Transcendental Bloviation

Politics, Space, Japan

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Time to buy alternative energy stocks?

Oil prices are much in the news these days, but one headline struck me as suggesting a real fin de siecle: High crude here to stay. Subtitle: "Experts say oil may never dip below $40."

There is a more-than-faint redolence of bias here, I must admit. The story is from the Calgary Sun, the energy experts cited are local boys, and Canada has recently been ranked as having the world's second largest supplies of oil (knocking the problematic Iraq off that rung) by virtue of its tar sands deposits. These deposits are considered worth exploiting when oil prices exceed $20/bbl, and they are being exploited. A friend of mine here in Japan sometimes goes back to Canada to work crane-operator jobs, and recently spoke of the exhilarating vista of cranes receding as if to the horizon at one tar sands site.

The stuff is right here on the surface - it's just not easily processed after you've scooped it up, and quality varies. Until we go to war with Canada, however, there will be no war premium for oil extracted from Canadian tar sands. Oil prices currently jitter on an hourly basis over abstruse economic questions like:

(2) Will Moqtada al-Sadr will bring the key to Imam Ali Shrine to the supreme Shi'ite clerics?

(2) Or they will come to him for the key?

(3) Or, hey, maybe al-Sadr will just leave the key under the Imam Ali Shrine doormat after locking up on his last night in Najaf?

Compare Canada. The most you have to worry about is our president shaking hands with their ex-prime minister in a photo-op, only to stir a fuss in crossing back over the border when the DEA's canines snarl at the Commander in Chief for the faint cannabinoid traces smeared onto his hands by the handshake, the trace THC molecules having originally been transferred from the Canadian's nightly hash-pipe. That sort of incident might take a little smoothing over, but it's mothing like finding out that a kidnapped Halliburton truck-driver is being held in Basra by Iranians who were trained in camps run rather openly in Pakistan, our "ally."

I'd write more, but I have to go check the price of oil again.


At 3:18 PM, Blogger Brian T said...

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