[Originally posted on my Facebook Page on October 11, 2014]
Personally, I had a very hard time processing this one. As a 50 year old woman and lifelong Democrat, and I’m talking hardcore liberal, this was maybe the bitterest pill of all. It also bridged the enormous gap between A) how can we HAVE the technology for 100% renewable energy capabilities and know the planet is heading towards catastrophic climate change and B) I still can’t just choose to use renewables…they aren’t offered or affordable and we’re still extracting so much fossil fuel that we are cooking the planet. Is it just me who thinks it’s pretty dire and yet nothing is being done?
I kept looking and reading, and this was the tip of the (melting) iceberg. I don’t really know where to file it in my brain, actually. One HUGE reason that we aren’t doing really anything towards eliminating fossil fuels is because, well, they’re an essential part of the US revenue stream.
But here’s the takeaway: the US govt. relies on immense royalty, leasing and “bonus” revenues from oil & gas and mineral sales and profits. I had to speak with the Dept. of the Interior about 5 times before I was sure I was hearing correctly. We are talking over $14 billion a year with practically NOTHING generated by renewables. It’s like how airplanes used to HAVE the ability for everyone to have WiFI, but they didn’t know how to make people pay for it, so they suppressed the ability. Essentially, its the same here.
Super upsetting, for me at least. Such hypocrisy. It made me decide that politicians, virtually none (even the President) can say “no” to fossil fuel revenue unless there is literally a revolt from below. Anyway, here goes. There’s much more to it than this, but this is a start. Sorry to burst any bubbles. Mine is already blown. Please go to the section entitled “References and Reading Lists” on my website and there will be links to government websites with reports outlining the natural resources that the US government sells off for revenues. I have also written directions/explanations about how to best utilize those sites once you pull them up.
Here is a press release from the Department of the Interior regarding the banner year they had (in gas and oil revenues):