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Friday, January 12, 2007

Exxon Whistle Changing Tunes

The times are a changing; today Exxon-Mobil announced that they are no longer going to fuel global warming skeptic organizations such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute. As debate on global warming moves past the efforts of denial, the message is starting to resonate loud and clear. For years skeptics largely financed by Exxon-Mobil and other industry sources have effectively hampered legislation and policy to address the matter. Their efforts have effectively left American way behind the rest of the international community in creating solutions to global climate change.

The international community has been following the Kyoto Protocols in an effort to combat carbon emissions, while US official policy has been dictated by the concerns of the energy industries. President Bush removed the country from following its provisions on the grounds that developing countries are not committed to following the guidelines. The flawed outlook by President Bush failed to rationalize that the US is the single largest producer in carbon emissions, thus the largest culprit. Trade policy could dictate the demands on our trading partners, but that would restrict multinational corporation’s investments and of course the President would not want to jeopardize their right for “free-trade.”

According to the Bush doctrine, the Kyoto protocols would hinder the economic growth of the country, but as we can see that is false. Rising technologies in Europe and across the global are developing tactics and alternative fuel sources that will benefit generations to come. Contrary, to this Presidential administration, not only has denial been its official policy, energy policy had been hand crafted by the captains of the oil industry. Vice-President Dick Cheney held secret meetings with industry executives to create incentives and legislation that would favor their interests. Time has lapsed and the needs of countering global warming have become more pressing everyday, while companies like Exxon-Mobil have exponentially profited and the rest of the country stuck bearing those costs.

So, today I still will not use Exxon-Mobil gas at any rate, I at least applaud them in their change of course. They are whistling a different tune today and it is a start. It has become quite evident that burning of fossil fuels is the major culprit to global warming and that investment needs to be made in other sources of energy. Looking past the issue of global warming there have been numerous scientific and industry reports stating that the worlds oil supply is dwindling done. The notion of Peak Oil refers that there is only a finite amount of oil in the earth’s surface.

Oil industry executives are desperately seeking new sources for drilling. Debates rage the House floor on whether or not to allow drilling in the Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge, other national parks and the coastal shores. Foreign policy is dictated by the needs to control or influence the Middle East’s oil supply.

So as it appears, that popular opinion on global warming has changed and the possibilities of Peak Oil are evident I wonder if this might have all be known already by the industry. As industry officials, they have access to scientific data and analysis in which they should have been able to interpret the information clearly. Corporate policy dictates that they maximize profits as much as they can, so of course their policy would be of denial. But let us suppose that they did know, why would they continue to distort the information. I believe that it was evident for them to change their course, but they needed time to convert their investments into other commodities. Already, companies like BP (British Petroleum) have been marking themselves as Beyond Petroleum and Shell has been promoting advancements in alternative energy.

You can call me a conspiracy theorist, if you would like but I perceive that the oil industry knew it was a matter of time before they were forced to change and they figured that with their Oilman in Chief they had just enough time to diversify their investments and maximize on their profits. The mood with Congress has changed and different legislation is being introduced to address the issue, it would be bad PR for an industry giant to refute scientific data that the majority of leaders and the nation believe.

Today, while Exxon-Mobil has shifted gears in their fueling of skeptics, just maybe the rest of the skepticism will go by the wayside. The mood is rapidly changing within our towns, our statehouses and Washington DC and there are rays of hope glimmering through the darkness.

Robb Kidd

“Now you have people in Washington who have no interest in the country at all. They're interested in their companies, their corporations grabbing Caspian oil.” Gore Vidal


At January 14, 2007 3:57 AM, Anonymous Jay Draiman said...


In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
"Energy drives our entire economy." We must protect it. "Let's face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy." The American way of life is not negotiable.
Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy.

In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.
"To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality."

Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
Northridge, CA. 91325

P.S. I have a very deep belief in America's capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis--the one in 1942--President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X's 5 hrs per day X's 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 24 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence.

Installing renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage.


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