Scrooge, bah humbug! Sound familiar? Inflation, rising prices, high gas prices, rising home heating costs, high grocery prices, recession, political turmoil, and a decrease in Santa’s Christmas load in his sleigh. They all are a product of the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and possibly the future.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens published in 1843 has similarities to our past, present and future. I do not mean just the story itself, which was based on the culture in England at the time. I am speaking of his struggles with publishing the book itself and trying to change the attitude of the people regarding the poor.
This may be a different time and country, but the trials and tribulations are the same. The ghost of Christmas past represents the volatility of the oil and gas industry. In the 1980s the industry had a major downturn or a collapse which was caused by the Yom-Kippur War in 1973 and the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Both crises resulted in a disruption of oil supplies. This volatility happened again in the second half of 2008, but this time a major recession caused oil and gas prices to fall more than 65% in less than a year. The outcome was a decrease in demand and other economic issues such as high mortgage rates and increased unemployment. OPEC has a history of cutting production when prices drop below a financial point causing the ghost to raise his head which results in an increase of gas prices at the pump. Whether it was the ghost of Christmas past, an economic turmoil or the collapse of the oil industry, each affected our economy.
The ghost of Christmas present is sabotaging the oil and gas industry by limiting and/or denying any permits to increase production and preventing us from being an independent oil and gas nation. The current administration points a finger at the oil and gas corporations for high prices; however, Exxon, Mobil and others are not the ones responsible for the price influx. Meanwhile our oil strategic reserves are being depleted rapidly. Small independents are waiting on the sidelines for the go ahead to start drilling. Millions of jobs hang in the balance. Also, the economy as we know it is swinging like a pendulum, inflation to recession. How long will it be before someone figures it out? We need to do something now and not later as later may be too late.
Since the US House will be controlled by the Republicans who tend to be more pro-oil and gas, will there be a chance the ghost of Christmas future will be a positive one? There are two scenarios that may occur in the future. Will we become a nation independent of the global dependency or will we be rolling down the hill like a locomotive that cannot stop? The former will be an independent nation with a thriving economy, low fuel costs at the pump, restored strategic reserves, and millions of jobs saved. The alternative is high unemployment and interest rates, high fuel costs, and dependency on foreign world powers. Which ghost of the future do you want to see?