'

Carbon Capture and Petroleum Industry—a tale of two pities

It's a pity that not everybody can be happy when the federal government does something. Or even just talks about doing something.

It's a pity that not everybody can be happy when the federal government does something. Or even just talks about doing something. Back when oil men sat in the top two executive positions in the land, POTUS and VPOTUS, oil was happy but gasoline buyers were not. Now the oil industry is saying the Obama budget proposal will cripple American energy output. Here's the word from the INDEPENDENT PETROLEUM ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA. "President Obama delivered a devastating blow to the American oil and natural gas industry today by proposing an astonishing $30 billion tax increase."They go on to say thousands of wells could be shut down.

$30 billion more in taxes. Of course, they;d pass that on to us consumers anyway. Exxon alone made $45 billion in profit in 2008. The entire American oil sector made many times that. Of course, Exxon will see its own tax bill rise if the budget isn't significantly changed before passage. CARBON CAPTURE Over at Emerging Energy Research they see the new Obama policies as a boon to carbon capture and sequestration. They have a new report that you can read if you want to subscribe. Bottom line: several states are already planning carbon capture projects and the added billions of federal dollars will enlarge and speed up the programs. The U.S. is in a positon of strength when it comes to coal supply, don't have to import the way we do with oil. Yet, coal continues to be a hot button for many environmental groups, witness the coming anti-coal protest aimed at Congress's own coal burning plant. Our final pity? There's no utility-scale project showing that carbon capture and sequestration can work. It's still in the "trust-me-we-can-make this-work" stage, sorta like nuclear waste. Stick it in the ground and we'll deal with it later. Or coal ash: put it on that mound over there and hope it stays put. Right now in the fossil fuel league: coal is winning, oil seems to be in the penalty box.