Sunday, February 26, 2012


These are Texas' Oil Wells

  As the captioned photo above shows, these are oil wells in the state of Texas, this scene repeats itself in the states of Oklahoma, California, Alaska and a few others.  Suffice to say, drilling for crude oil, then refining it to make gasoline, diesel fuel, jet and aviation fuel, and a host of other products that people around the globe use every day, and most of the time without giving a thought about from where it first came from.
  The fact of the matter is, that crude oil is a natural resource, not unlike coal or natural gas.  Crude oil, natural gas and coal in many cases have been stored  for centuries in the bowels of the earth, in many places, natural gas is  found in pockets that may literally exist beneath homes and cities and roads, the same can be said for huge underground lakes of crude oil.  Deposits of coal are prevalent in many areas of this country, coal is so plentiful, that for over a hundred years, there have been family coal mines on private farms and homesteads.  Keeping these locations of natural resources in mind, I find myself asking, just  who really owns a natural resource?
  For many years, the oil companies have been responsible for locating, extracting and refining crude oil.  The question is; do the acts of locating, extracting and refining cause the crude oil to automatically become the sole property of the oil company performing these processes?  The same question can of course apply to natural gas and maybe even coal.  I believe the difference, is that coal and natural gas are subject to free market enterprise.  Where as crude oil is not.  The market for crude oil is based on a much more global scale.  Nations that are members of OPEC set controls and limits on oil extraction and delivery, thereby controlling the amount of oil that can be sold and refined into petroleum products.  OPEC member nations, including the United States are subject to the agreed controls of Oil Producing Countries, and not so much subject to free markets.  Although there is no doubt that the fluctuating economies and world affairs have their effect on oil production.  Then again, oil production can have serious effects on the economies also.  Bottom line however, governments of OPEC nations are the ones who dictate production and subsequently the price of a barrel of crude oil, and this cost and effect trickles all the way to the gasoline pump "per gallon price".  Now that we know basically who and what determines oil prices, we also know that it is not the free market.  
  The original question was, who actually owns the crude oil natural resources of any given nation?  Because the United States has been and continues, at least for the time being, to run on a capitalistic style free market system, we must assume that the oil companies are buying the oil they extract from beneath the ground of our country.  But, are they?  I don't think all Americans are reaping profit benefits from our natural resources.  Sure, the oil companies purchase "oil leases" from the federal government, but are they purchasing the crude oil itself?  If they are, then who is collecting the money for the American citizen?  Then of course we must ask, where's the money?  Of course, if the oil companies are not purchasing the crude oil they extract, then it should be understood, that it (the oil) is also not theirs to sell.    
  I personally feel that the American citizen, for the most part has been completely left out of the oil equation.  Only the citizens of the state of Alaska appear to be profiting from crude oil extraction, and that is because Alaska is selling their oil to the oil companies, and therefore every year citizens of Alaska receive a check from the oil companies for their share of crude oil profits made by oil companies.  That does seem fair, doesn't it?  Sure it does, it's Alaska's crude, because it's extracted from somewhere in the state of Alaska.  So I ask you, why aren't checks being cut to citizens of Texas, California and Oklahoma?  Is their oil any less valuable?  While we're at it, when Alaska became a state, their oil became a state right along with their dirt, snow, ice and rocks, and of course the people.  In my way of thinking, and I may be wrong, so this is just food for thought.  Why is oil found in Alaska owned by Alaskans, but oil found in Texas and Oklahoma belong to oil companies?  In actuality, we are the United States of America, are we not?  Then if we agree, why doesn't all the crude oil belong to all the citizens of the United States, including the Alaska, Texas, California and Oklahoma oil?  Crude oil is a natural resource found on America's soil, and on America's off-shore.  
  I know that oil companies take great risk in funding oil exploration, but when they find oil, the profits are substantially higher than their initial outlay.  I am in favor of the oil companies making profits, and huge ones at that, the more they make the better.  However, in my mind, the crude oil being extracted from soil, either on-shore or off-shore belongs to the American citizen, and as such owners, should be receiving remuneration from the sale of their oil.  I know, in America, we enjoy some of least expensive gasoline prices compared to other nations, especially in Europe.  So, perhaps in essence, that is where our profit sharing is, even as the prices reach $4.00 per gallon.  If that is the case, then all gasoline prices, not counting state, local and federal taxes, should all be the same.  By the same token, let's allow other nations to take care of their people, but America needs to take care of it's own, and that includes the sales of America's natural resources.   
  On another similar subject, how many American citizens know that the governor of Idaho either has, wants too, or intends to sell a 50 square mile parcel of American soil to the Chinese?  Well, it's true, it's factual, but it isn't very satisfactual, if you know what I mean!  It seems that China wants to build a 50 square mile all inclusive self-sustaining city, free of encumbrances and taxes, right in the middle of America.  Just between you, me and the fence post, I don't know who gave permission to the governor of Idaho to sell any such land to a foreign country, let alone, China!  The land that makes up the state of Idaho doesn't belong to the governor or the people of Idaho exclusively.  Idaho is a state within the and part of the United States of America.  As far as I know, America is not for sale, and no governor of any of our fifty states has a right to sell any parcel of America to a foreign country.  To allow this to take place, means the people in Idaho must have peeled one to many potatoes.  Worse yet, should the federal government approve a project like this, the ramifications will be devastating to all of America. With that in mind, I'm thinking Obama will jump to approve this Idaho debacle.  It would be just one more strategically placed nail in the American economy's coffin.  No doubt Obama is standing at the ready to hammer in that final golden spike.
God Help Us
The Watchman    

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