Friday, May 29, 2009

Oil & Water CAN Mix

In Buddhist philosophy, the central tenet is that nothing last forever. But in market philosophy, it seems that that particular lesson has to be forever learned the hard way, As Michigan has learned in the past couple of years. Long staking its economy on the single industry of automobiles, the state has learned that even America’s love affair with its automobiles is not an eternal thing. As a result of the current recession and unforeseen rise in world oil futures in the past couple years, Michigan has been hemorrhaging jobs, a stable tax base, people, and hope; its once proud world-leading automobile giants are only a step or two from declaring bankruptcy.
Partially as a result of its failing economy, its governor, Jennifer Granholm, has made the growing trend of renewable energy the foundation of her initiative to create a new industry base in the state. To this end, earlier this week T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil baron who has become the unlikely but welcomed spokesman for the push to make the country independent of its attachment to foreign oil, joined the governor on the state’s premiere resort, Mackinaw Island to pitch the benefits to the nation as a whole of diversifying the state’s economy in this particular direction.
In his pitch to gathering of industry and government officials, Pickens noted that, “Michigan is a big state and you have a lot of resources here. I would think people would see it as an opportunity.” The energy tycoon acknowledged that the state has an already-established manufacturing base (i.e., an infrastructure capable of supporting mass industrial complex), a willing work-force hungry for employment, and the government’s desire to provide tax credits and other financial incentives to any investor that is willing to start the ball rolling towards this goal…in addition to natural resources such as “abundant wind and water.”

Texas Energy Baron & Billionaire Pushes American Independence from Foreign Oil

At the risk of sounding partisan, Pickens is a pragmatic political conservative that Americans need more of…one who has the will to do what’s necessary rather than what’s feasible for the market. Most of his ilk (as well as a few more toward the moderate left) seem hell-bent on keeping the country technologically stagnant by their insistence that the only way to meet the growing demand for oil is to invest in drilling for more of it domestically. This politically-entrenched mindset will do nothing more than keep America (and by extension, the world) from exploring and moving toward the next level of technological advancement, the push toward finding environmentally safer and cheaper renewable fuels.
One can only hope that the other policy- and opinion-makers in both Washington and Lansing (the state capital for those of you who are Jeopardy-impaired) take Granholm and Pickens' example to heart and be willing to put down their partisanship “thinking” caps and do what’s best on this particular issue.


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