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Gas prices are on the rise AGAIN!

April 8, 2009 - Michael Palmer
Okay boys and girls, let’s take a pop quiz today. Can anybody out there tell me the reason given for the establishment of the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter Administration? (Jimmy Carter - the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981.)

Go ahead take a minute to think while I whistle the Jeopardy theme song and take a stroll down memory lane.

The 1973 oil crisis was a result of the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC plus Egypt and Syria) proclaimed an oil embargo "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military during the Yom Kippur war."

OAPEC declared it would no longer ship oil to the United States and other countries if they supported Israel in the conflict. Independently, the OPEC members agreed to use their leverage over the world price-setting mechanism for oil in order to stabilize their real incomes by raising world oil prices. Did we catch that last part about artificially creating shortages to raise their profits.

This oil embargo forced major oil users such as the United States, Japan, and the nations of Western Europe to face for the first time the danger of having insufficient petroleum products to meet their basic energy needs. Use of energy resources suddenly became a matter of national and international discussion.

SO: Now does anybody remember why we established this new bureaucracy?

ANSWER: In response to this crisis, the government established the Department of Energy which was committed to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and developing energy efficient technologies for buildings, homes, transportation, power systems and industry.

It was very simple and at the time everybody thought it to be very appropriate and necessary response to the OAPEC economic manipulation of the world oil markets.

The Department of Energy was instituted 8-04-1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. So, now you know why the department was created, maybe you would like to critique their performance over the past 32 years in accomplishing their primary mission? Before you answer, maybe we should throw in a little reminder of last summer’s pump prices. $4 per.

We budget $24.2 billion a year to support the 16,000 federal employees and 100,000 private contractors that make up the cabinet position controlled department. Are we getting our money's worth?

I am a photographer, that is why they pay me. If I just go around telling people that I take photos and never click the shutter and bring back a picture, I will be another statistic on the unemployment line faster than a Pirates fan can recall the 1979 season. - If I don’t perform at my job, I get fired.

Can anyone think of one way this department has significantly reduced our dependency on foreign oil in three decades? What about the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) you say? According to the government's own web their mission is to strengthen America's energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality in public-private partnerships that: enhance energy efficiency and productivity; bring clean, reliable and affordable energy technologies to the marketplace; and make a difference in the everyday lives of Americans by enhancing their energy choices and their quality of life.

Forget AIG executives, give these guys a bonus! Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent lighting, triple-pane windows. Most of this is based on voluntary conservation by you guessed it, the American tax payer, so what are these people doing all day?

Last summer was a second wake up call, but as gas prices settled back down to the $2 a gallon range we have quickly forgotten the need for alternate energy and new types of transportation. Those who control the world’s oil supply recognized that they had made a serious error in judgment and quickly moved to lower oil prices to stop the movement towards putting them out of business by completing the research in place for electric and hydrogen powered vehicles.

We’uns ain’t the smartest folks in the world, however, we can see this obvious diversion attempt and should not be lulled back into complacency.

Please send a letter to your congressman and demand that the do-nothing bureaucracy establish an accelerated program to complete building alternative energy vehicles and finally rid the world of these OPEC vultures. Or..... maybe the next time we can pay $5 a gallon to drive to work.


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