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Posted on April 11 at 12:08 p.m.
The USC study which hypes the “economic benefits” of the development of the Monterey Shale is just frackademic propaganda. Kevin Hopkins, who authored the USC report, argues that California needs to be energy independent, a totally bogus argument in light of a global energy market where oil and gas are freely traded. Hopkins’s second bogus argument is that N. Dakota, whose population is 1/50 of California and which has none of our economic diversity, could be an accurate model for California’s future economy. Third, Hopkins claims that “oil” saved N. Dakota from the banking collapse in 2008, when it fact it was N. Dakota’s State-owned banking system, which didn’t participate in mortgage backed security fraud. Fourth, and perhaps most telling, it’s amazing that two of Hopkins modeling numbers came out exactly 10.0%, a sure sign numbers were fudged and adjusted to reach a goal. There are many additional obvious flaws in the report. This study was paid for by Big Oil. It attempts to present “economic arguments” from a big name university in order to justify opening up the Monterey Shale. The study appears designed to give politicians cover when they shill for Big Oil’s private ownership of California’s oil reserves. Most big oil producing nations have nationalized reserves and oil companies are desperately trying to grab up those few reserves in countries where private ownership is still possible. California’s reserves are particularly attractive because we don’t have an extraction tax – a point suspiciously missing from Hopkins’ analysis. Reserves determine stock price and impact speculative investment returns. The push for selling Monterey Shale is about long term control of reserves – it’s about the ICE futures market and price manipulation. Monterey Shale should remain in the commons – owned by all Californians – and should not be sold away to these oil companies for next to nothing. Lastly, universities like USC should reject their current “short-sighted” business model that includes selling their reputations to the highest bidder. USC should require all their public policy studies, especially their economic studies, to be independently peer-reviewed prior to release.
On California Energy Action Summit on April 12
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