. The greater output in the U.S. will help lower the global price of oil.  

William C. Byrd


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