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Late News From The Credibility

Late News From The Credibility image Late News From The Credibility image
Parent Issue
Day
30
Month
November
Year
1973
OCR Text

I 50milean-hqur speed limit. Si.x degrees cooler on ihe thermostat or run out of heat befare the enü of the winter. o gas a railable uihl no long-distance driving on Sundays. o Otristmas liglits. The bottom falling out of the stock tnarket. 'lens of thousahds of workers luid off, Rii har J Xi.xou took to the tube last week to announce these latest mores in the so-called "Energy Crisis," now vapturing the headlines and disrupting the economy. The Energy Crisis. brought to you by the sanie peppie who lied ahoiit Vietnam, Cambodia, Ellsbergand Watergat e. A it for real ' Has this country rcally all of a Midden gone over the brink to run out of f nel.' Very few rotees have heen raised to question the legitinunr bf the shortage, news "I whieh is being put forth mostly by the hoge power and oil cojnpanies, those being hurt the least by the crisis. According to Business Week Magazine, November II), 973, the major oil compontes are earning vJcyot keting profits of late. The profil ulereases for the third quarter of 1 1 73, Compared to the same (nar ter of 1 9 72, comes out like this: GULP up91% EXXON up sr , STANDARD up51% TEXACO up487t SHELL -up23% In this artille front Washington Watch, a newsletter out of .ansing. Tristram Coffin. charges tliut the crisis is being manufactured by the Cotporations Usted above, in conspiracy wit li their good friends the Nixxon administration. Cöffïn shows what the conikuiies have to gainfrotn the crisis, and how alternative means of energy generation that are cheap and noti'poHuting remain ignored l the industry. THE GRAND STEAL A steal of government riches that makes the Teapot Dome look like peanuts is being engineered by the White House and big oil. The front man is former Colorado Governor John Love, Nixon's fuel czar. (A scandal has broken wide open in Colorado over the penal system he allovved to rot.) This is the size of the steal: Opening up Government oil reserves, intended as a hedge against future shortages, to keep the Navy a-iloat: the President is asking that "Naval Petroleum Reserve No. l , "serae seventy-two square miles, southwest of Bukersfield. Calif., be opened up to big oil. Oil correspondent of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (September 15) that it could produce 350,000 barrels of oil a day in three years, compared to 230,000 barlelsa day trom the top producing California field. This Elk Hiiis field has "estimated reserves of 1 .3 billion barrels," and "still to be explored are deeper horizons that offer hope for more oil." The oil wealth is "valued at considerably more that S3 billion," and the deal envisioned by the White House will be a give away. Stripping and mining huge chunks of Government land in the Rocky Mountains for oil sliale. This is Stage One in turning over some 700 million acres of public iands for mining, as advocated September ] 0 by the American Mining Congress. Colorado's conservationminded freshman Senator, Floyd Haskell (D-Col.) warns of natural devastation on an unheard of scale. Already. " there is enough unreclaimed mine lands (4 million acres to créate a mile wide swath of devastation from New York to Los Angeles, and the legacy of unregulated strip mining is polluted riversand sterilized lands," says the Denver Post (September 1 2) of of his remarks. Stage One, according to a Denver Post story (Aug. 30)will be the leasing of 5,1 20 acre tracts of Federal shale lands in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, some of the most beautiful wilderñess áreas in America, and Government subsidies for oil shale plants. One would cost S25O million, says the Post. A hidden cost is a tremendous diversion of water from the water starved West. This could mean acute shortages in such urban sprawls as Los Angeles. Looting the off-shore oil reserves. The Rocky Mountain News reports (September 1 4) opening moves to "lease the Atlantic outer shelf and the Guit of Alaska for diilling and exploration for oil and gas.' M.A. Wright, chairman of the Exxon Company claims the off shore drilling is "of critica! importance." THE BIG BALLYHOO The orchestration for the steal is a ballyhoo campaign by the Nixon Administration and big oil about a horrendousshortage. Nothing like it has been seen in modern times, and the media generally has fallen for it like a ton of bricks. Newsweek even faking an Arab at the gas pump for its cover. Of this Ralph Nader, almost alone, says Pooh-pooh. He accuses big oil "of deliberately creaüng a short term oil crisis," says UPI (September 1 0). "There is an abundan! short term supply of oil around the world- indeed there is some evidence even in the southwest US the oil industry isn't levelling with the public about the natural gas supply," Nader claims. A letter to the editor of the Denver Post notes the "almost panic proportions" of the gasoline shortage in Colorado this summer: "I could not under stand why Colorado was being treated so unjustly by the oil com' pañíes when I had no trouble buying fuel in other parts of the country. "Then, in the September 3 editorial on oil shale, it became apparent why the oil companies wanted the residents of Colorado to feel the blunt end of the shortage. They wanted to move their equipment into our oil shale area, deface it, pollute our streams, and leave it unfit for human and animal life. They did not want any opposition from us citizens." Listen to some of the ballyhooReports from Washington and big oil of shortages of propane and heating oil this winter. Propane is essential to the rural West, and needed to maintain temperatures of stored agricultural products. As early as August 18, Governor Love in a luncheon with Washington Post staffers began circulating ballyhoo of a "serious situation" in both heating oil and propane.. This has created almost a panic mood in parts of the West. A former Assistant Secretary of the Interior, now head of a company to mine oil shale, is spreading gloom. Hollis M. Dole told the Denver Lions Club (September 4)- the gas shortage will be twice as acute next summer, heating oil, diesel fuel, natural gas and propane will run out at times and some places this winter, gas rationing will be needed nationally "and a potential closing of automobile- making plants with hundreds of millions in dollars in wages and profits lost.'' All this unless- "domestic production is stepped up...including shale oil and oil from coal operations with government support." Dole, whose firm is working with Atlantic Richfield and Standard Oil of Ohio, wants the Government to fork over "nonrecourse loans...to be paid out of plant proceeds, accelerated depreciation, maintenance of investment tax credit, equalization of depletion allowances with conventional oil sources, and a streanv lining on the government process of issuing permits." There is no price tag in this interview with the Denver Post business editor. ♦President Nixon brief ed reporters on the energy crisis September 8, and stated the US cannot be "at the mercy of' Mideast Arab oil producers, and put the "highest urgency" on -the Alaskapipeline, regulation of natural gas at the wellhead, strip mining . of coal in the West, turning over naval oil reserves at Elk Hills for commercial exploitation, and oil shales. Columnists Evans and Novak called this "hip shooting." ÉIPOFF ON PRICES AND POLLUTION CONTROL -The Federal Power Commission, at the behest of the the White House, set higher rates for natural gas producers in the Texas Gulf Coast to encourage higher production. But US Cürcuit Court of Appeals ruled September 2 the FPC failed to prove the rates reasonable," reports the Denver Post. The decisión said, "We decline to join the Commission in what looks like a flight of faith, even though it lias begun to ascend from the familiar terrain of cost." The White House and Environmental Protection Agency propose to relax anti-pollution laws to allow industry to burn coal. And this, Governor Love admits, will "result in dirtier air in someiareasof the country." reports the Post (August 28). óf one scheme to liberalice the anti-pollution laws, the Natural Resources Defense Council said, "This is the saddest day in the history of the EPA." This, in effect, is an executive repeal of a law passed by Congress. Nixon's friendship with big oil is a Washington legend. His political campaigns have been well greased with oil money. He picked a favorite son of oil, former Texas Governor John Connally, as his Secretary of the 1 _ Treasury and possible successor in the White House. Jack Anderson (August 19) claims Exxon has "a tiger in the White House tank." Also: The Cost of Living Council granted the steel industry "the fuD $360 million dollar a year price increase it sought." reports UPI (September 1 1 ). Senator William Proxmire (D-Wis.) points out steel profits last year inereased by sixty-two percent. Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson has refused to re-openthe ITT anti-trust settlement, despite vidence at the Watergate hearings it was bought and paid for. Richardson claimed that "the public interest would not be served and could well be injured by reopening these cases." OPPOSITION IN CONGRESS Because of the scare ballyhoo, resista nee to the grand steal is feeble in Congress. But, smoldering and angry over the theft of its lands, the Navy and the Pentagon apparatus may rise up to become the backbone of opposition. Teapot Dome was uncovered because the military resented the crafty theft of its precious oil lands. On Capítol HUI, the military can cali upon such lords as Chairman Johh Stennis of the Senate Armed Services, Chairman Mahon of the House Appropriations, and Speaker Cari Albert for help, and get it . ENERGY TO BURN, PROMISING NEW SOURCI Ironically, the Administration has made no real effort to tap other sources of energy or conserve fuel. Yet, new sources of fuel and energy are ready to be plucked out of the scientific grab bag. The rub is that big oil and big indistry are not interested; they have their thing. The untapped sources are: The heat of the sun "could be in commercial use around the globe. ..just five years from now," said the Washington Post (July 1 1). Scientists see a time when "one out of every ten new homes built in the US will probably be heated and cooled by solar rays. In less' than fifteen years these rays could be producing commercial electric power... In fifty years, harnessed solar rays could be covering at least twenty percent of all US energy need." The Christian Science Monitor points out (June 19): "Félix Trombe's sun-power plant in the Pyrenees, near Mont-Louis, with its 23,680 square feet of mirrors turned automatically at right angles to the sun'srays, is said to be a marvel-of efficiency - with no atomic fallout." There are some two million solar water heaters in Japan, a solar f urnace dries industrial timber in Australia, solar stills purify and desalt water on Patmos, a Greek Island. The Audobon Society plans an 8,000 square foot building at Lexington, Mass., with solar energy contributing from sixty to eighty percent of its heat. Solar energy will be "collected through a long, slanting roof; thermal stage units would hold energy for night time and cloudy weather use." UNDERGROUND HEAT -S Reserves of natural steam and hot brine ünder the earth's crust inspire "hopes for a clean, cheap nonpolluting source of power," claims the Los Angeles Times (May 27). Instead of haying to burn oil or créate nuclear fission to boil water into steam for their generators, electric companies can take steam straight form the ground and feed it to their turbines." Pacific Gas & Electric of San Francisco is doing just this. A new "geyser" plant to opérate in 1975 is considerably cheaper than other sources. It will produce electricity at 6.43 milis per kilowatt hour, as against 9.26 for nuclear power, 10.52 for coal burning plants, and 1 1.55 for oil and gas. A small rural electric co-op, Raft River Electric of south-central Idaho, and the Atomic Energy Commission plan to tap hot water under 90,000 acres of desert and rangeland. " The New York Times says, "Estimates of the eventual generating capacity of the nation's underground heat. ..range as high as 395,000 megawatts by the year 2000. The US currently uses about 300,000 megawatts of electricity from all sources." Yet, notes the Los Angeles Times, private Utilities are nut enthusiastic, beca use they "can make more money by building costly nuclear plants...than by developing cheaper steam wells." Utility rates are pegged to a percent of capital costs. China has an experimental geothermal power plant built in 1970, and plans to use the 1,900 hot springs scattered over this vast land for electric power. (China Reconstructs. August 1973 ) TIDAL POWER PROMISING Tidal power has already shown its practical uso. reports the Christian Science Monitor. "The technically beautiful tide-power plant on the Ranee near S3int-Malo, with its twenty-four two-way hydroelectric generators extracting sixty billion kilowatt hours trom seven hundred tides per year fulfills all the promises made for it by the Vichy Government, which had included it in their post war reconstruction plans. But it has not ' been duplicated." Again, lack of enthusiasm in the business. There is enough coal in the United States to take care of our energy needs for tour hundred years. The polluting sulphur content can be removed by magneto-hydro-dynamics or MHD. Coal gas is "seeded" with metallic cesium, is ionized, turned into an electric conductor, and directed through a magnetic field to produce electricity directly. according to a letter to the New York Times. Russia is using MHD, with two plants feeding this power to the Moscow grid and "1,500 scientists working full time to expand the technique's potential." The US and its private companies lag in this field. lnstead, the Interior Department is pressing research on shale oil reserves which potcmially mean 2,000 billion barrels of petroleum. Chairman Henry Jackson of the Senate Interior Committee wants a S20 billion program to make this process "environmentally acceptable." Thiswould mean tearing up huge hunks of public lands in the Rocky - f Mountain areas of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. ; . J