“Few U.S. industries sing the praises of free enterprise more loudly than the oil industry. Yet few industries rely so heavily on special governmental favors.” (Milton Friedman, 1967)
In honor of his 107th birthday, MasterResource reprints a 1967 essay by Milton Friedman, “Oil and the Middle East,” which nicely summarized the political power and cronyism of the domestic oil industry at the time.  Far from just historical, the animus created by pro-crony policies over a half century came home to roost in the 1970s when Northeast politicians and others imposed price controls and new taxes on the industry. That animus exists today under the hubris of climate policy.
From the 1920s through the early 1970s, the political power of the domestic oil industry (primarily independent oil producers versus the integrated majors) succeeded in having the major oil states (excepting California) artificially restrict (‘prorate’) production to ‘market demand.’…
“As a young boy growing up in rural India with frequent power cuts, I never imagined that India would one day be able to announce a plan to supply electricity to all rural homes. But the tide has been changing ever since the 1990s when India embarked on economic liberalization.”
“India’s budget makes clear that the world’s largest democracy and one of its largest consumers of fossil fuels has openly declared its intent to promote the utilization of fossil fuel resources.”
The Indian government announced in early July that it will strive to ensure adequate housing, together with access to reliable electricity and clean cooking facilities, for all families in rural India by 2022.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Parliament that the goal was 100 percent electrification of all rural households—a critical need where people still die from indoor air pollution from primitive firewood-based cooking.…
The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult WiseEnergy.org for more information).
A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.
Some of the more important articles in this issue are: