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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010
My Note to BP Pensioners: Go pound oily sand!
Hey, British Pensioners? GO POUND OIL SATURADTED SAND!
First of all: We DO pay for it. BP has never been in the business of giving oil away for free to anyone. If they don’t charge enough to cover the cost of contingency plans? Not really OUR problem. I’ll get to the phenomenon of “externalization of costs” in a moment, but I’d have no problem with a MODEST gas tax increase (nothing like the nonsense they have in Europe however) which, considering how much gas we burn, would go a long way to getting more research done, and getting these kinds of things cleaned up. The cost is ultimately borne by the consumer anyway (again, see “externalization of costs”) so whether it’s in the form of a tax, or a price hike which the company would pretty much pocket ANYWAY, I’m all for it. And right now, so are most Americans. One Republican vote in the Senate is all that stands between our newly lubricated shoreline and the beginning of real energy reform.
Second of all: While I sympathize with your loss of income, you must also realize that it is TEMPORARY. That may not be the case for much of the fishing industry in the gulf. Businesses has been destroyed, people have lost everything, and that's before you even factor in the long-term ecological damage, the cost to repair the coasts and the long term economic effects that moving away from Gulf Oil Drilling. Long story short? Our problems are more expensive than yours, and have been CAUSED by a BRITISH company, operated in violation of both what would be the required safety protocols in Europe, and what is accepted industry practice over here. As it is our Government is pursuing a case of Criminal Negligence against BP, its case bolstered by BP’s own internal documents and BP company insiders. I’ve heard more than one legal expert describe the criminal case against BP as a “slam dunk.” So before you open your gobs, consider for a moment what you’d be calling for if an AMERICAN firm had violated your industry standards, fouled your beaches and destroyed your coastal industries, all in pursuit of greater profits for themselves and their shareholders. Somehow I don’t think the plight of the average AMERICAN pensioner would be very high on your list of priorities. And rightly so. NOW STIFLE!
Oh yeah: EXTERNALIZATION OF COST. This is the phenomenon that allows many of these companies to make claims like “oil produces the cheapest energy on a per volume basis” and things like that. There are two reasons why this statement is “true.” (Notice the “quotes?”) ONE is that they make arbitrary assumptions about the pay-off period for solar energy. Now I’m not sure what a given “volume” of solar energy (sunshine) looks like, but I do know that it is not a fuel being consumed. (Next time you here this, challenge one of thes efools to show you what a gallon of sunshine looks like!) Which means, on a usage basis: It’s FREE. So the only way they can assume a “cost” on a per unit of energy generated basis, would be to amortize the manufacturing cost of a solar panel over its life. And what do they assume for its life? Well, whatever they need to to make oil sound cheaper, of course! The other reason is the “externalization of cost.” This is the fact that they do not include in the cost of their products, the costs associated with disasters, pollution, clean-up, global warming and other environmental impacts. The costs, unless the company is exceedingly generous in volunteering to take on, are largely paid by SOMEONE ELSE. And that’s how they want to keep it. If they can keep those costs EXTERNALIZED (off their books, and thus out of the business case) they not only can keep raking in record profits, but also make the case that OIL IS CHEAPER. Pollition CONTROL sosts the company. POLLUTION usually costs everybody else. The same goes for coal, and just about every other industry that pollutes: As long as someone else cleans up the mess? Their business case is sound. And for the past 30 years, the three Republican administrations and the Republican Congress which dominated the lone Democratic one (until now) has been more than happy to ignore the problem and support this practice.
I hope Obama has the courage to do otherwise. I’ll pay the tax, and to hell with any whiny pensioners. I’ve got a word of advice for you lot: DIVERSIFICATION.