Monday, January 22, 2007

Terror-Free Oil

This list is depressing. It's a list of companies that don't use oil from the middle-east, which this group says makes them "terror-free." The only two companies that don't use any oil from the middle east are the Hess Corp and Yukos. The listing for Hess has a note which says they do get oil from Algeria (the home of the GSPC which just allied itself with Al Qaida International and refreshed it's declaration of Jihad on France) and Yukos is a Russian oil company that is increasingly being controlled by the Russian government (and isn't available in North America anyway). WHoo-hooo.

So, basically, there are no good oil companies to buy from. This has long been a problem. However, I take issue with their definition of "terror-free." I haven't found a long defense of their definition, so perhaps I'm missing something, but not all states in the Middle East support and encourage terrorism, and not all states outside that area are blameless.

There are no good places to get oil from. The more people realize this, the more acceptable alternative energy will be. The only oil company I'm willing to boycott is Citgo, because of Chavez. Though lately I've been thinking that this boycott might actually succeed in kicking him out of power, at which point I would miss his frequent and hilarious outbursts. I'm currently trying to weigh the benefits of a Chavezless Venezuela to us and them against the costs of my personal enjoyment. I'm sure I won't buy gas from them soon, but I will miss his press releases if we ever kick him out.


  1. I would have to say that getting Chavez out of power would probably be the last thing to help with getting alternative energy. If you actually think Americans will not buy something because it is associated with terrorists, I would say you are living in a dream world. The vast majority of Americans only buy products based on price. Thus we do not have the highest end electronics in the US, as well the Playstation 3 will fail here.

    However Chavez is trying to bring the price of oil back up which would bring about alternative energy. The problem with alternative energy is that it is way to expensive. I would suggest checking this out, . But if you read my blog you would already know about this. This is one of the people that spoke to President Bush about our energy problem.

  2. Will people buy coffee from a brand that guarantees that the farmer was paid a fair wage, even if the coffee doesn't taste good (in my opinion) and costs twice as much? Yes. It's called fair trade coffee...

    However, in general I think that you're right. I would like to see a "terror-free" brand, but I'm pretty sure that the majority of people who said they would drive five miles out of their way to buy this oil were lying. Or at least overestimating their willingness to pay more for gas.

    Of the two issues, I think that not supporting terrorism is by far the more important cause. So, I'm hopeful, and I'm willing to buy it.

    Do you seriously think that if a company came out and proved that they sold only American oil, they would not get huge revenues (if not profits) in at least some parts of the country? I think something like that would sell amazingly well in Texas...and potentially Maine as well.

    The Playstation 3 will fail cause it's boringly the same as ever, costs too much, and is never in stock 'cause of production problems. They fail against the awesome fun that is the Wii.

    If Chavez is trying to bring the price of oil up, he should stop charging a penny or two per gallon less, and stop subsidizing it for poor people, and stop giving it to Cuba. I think he's more interested in using it as a political tool than a pure revenue generator.

    I don't think I mentioned alternative energy sources - I was mostly trying to comment that there is no company to get oil from that isn't connected with areas of the world that have lots of instability. However, Alternative energy doesn't work because it is currently too expensive. We can only hope that it will eventually get cheaper, but even Al Gore agrees that it isn't worth using yet. (heh, yay political rabbit punches)

  3. First, fair trade coffee is a far cry from terror free gas. It is one of the few products a select group of Americans will pay a premium for. What does that mean? Nothing. If you look at the everything else and how good Wal-Mart is doing, it is pretty obvious that Americans will by the cheapest crap out there and not care where it is from.

    I believe that if an any company came out and said they had terror free oil and was even only 20 cents more expenisive, that it would not make a difference. There is no way that that one company could make enough oil for the whole country. If you did it in a small region you would just displace the terror oil to another region of the US. Also even if all the oil brought into the US was terror free oil it would not make a difference. China would buy up all the rest at the same price. Oil will never in our life times be a commodity that people will pay a premium for when they can get it across the street for a penny less. I am not saying not to boycott Citgo, I am all for that. I am just saying it will never make a difference.

    Chavez at the last OPEC meeting lobbied to lower oil production which would raise prices, I think he actually lobbies for this every time. Everyone knows that the oil companies do not make any money at the pump. It is selling crude to the refineries that makes the money.

    You did talk about alternative energy for a second, quote from your post "There are no good places to get oil from. The more people realize this, the more acceptable alternative energy will be."

    Also I hope you do not get your information about our energy uses or problems from any one in Washington. Both parties are really screwed up on the whole thing. Al Gore's propaganda crap is just that. Seriously go check out that link and watch the video. The problem is not global warming, the problem is the CO2 levels. Nathan Lewis is considered an expert on energy and CO2 levels.

  4. Yeah, you're right.

    Though, I think that the parallel between fair-trade coffee and terror-free oil is not as far fetched as you might think.The practice of creating a certification process for some good is becoming more and more popular (organic, American-made, fair-trade, sweat-shop free, etc. And yes, I know I live in a segment of the population that is removed, but my college friends get the stuff from somewhere, so there must be a market for it), and I think we'll see more of it in the future.

    The terror-free oil brand that this group is trying to promote isn't going to work, because it's not really terror-free oil, it's middle-east free oil, and the only company that you can buy gas from in america that is certified as "terror-free" gets oil from Algeria. But, the way for it to be successful would be to accept a smaller profit margin at the refinery, not raise prices at the pump.

    But as far as the global market for oil goes, all that oil would be bought from somewhere else. Despite the fact that everyone complains about America consuming so much more oil in the world, by the time a brand like this is actually workable, China will be buying just as much as we will be, and India won't be far behind.

    However, I think that the perception of making an effort to avoid terror-free oil would be a useful (both international and domestic) political tool, even if those efforts were essentially hollow. Such is the nature of the game.

    And, as you know, I more often point and laugh at the Gorebot and others in DC than listen to their advice about global warming. I prefer what the economist and other say. Including that link you recommended. It's quite informative and interesting, thanks...