Monday, October 17, 2005

Oil and Information: A scarce Commodity

We pay a price for scarcity. If oil/gas are in short supply then the price goes up. If oil and gas are plentiful then the price goes down. So it is with information, when information is kept secret and in short supply our freedoms shrink. When information flows freely our freedoms expand. Secretive governments tend to be authoritarian governments; authoritarian governments do not like dissent. What's the connection between oil and secrets? Lets roll back the clock to Dick Cheney's secret meetings with the major oil companies prior to the invasion of Iraq. Rather than forgetting about it I would, more than ever, like to know the sum and substance of those meetings. What course was set or discussed that helped the impoverished oil companies to achieve even greater riches on top of the tax cut that lined their pockets. Have you ever received a thank-you note for picking up the tab at tax time or at the pump? Me neither. Cheney argued that the government had the right to secrecy. I thought they worked for us. We have a right to know what is going on especially when we are paying for it in blood and treasure. Did the oil companies get a heads up on the war in Iraq a year in advance so they could arrange to get extra oil tankers to the gulf (it takes 6-12 months to schedule a tanker into a port. Its not like calling a cab). I don't like secrets and I don't like authoritarian governments. I prefer open /transparent government and a democratic discussion on topics of national importance. Energy policy should not be a secret; it is a matter of economic survival and of national importance. How can we have energy independence by 2020 if we allow our government to have secret meetings with corporations and therefore no accountability for the possible consequences of the meetings? Is the line between government and corporations so blurred that it is difficult to know where the policies are made? Consider this: The price of oil is up and the secrecy regarding the energy policy continues, and we are stuck with a bogus energy policy and we are not privy to the plans the administration hatched with the oil companies.


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