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5.24.2011

Oil's Blame Game

By Michel Desjardins, Post Carbon Greater Moncton
Published in Times & Transcript on Friday May 20, 2011

As gas prices swirl upward, the oil blame game has shifted into high gear.

Our own Industry Minister Tony Clement blames the petroleum industry – refiners, distributors and retailers – for not clearly explaining how gas prices are set. He himself is under fire for not adequately regulating the industry.

In the US, President Obama blames speculators. But Obama too is being blamed for not declaring and implementing a “drill here, drill now” strategy.

Motorists all over the world are scorching mad and shooting in all directions. They accuse everyone but their dog of gouging.

All this noise sounds to me like a lot of posturing to avoid the real issue.

The real issue is that oil is a finite substance. We are dependant on it for our way of life. And it is depleting.

Make no mistake, oil prices will continue to creep up. The reason is that we have to go to greater lengths to extract the stuff, basically deep into the ocean or tar sand muck. Also, more people, namely the Chinese and the Indians, are competing for the little that’s left.

The crude reality is that in the long run governments can do precious little about depleting oil fields. No one can. What they can do however is create a policy environment that helps us break our addiction.

Let’s not waste time on blame games. Let’s all learn to live with less oil, a lot less oil.

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