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Friday, April 07, 2006

Energy Economics

It is in the twilight hours of the night that the Dumbplumber lets his dreams sort out issues that boggle the conscious mind. It was during one of these moments that he came upon the principles of Energy Economics.

Energy Economics defy typical theories on how market forces control the costs of any given commodity. The dirty little secret is to maintain the high demand while controlling a limited supply. ‘Big Oil’ benefits from limited refining capacity, as they can double profits and retain capped reserves, while blaming market forces and eco-Nazis for limited supply.

For instance, if a hurricane is threatening the east coast of Kansas and the price of plywood suddenly goes to $100 a sheet, profiteers are prosecuted for plundering the catastrophe. Or if a volcano were to erupt in South Carolina, causing a mass exodus to Wisconsin, gas station owners, who suddenly raise fuel to $50 dollars a gallon would most certainly be jailed as well, but not in Energy Economics

The Petroleum Industry, sitting on the last 100 years of energy reserves, has concocted an entirely different scenario. A scheme only Maxwell Smart or Elmore Leonard could appreciate. They place their ‘controlled’ commodity on the world market to the highest bidder, then capitalize on natural and unnatural disasters to inflate cost of supply. You know, something like six shills sitting at a poker table, plucking the seventh clean of his hard earned stake.

Then while entire economies are brought to their knees on the fears of energy brokers bidding up ‘the barrel’ like Amarillo Slim slyly bids up a pair of twos against a full house, Big Energy decries the system on the front page, while reporting record profits on the financial page. This is not unlike hotels holding up customers to a minimum of a three day stay during a special event, when you only need the room for two nights, then blaming the cost of the supply on demand.

Applying these new found principles in a wee hours dream, the Dumbplumber envisioned himself a newly homeless nomad, having lost everything to Big Energy. He is trekking across the deserts of Nevada and comes across an overturned armored car spilling cash and bodies around the site. Buzzards are stalking the lone survivor of the horrible crash, who just happens to be the well known heir to an oil empire, and owner of a major resort hotel/casino where he further plunders the masses.

The heir is mortally injured, in excruciating pain and haunted by the looming vultures fighting over his pre-death morsels. Spying the approaching Dumbplumber, he begs to be put out of his misery with a single bullet. “I will pay you to put an end to this. How much for a bullet?”, he says.

“Well my much suffering friend you are in luck, the bullets are $10,000 each“, I say. The good news is I have thirteen clips left“, I add. “What’s the bad news?“, moans the dying tycoon. “The bad news is, I only sell clips by the dozen.”

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