What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
King Solomon on Sheep Oil
Wise King Solomon gave advice about keeping a close eye on sheep, a wealth asset in ancient times. If we consider USA domestic oil and energy production in a similar context today as a wealth asset, we are instead being foolish by closing our eyes for future generations.
Keep a close eye on your sheep pay careful attention to your flocks; for wealth does not last forever, riches are not inexhaustible. (Proverb 27: 23,24)
Flocks and herds are a basic stable form of wealth and one which is self-perpetuating. If they are fed and cared for properly, and full benefit is obtained from recurring increments of natural increases, they should, in the ordinary course of things, never become a wasting asset. Verse 24 is not a warning against improvidence, but rather the contrasting of a different kind of wealth with wealth in flocks and herds. Money quickly made in trade and commerce is dissipated with equal rapidity, whereas flock and herds establish a tradition of wealth in a family, a kind of wealth which is consolidated by each succeeding generation and faithfully conveyed to the next. (Proverbs McKane)
In my opinion, absence of long range energy planning of US domestic sources of energy is improvidence of our assets and folly on the part of our politicians.
For example, domestic oil is now being exported in the form of refined petrochemical products in large quantities and is currently one of the largest export commodities of the US. There is a movement to overturn the 40 year ban on exporting US crude oil starting up. Motive is short term profit. What happens in future generations when the oil becomes depleted in time?
Just think what Teddy Roosevelt envisioned when he enacted laws to preserve land for the future. This is what our leaders should be doing instead of making all kinds of concessions to power interests in exchange for campaign funds.
If this topic interests you, check out the references below and decide what is wise or foolish in your opinion.
We live in an era like those in the past. People have always wanted to have their cake and eat it too.
My “favorite” is the way we generate electrical power. Because we don’t like those dirty, coal fired power plants, we use high voltage transmission power lines to transmit electrical power hundreds of miles. Hence, the electrical power we use in the Washington DC area comes from Western Virginia where the environment regulations are not so burdensome.
It would be less expensive and pollute less if we generated the electrical power closer to where it is used, but the pollution would be in Virginia and Maryland, not in Western Virginia.
I purchased power requirements for large manufacturing and experienced the total folly of power management in the US. Power is a vital commodity required for any country to survive and prosper in the future. The US capitalist theory of pricing power based on price is obsolete. Your transmission line example for instance shows how power is purchased from another state and inefficiently transmitted long distance. (Power is lost in transmission distance)
What Is needed is a central agency to purchase from all power suppliers and amortize the cost to all consumers based on both an environmental and source policy. For example wind power costs more to generate than coal while nuclear power is the least costly to generate and the most costly to start up. Gas today is plentiful while ten years ago the most costly. All natural resources will deplete in time. We should use combine and use all source wisely instead of wasting power now.
An example of amortizing costs is this. Buy coal from power suppliers with modern emissions technology at .10/K. Buy nuclear at .08/k, Buy Wind at .15/k, Buy water/dam generated at .12. Buy water/ocean at .12. Buy solar at .20/k,
Then divide all the costs by the usage and sell to all consumers at one same price.
This is what present power brokers do now that sell to large power users. Only they buy the lowest price regardless of the source to profit. They in other words know how the present jumble of laws will work to their advantage to profit even if long wasteful transmission, and regardless of environmental consequences or worry about the future. Profit is their only concern, the future is not.
I will readily agree that because we distribute electrical power using public utilities that that presents a special problem for capitalism. Nevertheless, because of our inability as voters to manage the Federal Government as big as it already is, I think it best to leave this matter to the management of state and local governments. We don’t want to do anything that makes the Federal Government bigger.
Why? Well, let’s consider the fact that you are expert on this subject. Now reflect upon all the things our government does that neither you or I know much about. None of us have the time or the genius to gain expertise in all the things we might wish the Federal Government to do. And we are suppose to pick from among us people who can manage all we want the government to do? They are no such people. There are just slick politicians who make promises they never intend to keep.
When state and local governments manage public utilities, we still get competition between states and localities. That’s better than nothing, and that competition gives us some basis for comparison. On the other hand, if everyone bought electrical power from a central government agency at the same price, that agency would soon acquire great power, and it would be relatively easy to bury its mistakes in a complex morass the average citizen would have little hope of understanding.
Look at it this way. If the citizens of Virginia and Maryland want to buy electricity produced in West Virginia, what is wrong with forcing us to pay for it? Do we have to have stupidly restrictive environmental regulations? If industry wants to move to West Virginia for expensive electrical power, should industry be stopped? Why? Why would we want to give government the power to hide the problems created by ill-considered regulations?
On the other hand, I can see the wisdom in taxing the consumption of nuclear and fossil fuels based upon the fact they cannot be replaced. How do we calculate the tax? That’s a head scratcher, but calculating taxes is something politician do well.
I agree, the government should only set the policy and subcontract the management to private energy brokers which are well qualified as they now do to manage most private industries that purchase large quantities of their energy needs.
The absence of long range planning of US domestic sources of energy strictly to profit in the short term is total lack of foresight by politicians.
For example, domestic oil is now being exported in large quantities and is currently one of the largest export commodities of the US. Motive profit. What happens when the oil is depleted in time?
Coal power suppliers cannot afford to purchase more efficient scrubbers to make for cleaner emissions because natural gas is now abundant and less costly than coal.
A long range purchase agreement to allow a coal power supplier to buy the equipment and sell at a profit instead of a loss would solve this.
Same with solar which would be more efficient if located in southwest, etc etc.
I cannot explain in a brief post all the other ramifications and long range benefits that would result. Just think what Teddy Roosevelt envisioned when he enacted laws to preserve land for the future. This is what our leaders should be doing instead of making all kinds of concessions to power interests in exchange for campaign funds.
In my opinion, domestic power should be distributed in the most efficient manner taking into account that once used, it is gone forever. Domestic long range interests should prevail for power, a vital commodity for every country and person, instead of present short term capitalistic profit.