Arctic oil leases are being suspended by the Interior Department. President Obama has killed the Keystone XL Canadian oil pipeline. U.S. law forbids exporting U.S. produced oil. It cannot even be shipped around the U.S. to any extent but in scarce and costly U.S. tankers. That is quite a change since the cheap energy policies under which America industrialized and grew wealthy.
Next door, Canada has entered a recession but its newly elected Lefty government is setting up a ban on oil tankers off its Pacific coast. And most know that North American and European governments are shutting off the cheapest energy source, coal, at every opportunity. Those clearly aren’t policies employed by governments devoted to economic growth, which is why China and India refuse to duplicate them. Whatever face they put upon it, Western governments are become anti-industrial in pricing both labor and energy out of competitive reach, compared to the rest of the world.
The oily Arabs are putting North American oil out of business by overproducing, flooding the market with so much oil that the price has dropped below the higher breakeven cost of oil obtained by fracking. They are once again putting the U.S. out of ol production as fracked rigs shut down. Russia, Venezuela and other oil-dependent places suffer.
All the politicians and their governments involved claim devotion to the welfare of their voters, right? At least, those that have voters. Yeah …
Cynical folk might note that a chaotic Middle East can’t construct new pipelines to undercut more costly competitors. We don’t understand oil politics, but we do understand that with so much money involved, they must be a bitch. And even without our tinfoil hat, we suspect that they aren’t particularly aimed at the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
Seems to us, that it helps to notice that the U.S. has been top world dog since the Soviets sank but now, reluctantly have has less to say from it’s perch on a declining economy. It appears that, seeing this, Russia, China, Iran and others are enlarging their spheres as they feel that they can. And in the midst of these, massive migrations plus a Romanesque abandonment of the previously accepted rules and values are underway.
How will things be held together under developing pressures? In the good old-fashioned way; by force since voluntary agreements are disappearing along with churches and schools that teach them. Technology helps a lot. Americans will shortly need government ID to leave home, even for U.S. destinations. Cash will become obsolete but for a new black market that will be risky to use. Utilities will be controlled by regulation, not by homeowners. Internet content will be regulated shortly. And if they can get them to work, driverless cars will replace privately owned ones, at least in central cities. We won’t bet on that one, though. If you haven’t been paying attention, much of that is already under way to one degree or another, here and there. We haven’t made it up.
Of course, all that fell out of thinking about oil, of which we know nothing. Perhaps we should just stop thinking; we might be happier … for a while, anyway.