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Letter: Big oil not so bad

Dear Editor,

One of the platitudes being bandied about lately is, "oil people are greedy." A facile statement indeed, carrying a moral content that often serves to close the discussion. A final judgment; who can argue? Greed, like lust and gluttony is considered a sin against God and humanity. Easy to point a finger at greedy people, however, to be critical of adultery or deviant sexual behavior is quite improper. We don't judge others.

Oil people are in business to make a profit. Seems like easy money, but indeed, there is risk at every level: finding oil, drilling, transporting, refining, storing. An additional risk is that our government, as well as OPEC can pull the rug out from under the industry by changing their stratagem. Risk and reward are intertwined. Human life and financial loss are the risks; yes, the rewards are great too.

The greenest people cannot get along without oil. If we all cut consumption, we would still need an abundant and dependable supply. Beyond our mobility, and comfort looms the issue of national defense. Just as national policies need to assure the production and distribution of food, it needs to have a steady and reliable production and distribution of oil. Therefore, our government must be involved in that dirty business of "subsidies". Politics, economics, contemporary life and national security become entangled in the web of government bureaucracy.

A previous letter writer expressed concern that oil companies buy off politicians and governments. Number 1 overall political contributor is SEIU: #3 is NEA: #7 is AFSCME. These are but three of the public sector unions. Way down the list at #95 is Exxon Mobil, barely making the list at all. So who is influencing our politicians? Not Big Oil.

Public-spirited people, who are not greedy, could put their money into wind power. It is risky to do so, but government subsidies will make the money last a little longer. Green energies could not exist without "subsidies." Until the time that science and industry find a replacement for oil, we have more than plenty; it's bound up in government regulation.

If "greedy oil people" commit crimes to feed their greed, let them be punished. If their greed is something you find immoral, let them be judged by God. But who could do what they do? The government?