National Security and Oil

If we lose the oil fields, we lose the war.” -Adolph Hitler

It has become fashionable to excoriate our country for consuming almost 25% of the earth’s oil and yet comprising only 3% of the planet’s population. However, it is seldom mentioned that the United States and Western oil companies are responsible for the discovery of the majority of the world’s oil reserves. When the equation is turned around it could be argued that America has been quite generous with the energy resources that it has discovered, produced and shared with the rest of the world. Imagine what the price of oil might be and how precarious it’s distribution had China or Russia been responsible for the tremendous risks and investments necessary to capture the majority of the earth’s hydrocarbons. Economic output is almost perfectly correlative to energy consumption which explains why the United States generates over 25% of the worldwide GDP while comprising only 3% of the population. Once again, when the “population versus consumption” equation is viewed from a “population versus productivity” perspective a very different picture emerges.

Although wealthy Europeans and Americans may apologize for their energy consumption, developing nations envy the availability of affordable oil and gas that we enjoy. Furthermore, they wish to participate in the personal comforts and economic productivity that ample supplies of oil and gas make possible. Because of a vibrant domestic oil sector we no longer require a whaling industry to provide northeasterners with heating oil in the winter. Likewise, it is no longer necessary to clear cut entire forests to burn in our wooden stoves. Petroleum provides the energy for mechanized tools that relieve the laborer of back-breaking toil. Capturing and harnessing energy is the key distinction between advanced industrialized economies and struggling third world countries. As pointed out in Dr. Michael Economides’ excellent book, The Color of Oil, the primary difference between our colonial ancestors and modern Americans is the utilization of energy for transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and air-conditioning. These advancements are attributable to fossil fuels.

It should be obvious to all that a sufficient energy supply is the prerequisite for every industry and every economy in the world. For the past 100 years hydrocarbons have provided the vast majority of the world’s energy demands. Whenever it becomes scarce or unavailable governments are compelled to take radical measures. Japan may have never attacked Pearl Harbor had President Roosevelt not imposed a naval blockade preventing oil tankers from reaching Japanese ports after the Rape of Nanking. Japan became so desperate for gasoline by the end of the war that they resorted to converting sake into fuel and clear cutting entire forests of pine trees that contained a syrupy substance that was distilled and used as crude oil. Germany’s finest military strategist, Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, was forced to deploy in North Africa to capture oil reserves instead of aiming his panzers toward London or Moscow. The purpose of the Romanian occupation was primarily to secure the Ploiste Oil Fields near Bucharest when German divisions were badly needed in other parts of the European theater. Adolph Hitler properly identified Ploiste’s grave importance when he stated, “If we lose the oil fields, we lose the war.” In 1943 and 1944 Allied B-24s bombed Ploisti. Conversely, a reliable supply of oil from fields in Texas, Oklahoma and California enabled our forces to engage in the Pacific and European theaters simultaneously and was a major contributor to U.S. victory in World War II.

Today, our large oil companies compete in the international arena with much larger national oil companies like Russia’s Lukoil and Gazprom and China’s SINOPEC. Whether we recognize it or not, we are engaged in a global race for reserves with far-reaching implications. Russia has recently made an aggressive claim upon the exploration rights covering much of the Arctic Circle. China is challenging Exxon’s right to explore in Vietnamese waters in the China Sea while the National Chinese Oil Company is drilling only a few miles off the coast of Florida. America’s energy plan is focused upon taxing it’s domestic oil companies and misspending the bounty on inferior and unreliable alternatives, some of which actually consume more energy than they produce. In the mean while, clear thinking Chinese and Russians are at work capturing the earth’s oil supplies.

History has demonstrated that the control of stable reserves of oil and gas is critical to the military and economic security of a nation. Those who fail to recognize this reality or prefer to ignore it do so at their country’s peril. While our public policies are unduly influenced by visions of a utopian “carbon free” society our adversaries are striking deals with Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran and Sudan while nationalizing the holdings of American energy companies. Furthermore, Russia and China have no reservations about exploiting the oil advantage once it is secured. On the contrary, they view petroleum equally as the economic fuel for their economies and the political currency with which they wield world power. For example, the Kremlin has periodically cut the flow of natural gas to the Ukraine when contractual disputes have arisen. The supply was most recently interrupted in January which also curtailed gas shipments to Europe. Russia currently supplies 50% of the natural gas to the European Union. Is there any doubt that the Kremlin will play the “oil card” if Germany or France were to fail to support Russian policies in the United Nations or elsewhere?

Lukoil and Gazprom serve the interest of Vladimir Putin. SINOPEC and CNOOC serve the geopolitical objectives of the Chinese communist leaders. Venezuelan oil profits support the grandiose visions of Hugo Chavez. Iranian oil profits serve the extremist aspirations of Mahmoud Ahmadinegad and the Shia Ayatollas. Thankfully, the success of our domestic oil companies accrue to the direct benefit of their shareholders being the tens of millions of Americans who hold their stock and indirectly to the security of our country. American policy makers and the American people must begin to understand that the control of oil and gas has become the chief geopolitical tool of those who wish us harm. We dare not allow politically correct but shockingly naïve policies to place us at the mercy of Venezuela, Iran, China or Russia.

By: Kyle L. Stallings

Posted on February 11th, 2009 by admin  |  Comments Off on National Security and Oil

Global Warming – An Old Idea

It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.” Thomas Paine

I live in Midland, Texas, which lies in the center of the most prolific oil producing province in the lower 48 states. Oil men refer to this portion of Western Texas and Southeastern New Mexico as the Permian Basin. According to geologists the region was at one time a tropical jungle surrounding the Permian Sea and was inhabited by dinosaurs whose remains provided the organic matter that would become fossil fuels. Today Midland receives rainfall of 12 inches annually and is a semi-arid desert with little surface water and sparse vegetation making it difficult to imagine the lush landscape that would have sustained the foraging of a 35 ton Apatosaurus. Obviously, a climatic shift has occurred. Greenlanders were farmers up until the 13th century. History records that the giant island began to cool in the 12th century and frigid temperatures created ice packs that impaired shipping lanes. Ultimately the islanders were forced to abandon their agrarian lifestyle and became sea faring adventurers who we remember as the Vikings. The record of the last surviving Greenland Vikings was in 1408. NASA astronomers have discovered that the polar ice caps on Mars are melting. If the warming trend persists the topography and environment of the Red Planet may be forever impacted with unknown consequences.

These three examples of seismic temperature transformations share a very significant common denominator. Greenhouse gases produced by human activity were totally absent. We can also draw the following inference from these events: Our earth and solar system undergo warming and cooling cycles that occur over centuries and millennia that mankind does not control.

It is seldom mentioned that the baby boom generation received a “coming ice age” education when we were in school in the 1970s. Therefore, we tend to be a little skeptical of the current fad. Senator Inhofe, (R-OK), chronicled the history of climate hysteria a few months ago on the Senate floor. He reveals that the recent warming consensus is actually a recycle of an idea first introduced in the late 1920s and is now repackaged for modern consumption. Temporary warming and cooling trends will continue to provide “evidence” for those intent upon corroborating a predetermined conclusion. A far more rational reaction would be to marvel at the remarkable environmental consistency produced by a sun located 93 million miles from a tiny planet traveling in a 584 million mile elliptical orbit while wobbling on a tilted axis.

Many environmentalists are so convinced of the truth of Global Warming and the culpability of human actions that dissenting viewpoints are not even acknowledged. They reason that the consequences of a warming earth as portrayed in such docudramas as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “An Inconvenient Truth” are so cataclysmic that it no longer matters if the underlying scientific premises are even true. Accordingly, their crusade no longer employs logic, fact or history to argue their position but simply declares that “the debate is over.” The projections arising from their dubious theory are presented as foregone conclusions – usually with artistic license. Those who reject or even question the correlation between greenhouse gases and Global Warming are branded as “Global Warming deniers” and deserve the same contempt and disdain due holocaust deniers and others who have committed crimes against humanity.

Those who have the independence and nerve to dispute the questionable science behind the global warming dogma are rarely permitted to have their voices heard. The October 27, 2006 “cease and desist” letter delivered to ExxonMobil from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) provide an excellent case in point. Exxon has committed the unpardonable sin of asking hard questions about climate cycles and had helped fund think tanks that do not accept the Global Warming world-view at face value. It seems that they live in a world where new and unproven theories actually have to bear up to scientific scrutiny. Apparently, the good senators cannot tolerate skepticism (or free speech) concerning the absolute and undeniable truth of Global Warming. Exxon’s politically incorrect views are particularly dangerous when combined with their renowned commitment to good research, hard facts and their disregard of the speech police. Senators Rockefeller and Snowe have used this shot across the bow to let Exxon know that they had better watch their step. Regrettably, the senators’ Orwellian warnings succeeded and the company has discontinued support of free-thinking dissent.

It is important to understand the world-view of any politician or social activist because those internal convictions must influence his conclusions. Can any unbiased observer dispute the anti-capitalism, anti-energy tendencies of the global warming crowd? Is it any wonder that they are capable of re-interpreting any scintilla of data into the framework of their global warming presupposition? If the winter is mild the cause is global warming. Rain in a normally dry month is undisputable evidence of global warming. A Category 3 or larger hurricane is certainly caused by global warming. If it’s unusually hot in July global warming is the obvious reason. And yes, a cool day in August was surely caused by global warming. Like any conspiracy theory it can explain anything and can never be disproven. Whether the “crisis” is Global Cooling (1970s) or Global Warming (1990s) or Climate Change (2008) the causation remains “man-made carbon emissions.” This is the nonnegotiable foundation upon which their faith rests. Though their facts may be discredited their crusade will never be abandoned.

Mr. Gore and his cadre of Environmental Wahabis who ignore historical cycles, declare the debate to be over and ask nothing of themselves, propose draconian measures for the country. They insist that the United States ratify the Kyoto Treaty which would impose burdensome restrictions and regulations upon our economy. (Russia and China reeeeeally want us to sign Kyoto.) Secondly, they demand that congress pass new carbon and energy taxes that would redirect billions of dollars into “fighting Global Warming.” Thirdly, they are rabid supporters of corn-based ethanol that exacerbates gasoline supply and create food shortages. Lastly, Mr. Gore (like President Obama) divines that the new “green economy” will create jobs and expand the GDP. Once again, without logic, fact or compelling argument the dynamic “green economy” is proffered as another foregone conclusion. This comes from the man who may have invented the internet but had never actually created a single private sector job outside of his pilots, domestic servants or laborers on his inherited tobacco farm until he founded the “green” investment firm, Generation Investment Management.

It is interesting to contrast the resumes of Dr. Reid Bryson, (1920 -2008) with that of Vice-President Gore. Dr. Bryson held a Ph.D. in Meterology, Atmospheric Science and Geology and was Emeritus Professor at the University of Wisconsin and was known as the Dean of North American Meteorology and the Father of Climatology. He rejected theories of Global Warming caused by man’s production of greenhouse gases referring to the argument as “ludicrous.” (Dr. Bryson attributed changes in the planet’s temperature primarily to climate cycles and pointed out that if we are concerned about carbon emissions that their chief source is water vapor.) Vice-President Gore could be called the “Father of Global Warming.” Mr. Gore was an English literature major who dropped out of seminary.

It is a weak theory indeed that relies upon character assassination, intimidation, censorship and Hollywood docudramas. High energy costs and economic recession will be the first casualties of Kyoto should President Obama prove foolish enough to sign it. The greater tragedy will be the international consequences as we lose ground to China, India, and Russia who will not be as burdened by Kyoto’s restrictions nor are they likely to comply with any provisions that would regulate their hydrocarbon consumption or constrain their economic objectives. Apart from Kyoto, President Obama seems intent upon visiting similar calamity upon our nation through his own “cap and trade” legislation. This misguided scheme of carbon taxation and credit trading will create an army of bureaucrats who will proliferate complex regulations against certain industries while exempting favored sectors. Be certain that “carbon trading” will have little net affect upon emissions but will greatly empower government to meddle in the affairs of the citizenry and enrich the companies that will arbitrate this absurdity. (Al Gore is of course one of the early investors in this scam.) Expect the results to be higher domestic energy costs, a fatigued economy, demoralized entrepreneurs and the emergence of new world leaders, other than the U.S. Meanwhile, condescending politicians and celebrities will continue to lecture from the rear seats of their Gulfstreams and to profiteer from the hysteria that they have created.

By: Kyle L. Stallings

Posted on February 11th, 2009 by admin  |  Comments Off on Global Warming – An Old Idea