It’s said by governments and the media followers the main reason that energy prices, gas prices and oil prices are high is the markets fault. While that’s inaccurate, its consumption and of late, speculation that drives prices in part as well, government has a continuous role that is detrimental to the market and the prices we pay.

Worldwide governments – OPEC is governments, the Axis of Oil is governments, and the consuming nations are regulated, taxed and litigated by governments and their special interest friends such that there is an uncalculated built in, excess in every price. While most consumers cannot affect the OPECs and Axis of Oil governments, our own governments that ply the tax, regulation, and litigation schemes to extract money and serve special interests can be taken on.

It’s a much bigger problem than one first thinks. You see it when you buy gasoline with state and federal taxes added on. Some places even add sales tax on top of that. In some countries those taxes may double the price or more. At every step along the way the government has a hook into the flow of energy to you until you get to the owner of the land over the raw energy, and they are taxed as well unless the land is owned by a government and they manage to move a lot of the money to other accounts without much notice.

The regulatory burden is incredible. It provides jobs, sure – for compliance and coping, filing and appealing with all the overhead and extra costs that entails. Worst of all is the built in delay to get things done. You experience the same thing when you order something and delays consume days or weeks until you get what you already paid for. Imagine it is millions or billions of dollars and the wait is months and very often years. You think a few weeks wait to get your money back on a rebate of what you already paid is exasperating, or even worth the trouble? The same is true about expanding energy resources and supplies. Regulated delays can destroy the economic value of even trying and opportunities are often simply removed by government acts – and it happens much more than regular people and the press and media even know. This is a serious problem. A very serious problem that is now mostly focused on oil, gas, coal and nuclear – but it will fall on our beloved alternative and renewables too.

Government is about laws, which brings out the lawyers. The past decades have seen an ever increasing level of law that not just empowers, but encourages litigation. A very uncomfortable proportion of lawyers make huge amounts of money litigating. This takes enormous sums of money from the energy production side to pay the litigation bills. It almost always stops activity making the invested and spent money temporarily or permanently worthless. The capital of stockholders, our pensions mostly, the jobs of family and neighbors and friends are drawn down and the prices we pay go up. All those costs, the expenses and money lost gets rolled into prices or pulled out of the value of the stock and dividends. Litigation is a dead weight anchor that will soon stop the U.S. economy’s growth and may well pull it under unless citizens wake up and see the weeds have over run the government garden. I’d rather have vegetables and a steak than weeds named after rich and famous lawyers.

Want to pull a weed? Take a shot at the speculators? Undermine OPEC and other Axis of Oil governments? The American Petroleum Institute organized the Partnership for America’s Energy Security to provide services that get views of agreeable people gathered and delivered to politicians and bureaucrats. The latest is the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency responsible for administering the offshore oil and natural gas program, seeking your comments about expanding offshore oil and gas development for the years 2010-2015. The Partnership collects and delivers our letters en mass on our behalf. Handy if rather limited in scope – the Partnership is interested in oil and gas – but I sure am too!

Click on this link: Partnership for America’s Energy Security MMS Public Comment

There you can fill in the form, choose to receive other information by leaving or clearing the green checkmark in the box and review the privacy policy. The Partnership isn’t going to go any further at all with your information other than send your letter, and send you email information if you choose. You can even take the opposite side.

On the next page you can customize the letter in the editing box and choose to send or print and send it yourself. The Partnership text is fair enough, you may wish to enter something entirely different, blast ‘em or be more assertive or less diplomatic. You choose.

Time is up Monday, likely 4:30PM eastern. The partnership will need a bit of time to execute, so don’t wait too long Monday.

On the other hand – it’s a small thing – until the numbers of citizens gets big. What each of us has to ask ourselves is, “Did $4 gas hurt enough to get me moving or will I just wait for the agony of $6 or $8 gas?”

Me? I’m bitchin’ now. (My edit will be somewhat less diplomatic.) Remember from last year that $60 oil will keep most all the renewable and alternatives competitive. I see no reason for us to get energy poor because the U.S. government needs a kick in the pants.

It’s something to do this weekend that will benefit you, your family and the whole country. Thanks for hearing me out. Pass it on!


2 Comments so far

  1. Helmut blockheizkraftwerk on August 21, 2010 6:55 PM

    🙂 cool!

  2. Swiss Ball Exercises on November 8, 2010 7:24 AM

    What a great resource!

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