Transcript of opening remarks by Lynn Gary:
Last week on the eve of the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, the troglodytes controlling the US House of Representatives proved that they will go to any length to prop up our unsustainable, brutal and wasteful system by passing an energy bill that allows oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and funnels millions of dollars to highly profitable energy companies, while doing little to promote conservation or ease gasoline prices. The bill's sponsor said that oil from ANWR, as much as one million barrels a day, will be needed to help curtail the county's dependence on oil imports. Opponents argued correctly that the oil wouldn't be available for a decade, and even then at levels that would not significantly effect oil prices or imports. Some experts have estimated that the oil in ANWR would last the US less than 6 months if used all at once. But drilling it and selling at today's high prices and the future's even higher prices will produce enormous profits for oil companies.
The bill also calls for $8.1 billion in tax breaks over 10 years most of it going to promote dirty coal, deadly nuclear and dwindling oil and gas industries. Senate Democrats have pledged to filibuster any bill that would open the refuge to oil companies. An amendment to strip the Alaska refuge provision from the house bill failed 231 to 200. Representative Ed Markey, a Democrat of Massachusetts who offered the amendment, noted that the bill does nothing to improve the fuel economy of automobiles, which use 70% of the county's oil.
An attempt to require automakers to a fleet average of a mere 33 miles/gallon over the next decade was defeated 254 to 171. The house bill would also make it easier to build LNG import terminals even if states or local communities oppose the projects. And it would protect makers of the gasoline additive MTBE from product liability lawsuits stemming from the chemical's contamination of drinking water.
The Federal Government's response has been consistent in these respects. The nature and extent is concealed from the public and the thrust of the policy solutions are geared at positioning the energy corp from profiting from disaster.
I imagine that they are doing this because they are unwilling to confront the social and economic system which seems to be working so well for them, but will cease to, in spite of their efforts, ultimately work for anybody.
In the meantime they will have squandered the remaining precious resources needed to get humanity off to a new start towards a sustainable society.
This week on the program a candid discussion of problems, and a creative look at solution for humanity at the end of the age of cheap oil.
First we turn to Julian Darley, a journalist and activist on energy and post-oil sustainability issues. Darley is based in Vancouver BC and is the founder of the Post Carbon Institute and author of High Noon for Natural Gas.
We'll conclude the program this week with another talk from the first national conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions in Ohio, which deals with what Prof. Charles Stevens calls the New Agrarian movement, which strives to address not only issues of sustainability which connects to a vision of America which never was, but who's time my have come by necessity. Charles Stevens is an anthropologist on the faculty of Miami University in Ohio. He has extensively studied indigenous farming methods in Polynesia.
Link to audio:
(See program #251)
A transcript, and slides from Stevens' talk are available at The Community Solution website: