Oil, Oil Everywhere But Not A Drop To Share

In Ohio and Pennsylvania there is great excitement and economic investment in shale oil. The discoveries there have fed debate of ‘a solution to energy dependence’ and ‘environmental impact,’ repeating the off-shore (see BP) and arctic sources arguments.

The recent discovery of massive shale oil supplies in Australia adds an interesting twist. Australia is our friend. Surely they wouldn’t mind sharing with the US at favorable prices. And, heck, there’s hardly anyone in that huge country so environmental impact shouldn’t even enter the conversation, right?

In Ireland and Scotland we are paying the equivalent of $9/gallon while in the US we complain mightily about $3.50 plus. In Europe hotels the room card is used to activate power to the room, with everything automatically turned off when you take your card and leave the room.

In the US we seem to think the answer to energy dependence is ever-increasing supplies. Demand reduction or control is a ‘tree hugger’ wacko idea.

Looking through history every country (including the Holy See) that has been the undisputed dominant society has lost that role because of excess and unwarranted belief in everlasting success. They’ve each been wrong.

There are plenty of energy-producing materials (including the sun) to last a long time. But since we’re not so willing to share it with future generations, what makes us think Australia will share a drop with us? And why should they? We behave totally uninterested in managing our demand, simply arguing about the best ways to increase supply.

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