Friday, September 23, 2016

Venezuela Proves Bill Buckley Correct

In 1971 the conservative magazine editor and commentator William F. Buckley Jr. published “Cruising Speed: A Documentary” which recorded in diary form the incidents and events in Buckley’s life during one week in November 1970. Buckley relayed a joke castigating communism:
Curiously, the failures of Communism are more often treated as a joke than as a tragedy. (As in the current jollity: What would happen if the Communists occupied the Sahara? Answer: Nothing—for 50 years. Then there would be a shortage of sand.)
No communist government has taken over a Sahara country, but a strongly socialist one has taken over Venezuela, and hence  Oil-Rich Venezuela Now Has to Import Capitalist Oil:
Well, in Episode 23,432 of the always popular, always predictable "Let's Mess With the Supply/Demand Curve," socialist Venezuela is now having to import American oil ...
... despite Venezuela having the largest known oil reserves on the planet:
Venezuela’s petroleum industry, whose vast revenues once fueled the country’s Socialist-inspired revolution, underwriting everything from housing to education, is spiraling into disarray.
To add insult to injury, the Venezuelan government has been forced to turn to its nemesis, the United States, for help.
“You call them the empire,” said Luis Centeno, a union leader for the oil workers, referring to what government officials call the United States, “and yet you’re buying their oil.”
The declining oil industry is perhaps the most urgent chapter of Venezuela’s economic crisis. Oil accounts for half of the Venezuelan government’s revenues, what former President Hugo Chávez once called an “instrument of national development.” The state oil company poured its profits, more than $250 billion in all from 2001 to 2015, into the country’s social programs, including food imports.
The South American country's oil revenue was the only thing keeping Chavez's socialist policies afloat. The commodity allowed them to keep the nation solvent to some degree. But now that oil prices have dropped, yet another country's government officials are being taught that "profit" doesn't mean "evil," it means "sustainable."
Meanwhile, the EPA is forcing Puerto Ricans to swelter in the dark (hey, it's better than freezing in the dark) by preventing the construction of a new, low pollution gas burning power plant:
Puerto Rico’s entire population is still out of power Thursday after a fire at a power plant shut down the island’s grid, and they have the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to thank.

The fire burned up an old oil-burning power plant that was going to be shut down and replaced by a new natural gas burning power plant. That is, until the EPA killed the plan.
Now, 3.5 million people are out of electricity.

EPA blocked Puerto Rico’s plans to import the liquefied natural gas (LNG) to run the new plant in the name of saving sea turtles. The agency has delayed the LNG terminal for more than two years by forcing design changes to limit its impact on coral reefs. No construction work has begun on the import terminal.
Update, the lights are starting to come back on in Puerto Rico 
Cheers erupted as lights slowly began to flicker on across Puerto Rico overnight as the U.S. territory struggled to emerge from an island-wide blackout following a fire at a power plant that caused the aging utility grid to fail.

More than 390,000 of 1.5 million homes and businesses served by the power utility had electricity restored by late Thursday, with cries of, “The lights are back on!” echoing through some neighborhoods.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said he expected more than half of customers to have power by Friday morning.
Coming to a state near you. Maybe even your own.

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