Open letter and petition to president Clinton, RE: Skyrocketing oil/gas pricesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
From: http://www.elsi.org/petition.htm Dear President Clinton,
A crisis has come upon the people of our nation. The skyrocketing price of home heating oil and other petroleum byproducts is threatening the health and financial well being of millions.
This most recent oil crisis is of course but the latest in a series of oil shocks afflicting the country since the oil embargo of the seventies. At that time, America made a commitment to work towards energy self sufficiency, to explore alternative fuels and develop renewable resources. Today however, millions are again in crisis in large part because we have fallen short in achieving those goals.
The specific source of the current crisis is said to be the rising price of crude oil. This development is said to have its roots in the decision last year by the oil producing nations to cut production in the hope of raising profits. Domestic petroleum stocks were low as we entered the winter, and refineries were faced with low profit margins and little incentive to increase the supply of end products for consumers.
Still, efforts to mitigate the crisis through the use available petroleum stocks were stalled by a seeming endless stream of unplanned refinery outages and breakdowns. A bad situation was made worse by untimely mishaps which seem to be occurring at a rising rate of frequency. Speculative commodities trading rose and fell with reports of each incident but rarely was a full accounting ever offered for the underlying cause of the outages.
Although accidents involving hazardous materials or injuries must be reported by law, no fully adequate public database exists to evaluate the significance of the refinery problems and their relationship to the overall problem facing those who rely on the dependability of the infrastructure. In fact, efforts to determine the reliability and safety of the petroleum industry's aging and complex infrastructure are hampered by a reluctance to report incidents that might otherwise escape public detection.
Knowledge is said to be power. Citizen's armed with the facts are better able to prepare themselves for adversity and better armed to engage in national decision making. Towards that end, prominent national leaders including Governor Pataki of New York, Senator Dodd from Connecticut and others, have been calling for Federal action to diffuse the crisis, to determine its cause, and to relieve the hardship it has created for millions of Americans dependent on the petro chemical industry for the operation of their automobiles, home heating, and commerce.
The problem is real and unmistakable. Statistics available from the U.S. Energy Information Service show that capacity utilization at our nation's refineries is down markedly from the similar period a year ago. Published reports from the private sector news services document ongoing accidents and outages this year throughout the nation's refineries at a time when many Americans are most in need of their products.
In view of the above, the undersigned citizen's feel it is time to address this crisis and the following issues:
How reliable is our petro chemical infrastructure and how much confidence should the public invest in it?
What are the causes for the reason spate of unplanned refinery outages affecting the price and delivery of critical fuel supplies to homes and business?
What can be done to assure compliance by the petro chemical industry with existing laws for reporting accidents and making that data available freely to the public?
What can be done to lessen our dependence on imported oil and increase our use of renewable alternatives in our most vulnerable areas of need?
The time has come for answers, Mr. President.
Please address our concerns to the appropriate agency of government and begin a full and public inquiry into these lingering questions for which the minds of millions of suffering Americans can find no escape.
Stuart H. Rodman
Director of Communications
Ecological Life Systems Institute
-- Chris (#$%^&@pond.com), February 25, 2000
Dear Mr. Rodham, err, ahem, ah, Rodman:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am today issuing an executive order authorizing a committee to evaluate your concerns and make recommendations as to whether it is in the national interest for answers to be forthcoming. I want you to know that I feel your pain. And I did not have sex with that woman.
-- Bill C. (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 25, 2000.
Dear Mr. Rodman,
Send your wife over to discuss this with me in the Oval Office.
-- JB (email@example.com), February 25, 2000.