Friday, September 02, 2005

Credit should be given to the Texans this week. They've been very generous about helping their neighbors to the east, taking in tens of thousands of refugees, welcoming refugee children into their schools, sending lots of help, serving as a staging area, and doing a lot of things that probably will never make it into the national news.

Also, more than a hundred years ago, the survivors of Galveston were smart enough to re-build their entire city at an elevation of at least ten feet above sea level as well as re-build and strengthen their sea wall. In general, Texans have coped well through their share of hurricanes and have learned the necessity of taking precautions and being self-reliant during a hurricane and its immediate aftermath.

People in the oil business suffer from a double-standard or catch-22; not many people want oil wells or refineries built in their area but do want to burn all the gas they can and complain if there are shortages. NIMBY. I think it's hypocritical and elitist for people in places such as California to effectively export pollution to poorer states such as Arizona and New Mexico. That's what happens when the nation's most populous state makes it difficult to impossible to build power plants and refineries to keep up with demand. Like New Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi also get to do a lot of the hard, dangerous, dirty work for much of the rest of the country.

It's rather a form of economic colonialism. It lets the enviro-hypocrites feel smug about how environmentally correct their state is while economically coercing poorer, mostly minority, populations in states like New Mexico and Louisiana to suffer from hazardous jobs and the increased pollution that results from having to process chemicals and oil for the Californianos, Yankees, and other elitists as well as for themselves. Californians have (and they're certainly not the only ones, but their posturing makes them a wonderful target to pick on, and yes, I know that there are level-headed, sensible, thoughtful, hard-working people in California as well as enviro-wackos) an enormous appetite for energy matched in too many cases by an enormous disdain for the dirty business of capturing and transforming the energy into a usable form. And heaven help advocates of energy self-sustainability if they have the temerity to even mention the N word -- n - u - c - l - e - a - r.

It's bad enough that oil workers have to work in hazardous, dirty jobs without having a bunch of smug self-righteous, lazy-ass-for-brains people look down on them as "oil trash". So, go hug a roughneck.


At 12:52 AM, September 03, 2005, Blogger Carol Anne said...

Of course, Dubya pronounces the word "nucular."

I would say that a large number of Californians aren't really hypocrites -- many of them do try to put their money where their mouths are by buying hybrid vehicles and such.

But I will also say that people who drive jumbo SUVs just because they're trendy have absolutely no right to complain about high gas prices. If someone's driving an Escalade to commute to work when a Cavalier would accomplish exactly the same task while using a third of the fuel, that person is a selfish pig.

At 3:33 AM, September 06, 2005, Anonymous jerry said...

It really has nothing to do with being Californian - Texans use more energy per capita (more air conditioning, mainly, I think), and the big power plants are where the coal is. California is rapidly increasing its generating capacity in natural gas fired plants.

Saying a state has to produce all its own energy is like saying they have to produce all their own cars, cheese, wine, software, or electronics. That's what trade is for, to allow goods to be produced where they make the most economic sense. If states are being exploited to produce energy there is nothing stopping them from passing the same tough environmental laws that California has. It would drive up the cost of energy, but in my opinion energy is way too cheap right now.

I'm with you on nuclear. There's a strange attitude that people are more afraid of a potential environmental disaster than they are of the guaranteed disaster from burning coal.

If you really want to pick on Californians, the key word is "water". What the heck are they doing still growing rice in the desert?

At 12:57 AM, September 07, 2005, Blogger Carol Anne said...

More subsidies. If California farmers had to pay for water what it actually costs to acquire that water, they'd be pretty quick to switch to less thirsty crops. As it is, the costs of drilling, pumping, purifying, and delivering are mostly picked up by the guv'mint.

But anytime anybody makes any noise about shifting some of those costs to the farmers, there arises a great screaming about how those poor farmers would go out of business.

At 4:48 AM, September 13, 2005, Anonymous jerry said...

Not just subsidies - although you are right about them - the way water is allocated is based on who grabbed what more than a century ago. It is not based on any attempt at a rational analysis of who needs the water.

Forgot to mention above - the "energy crisis" in CA was manufactured by those hard-working Texas energy companies, who fradulently and deliberately put public safety on the line to bilk California ratepayers out of billions. They would be in jail right now, maybe even good ol' Ross Perot, but the smoking-gun documentation is sealed up in the legal battles over some of Enron's other peccadilloes, and (as I understand it) likely will remain so beyond the statute of limitations.


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