Thursday, March 14, 2013

Foreign Investors Eye Venezuelan Oil

The death of Chavez could lead to an opening for foreign investment and joint ventures in Venezuela's oil sector. Read more.

But don't rush in…. The presumed next president is not likely to cede control of the national oil company and staggering oil reserves.

The Bloomberg article is clearly biased in the favor of foreign investors. But the real question that should be raised is this: Why did the United States foolishly waste all those pre-Chavez years, dating to the first energy crisis and the awful years of President Jimmy Carter, whose administration was irrationally anti-oil, whether it was produced by multinationals or domestic independents? A Western Hemisphere energy alliance could and should have been forged with Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela in order to free the U.S. from OPEC's grip. But Carter would not even consider such a grouping; nor would the worst-ever U.S. President (prior to the disastrous George W. Bush) entertain formation of a U.S. national company to develop domestic resources, such as heavy crude and oil that can only be produced using enhanced recovery methods--resources that big, for-profit oil companies dismiss as not profitable when what they really mean is not profitable enough to satisfy stockholders and analysts.

The U.S. does not now and has never had a rational energy policy--for the American people. True, Chavez was a tropical Mussolini--a dangerous, antisemitic demagogue who aligned his nation with the new Nazi Germany, Islamist Iran, and its partner in nuclear and missile crimes, North Korea. But, unlike America's so-called leaders, one must admit that he at least sought to use his country's awesome energy resources for the benefit of the majority of his country's citizens. Hence, his grassroots popularity and the outpouring of grief over his passing among the lower classes of Venezuelan society.

In contrast, U.S. politicians and policymakers seem hopelessly divided--between greedy supporters and servants of Big Oil (Republicans) and supposedly well-inentioned, green energy elitists (Democrats) who secretly root for higher oil prices in order to rationalize subsidies and incentives for inefficient and non-existent energy alternatives. Either way, ordinary, hard-pressed Americans, who increasingly must struggle to survive in the face of rising fuel (and food) costs, are … well … screwed.

So it goes.