Friday, May 25, 2007

Oil Companies' Veiled Threats

Who's the biggest enemy of conservationists and folks pushing for bio-fuels? That would, of course, be the oil companies.

It's My Bat
The New York Times recently reported that the oil companies are virtually guaranteeing the inflated cost of oil and gas in this country because of the president's recent call to increase production of bio-fuels. The oil companies' claims that uncertainty in the amounts of bio-fuels that will be produced, are making them reduce their increased building and upgrading of refineries to process oil.

In essence, this is their way of putting a crimp in the pipeline of petroleum products, which will keep prices inflated.

Without knowing much about this industry, I can only hope this blows up in their collective faces. Perhaps this will be one more impetus for Americans to look for alternative methods for producing energy. I'm also hoping that the decreased capital going into petroleum refineries will be put into alternative sources such as ehtanol and bio-diesel production.

Current Knitting
I started work on the button band and collar for the colorblock cardigan.



Trying to get a picture of it, required some participation from Nico. Despite his playful paws, you can see, I didn't get very far (almost finished one side of the button band and sewing it on), before I got distracted and had an overwhelming need to work on something different (again).

I realized that I only needed to make one more pair of the FiberTrends felted clog slippers before I was done with the five pairs I originally set out to make. So I worked on this.


I'm almost done with this last pair, I just have to finish the outer sole and "bumper" on the last slipper of this pair, and of course sew up the seams and felt them.

Current Reading
I most recently forced myself to finish a book, which hasn't happened for a while.



George Saunders' In Persuasion Nation was not my type of book. It came highly recommended by the staff at my local book store, but I found it more petulant and naive, than inspiring and genius, like some folks seem to feel about his writing. Although, I have to admit, this could be a case where my taste in literature isn't sophisticated enough to "get" his brilliance. But honestly, I almost put this book down without finishing about four times. Fortunately for Mr. Saunders, the book is short and a quick read.

9 comments:

Cynthia said...

The oil companies are smart--by not investing in their infrastructure, they guarantee higher prices for their products. It is only when the old infrastructure starts costing them that they upgrade it. They like this model. It has worked for years and it now has the added benefit of PR against alternatives.

Still, we in the US pay far too little for gas. Virtually every other country pays more than we do. This is the reason we have the biggest cars/trucks/SUVs that eat the most gas. I would like to see gas prices rise to around $5.00 a gallon for regular. At that level, I believe Americans will begin to conserve energy.

While I don't like that high gas costs hurt the poor far more than the middle class or the rich, I see no other way to end our dependency on oil.

Americans say they want to be green, but continue to live in unsustainable ways--even the environmentalists (Mr. Gore, have you heard of teleconferences instead of traveling to all the media outlets and speech sites). Each of us wants to see others make the sacrifice (you see, I have a really good reason to drive my SUV, but you don't--get a compact!). Until every household says no more--I will sweat in summer and wear a lovely cardigan (such as the color block) in winter; I will bike to the store/work/school etc.; I will unplug my TV/DVD/Stereo etc. (when off, they are on standby and pull power), nothing will change and big oil will continue to be one of the most profitable industries in the world.

Carol said...

Yay Nico! We want more kitty shots.

--- The President of the Nico Fan Club

Clare said...

Your clogs look great! I just got into felting and I just got the pattern from FiberTrends! What yarn did you use for your clogs?
Love reading your blog daily!

anne marie in philly said...

I second carol!

a kitty shot is always welcome, even if franklin doesn't agree with us about cats.

have a nice holiday weekend!

www.knittingnutter.com said...

Nice slippers!

Barb B. said...

There are always problems it seems with any source of power. Bio-diesel sounds wonderful, and in many ways is. However, it's made from corn. Corn is used in tortillas and now in Mexico where they are a staple, the price is rising, to the point where it is ridiculous. Corn is fed to hogs and cattle. There goes pork and beef. There are other issues with it too.
I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just that more research into cause and effect is needed.
There are beginning to be more vehicles that are fuel efficient and lower emission. But not enough.
The picture on the cover of that book would put me off.
Barb B.

angie Cox said...

Cats rule ..well they think so and Nico is beautiful. I think the colour-block cardigan is looking wonderful . I had a dig into my shawl stash yesterday and came up with my oldest "Persian Poppies" shawl .I was so inspired I am starting another as soon as I can get enough silks. Kaffe has a gorgeous version in "Kaffe's Classics" .

ellen said...

Any source of fuel is going to be a problem. To the extent that biodeisel relies on corn it will use a lot of petroleum to produce it, given the current large farming methods. Also, few plants have made any sensible plans to do anything about the co2 produced as a byproduct. Conservation, whether voluntarily, coerced, or encouraged by price will have to be an integral part of the solution.

Rebecca said...

I'm not qualified to have a lengthy discourse on oil companies and their shenanigans, however, I watch the stock market (I'm a watcher, it's not like I'm watching my money or anything) and early this year, IMMEDIATELY after oil hit fifty dollars a barrel, 'W' announced (http://www.energy.gov/news/4622.htm) that the nation would be doubling it's strategic reserve, which took a whole bunch of fuel out of the 'pipeline' and the price of oil went back up to about $60 that day and has been rising ever since. After all, he's only got a year and a half left to put even more cold, hard, cash in his buddies pockets.

AND, the yahoos who told me about it on the news, then seem to have blocked it from their minds entirely and have spent the last month going 'why is the price of oil shooting up like this'?? Do they listen to themselves talk, or am I making the mistake of being the only one to listen?