Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Restyling the oil slick

The message is now crystal clear and in slightly different colours. There's a mission statement that lays it out unambigiuously.

As I say, reporters should -- as a rule -- bypass Myron Ebell, if they feel they need to print utter bollocks, and talk to Exxon directly. The Exxon website doesn't have anything to say about climate change, except the ironic claim of reducing energy use and CO2 emissions from their oil refineries [NB the real emissions are the product that goes down the pipelines to get burnt by cars].

One reporter who is not taking my advice is Monisha Bansal for CNS News who, instead of asking ExxonMobil to explain why they should keep all of their $36.13 billion of profits last year, printed some Myron Ebell fatuousness:

"Sharing the wealth is a recipe to make sure that they can no longer provide good products at competitive prices because they will not have any money to reinvest in their industry," Ebell said.

To fit three lies in one short sentence take skill. (1) The word "share" does not mean "give it all away". (2) Sharing by taxation is not levied on reinvestment. (3) Gas is the same as it ever was; there are no new products from these old oil companies. No more than the electricity companies come up with new products.

There is a huge difference between the cost of the commodity and the price signal that is necessary to send to the market that has been understood by smokers now. They may pay a hiked up $6 a pack, but the tobacco company does not get all that money. It goes back to society to clean up the mess that tobacco smoking causes. The same deal must happen with gas.

"I guess we could learn to get along without oil and gas and start living in caves again," Ebell said.

Like Mozart, and Plato, and Queen Elizabth the First -- they all lived in caves, didn't they?

He went on to explain how the Exxon Valdez disaster is just oil under the bridge, you see.

"Oil is biodegradable and goes away after a time. We didn''t have a trust fund to clean up the East Coast after World War II, even though every beach had oil on it from oil tankers sunk by the Germans. In fact, within a few years everyone had forgotten about it," Ebell said.

Yeah. That's because they were ships powered by oil, not gigantic super-tankers built to bring America its oil after it has squandered the majority of its domestic resources.

Fine. Be that way. It's you're job to spout garbage. But that does mean no one should printing it.


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