Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 30, 1976 · Page 59
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 59

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 30, 1976
Page 59
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Page 59 article text (OCR)

; Has U.S. Fallen Prey To Energy Treachery? Whilsle-Stopping Across American Made the Difference Harry Truman (and the Wrong Headline) Good Example for Ford Richard Lee Strout Proven Secret Weapon WASHINGTON-Down the straight track depart President and Mrs. Ford, standing alone now on the platform of the receding train, waving back . . . "Did you get shook, did you get shook?" shrieks the trombonist of the Northeastern High School Band. "No, squeals the clarinetist of the rival Central High School band hysterically, "but I touched him! I touched him!" All their lives they will remember it; it was like this for 50 years. Mr. Ford revived the Campaign Special one day in Michigan last month and took the supposedly "doubtful state" two-to^one. If he wants to take California (wiriner-take-all, 167 GOP delegates June 8 and the nomination may hang on it), he will whistle-stop right down the state, Sacramento to Los Angeles, doing what he does best, mingling with people and gladhanding all the way. YOU NEED A BAND. It tells patriotic things to .crowds nothing else can, about presidents and people, and fun, and excitement, and America the beautiful and to" hell with issues. There are four bands here for Ford, v and the wonderful march from Music Man, "Seventy-six Trombones;" and then there is big, honest, mediocre Jerry Ford in the flesh waving; it stirs the blood, shakes off the miasma of this dreadful election; now we are back in an older tradition, "Tippicanoe and Tyler, too," surely there is nothing wrong with a little festival folksiness. Mr. Ford is talking and 1 knew what would happen though I had forgotten it-that decrepit old brewery building with broken windows across the railroad yard is talking back at him; of.course it would, it always has, echoing and carrying on dialogues with candidates/That building or its twin moved all the way across the states at 20 stops a Jay when Harry Truman made his 1948 campaign. "Did you actually sleep on the train? I mean- deep on it?" a young reporter asks me. Ha! .It was 16 cars, including sleeping and dining coaches, with 80 or 100 newsmen aboard and at the end the Ferdinand Magellan.with oversized rear platform and striped canopy and loudspeakers on . top. We started on Thursday, June 3,1948, says the / schedule which I have preserved, with a 1:32 a.m. service stop at Harrisburg ("Change crews, ice; water, inspection") and first speech at Crestline, 0., at 10:53, and so on to Chicago ("Drive to Palmer House and Stadium"). He steamed .across Iowa and Nebraska and places like that meeting great locomotives in lonely places coming the other way to Sunday services at Kearney where we sat in gothic pine pews, under the Roll of Honor, tem. perature 80, with sunlight streaming through stained glass windows, and the minister said, "If God is on our side nothing else matters." I know because I scribbled soft notes in pencil-"elevation 21# " "red axminster carpet," and "First Baptist church." I used the text of Mr. Truman's earlier "rear platform remarks at Grand Island, Nebraska" (June 6,1948) for notes, where he received a peace pipe, a parcel of local beet sugar, and his third pair of spurs. He observed, "These spurs are wonderful. When I get them on I can take the Congress to town. Give them a trial, just as soon as I get back to Washington." ·» SPARKLING, EH? It is remarks like that that Jerry Ford is good at too, and introducing his wife. With Harry he would say, "And now I want you to meet the Boss." Plump and matronly she would appear and he would proudly introduce her, and then say, "And here's the one who bosses her," and radiant Margaret would step out, probably.with an armful of roses, and there would be yells and wolf whistles, and who could vote against a family like that? Truman told them at Grand Island he would like to make a political speech but couldn't. Sunday, you know. Never on Sunday. The trip took us over the Missoula, Mont., pass, where we took on "the helper engine," and dropped it off again at Pass Evaro, Montana. Saturday, June 12, we were rolling down California-speaking, speaking all the way, 18 hours. Jerry Ford, take note. Yes, it was f u n . . . The train slows and telephone polls march slower. People gawking. There is a distant rhythmic throbbing, the band, "Hail to the Chief!" Correspondents move from club car to platform and with easy familiarity swing back the iron doors and release the floor catch which brings up the iron plate above the steps. Jump off at the band; where the band is the crowd is-and that's where the engineer will halt the rear platform. THE CROWD STRETCHES back a block and a half. Truman starts talking; which one will it be this time--about Grandfather Young and the covered wagon? No, this time after a brief plug for a federal'health insurance program (Imagine!years ago Truman was urging it and still we alone of modern nations don't have it) he is telling unaffectedly of his great romance with The Boss: "She was five and 1 was six. I sat in front of her, and now and then she used to tap me over the head with a ruler." (At Los Angeles, when he left the train, a million peopie saw him; pity he was going to lose; all the polls showed Dewey way ahead.) The reporter at a whistle stop jumped off the moving steps, raced the slowing train down the roped platform to the crowd around the band, had his yellow Western Union page against the dusty side of the Ferdinand Magellan at the first yell of the throng .when the president appeared and was ready for the climax with the President spacing his words arid chip-chopping with his hands, for empha-' sis, "I am talking about the party that gave us that no-account do-nothing Republican Eightieth Congress ..." . "Give 'em hell. Harry!" somebody shouts. The whistle toots four times. "Western, Western, Western!" yells the reporter tossing the hasty copy to a messenger boy like throwing a fish to a gull. Away we go. It'll be a wonder if Truman stops at the Mexico line . . . , So there's my advice, Jerry. It's your secret weapon. I watched you and Betty on the special train that day in Michigan. You're good at it. A big smile. A big wave. A quick descent from the car, working the crowd. Then roll away like a movie fadeout, down the shining tracks, you and Betty alone on the platform, exeunt waving. You want to win this election?--you know how. Kdlfin (. Harbrofthe · ett I irjc'iu'a I nirrrsilv i'ollrffof Knfinerr- inf, after thorough inmfijcalion. hat brrn tcritiiif and tprak inf on the rner^\ shortape in the I Hited SlalM for the fmtl fire \eart. In thr follouinp article heroine* to theconrlution lhalthe I nited Stale* hat been dmll a blow of hiiforir proportion*. By Edwin C. Barbe ·liliilonl Profeuor. WIT Sunday Gazelle-Mail Has the United States fallen prey to treachery? The evidence indicates that it has. Twenty years ago in 1956, the United States became directly and indirectly dependent on oil and natural gas for 96 per cent of its daily energy needs. Coal mine mechanization was taking place, and the transition from coal-burning to oil-burning railroad locomotives was almost complete. From that year on, not even a lump of coal would be" moved or processed in this country without using fuels or electricity derived from oil and natural gas. The event did not pass unnoticed by senators, representatives, and others in our national government, because it was accompanied by exploding unemployment throughout the Appalachian coal range. THE UNITED STATES enjoyed almost complete fuel independence in that year. One hundred per cent of her natural gas requirements and 86 per cent of her oil requirements were provided from wells drilled into her own ground. And with her very survival in a hostile world dependent on oil and gas from that lime on, it was imperative that she continue to be provided with'a plentiful supply of those fuels. But even though the Cold War with Soviet Russia was then at its height, this country's oil and gas supplies were immediately subjected to an assault that would continue for 20 years, and would deprive the United States of those fuels which lay undiscovered beneath her surface. The story is told in the records of the American Gas Assn., the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the U.S. Department of Commerce and others. When following the record, it should be remembered that just as in politics, nothing in the oil and gas industry happens by accident. No oil well is drilled or not drilled by accident. No gas well is drilled or not drilled by accident. Those projects involve years of commitment and millions of dollars. Any decisions to drill or not drill are therefore the result of long and intensive deliberations by policy-making officials of the oil and gas industry. Neither has it ever been possible for oil and gas shortages to develop by accident in this country. U.S. senators and representatives have been intimately involved with those fuels for generations through their congressional committees. Libraries throughout the land are filled with reports of their investigations into oil and gas industry activities. And each report dutifully notes that those fuels are essential to the national security of this nation. In addition, all activities in the oil and gas fields of this country are filtered through the U.S. Bureau of Mines in the Department of the Interior. Not only is all that information available to the'secre- tary of the interior, but he is also advised constantly by the oil and gas industry's own National Petroleum Council. And the secretary of the interior then reports to the president of the United Stales. So when the oil and gas industry began a program in 1956 to no longer drill sufficient numbers of exploratory wells in search of new oil and new gas in this country, it was not an accident. Nor was it accidental that they were allowed to do so. gas requirements, and only 60 per cent of her oil requirements. The consequences of that program were clear right from the beginning. If the oil and gas industry continued to reduce its drilling every year, the United States' proved reserves of oil and natural gas would eventually begin to decrease. It was inevitable. But nobody stopped what the oil and gas industry was doing. By 1968 the drilling had been reduced by 45 per cent to only 8,879 wells. And in that year both our proved reserves of oil and our proved reserves of natural gas began to decline. It had taken only 12 years. Except for the one year of 1970 when the Alaskan North Slope reserves were added, those reserves have been decreasing ever since. After the proved reserves began to decrease, it was only a matter of time before production from those reserves would also decrease if the oil and gas industry continued to reduce its drilling. Again It was inevitable. But again, nobody stopped what the oil and gas industry was doing. So by 1971, after the oil and gas industry had reduced its drilling by 57 per cent, the production of both oil and natural gas began to decrease, creating the permanent shortages we have today. We had in reality been allowed to use up the oil and gas that had already been found, until It simply ran out. It had taken 15 years. The 6,922 exploratory wells the oil and gas industry drilled in 1971 was the smallest number it had drilled since 1947. But during those 24 years our population had grown by 62 million people, or 43 per cent; our economy had expanded by four and one-half times; the consumption of oil to keep it running had increased by two and one-half times; and the amount of natural gas required had increased by four times. The Page Opposite Charleston. W'.Va. Wav jo,I^A PiieJE IN 1856 they drilled 16,173 exploratory wells. It was the largest number they had ever drilled, and it would be the largest number they would ever drill. For during the very next year the oil and gas industry reduced its drilling to only 14,707 wells. It was the start "of a program that by 1975 would see the United States capable of supplying only 67 per cent of her natural CLEARLY, this country In 1971 simply could not exist on the same amount of oil and gas that it had in 1947. Those who ran the American oil and gas industry, and those who ran the American government, had thus accomplished in 15 years what foreign powers had been, trying to accomplish for generations. They had reduced their own country, the United States, to an inferior level, by depriving her of her own oil and her own gas. From that time on, the United Stales would not be able to survive except by being subservient lo foreign governments, and perhaps not even then. Having reached the only possible goal of their no-drill program, the oil and gas industry began waging an advertising campaign to apprise American citizens of their new status. Typical of the paid advertisements in 1971 was one which told readers "We're facing a national energy crisis and we're going to have shortages... There's no use beating around the bush about it; gas is going to cost more in the future." (Consolidated Gas-Supply Corp., Morgantown Dominion-News, Dec. 30, 1971) And ever since that year American citizens have been paying more for both oil and natural gas, just as they were told they would. Despite the price controls on oil initiated by President Nixon in 1971, the price charged for oil at the wellhead soared from $11.68 billion in 1971 to $23.3 billion in 1975. And that was only the first cost in a long series of production, refining, distributing, and marketing costs and profits that would eventually be paid by the consuming public. 1 Though about three-fourths of the natural gas was price-regulated by the Federal Power Commission, the price paid for natural gas at the wellhead increased from $4 billion in 1971 to $8.74 billion in 1975. And the price paid for natural gas liquids (processed from natural gas and added to our crude oil supply) increased from $1.38 billion dollars at the plant in 1971, to $3.08 billion in 1974 (latest data available). since 1970. which by that time will have reached 2.6 million barrels per day. . . If oil is used from the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California and Wyoming, our domestic oil production from wells within' our own boundaries will remain almost constant at approximately 10 million barrels per day from now through 1960. But our economy's requirement for oil will not remain constant. After a two year delay because of high prices and conservation methods, the demand for oil has resumed its upward climb. By March of 1976 that demand was averaging almost 18 million barrels per day, far exceeding the previous maximum of 17.3 million per day we consumed in 1973. BY UN our needs will increase to 26 million barrels per day. Where will all that oil come from? About 10 million bar- · rels per day will be supplied from wells within our own boundaries. But the other , 16 million can come only from Middle East sources, If those governments will allow us to have it. And the cost will be far more than any dollars we might have to ; pay. ' A look at our total energy picture tells; why. In March, 1976, we were Importing 7.60 million barrels of oil per day. It was 43' per cent of all the oil we were consuming. But It was also something far more frightening than that. That 7.65 million barrels; of oil was providing 22 per cent of all the; energy we needed to run our country every day, including our military defenses. Those foreign governments that supplied that oil were thereby controlling 22 per! cent of our economy. And If we actually import 16 million barrels per day In 1980,: those foreign governments will have a stranglehold on 35 per cent - more than one-third - of our country's activities, and, there won't be a thing we can do about it.' But what is the alternative? Every million barrels of oil per day we need but do not have results directly In the loss of 240,000 jobs. Thus the current shortage of 4 million barrels per day Is accounting directly for almost one million of the nearly 8 million persons unemployed in this country. However, as a practical mailer, we will nol be able to import 16 million barrels of oil per day in 1980. 11 is far more likely that the imports might possibly increase by one million barrels per day each year unlil they reach 11 million per day in 1980. We will then still be short 5 million barrels per day, resulting directly in 1.2 million persons being unemployed. But the greater danger will be to our very existence as a nation. Because the foreign government supplying that 11 million barrels of oil per day will control 28 per cent - more than one-fourth - of our economy. And the part they will control will consist - as it does today · of our factory machinery, our private and public transportation system, and almosl every olher industry that makes up our economy, because they all use oil products. Aeol R. Peirce Popular Initiatives Way to Solve Issues? LOS ANGELES - The initialive form of '"people's law writing, praised by some as " the purest form of democracy and damned by others as the devil's handiwork, re. ceives an acid test June 8 as California 'voters decide on a controversial nuclear · power plant initiative. The California vote takes on national · significance because it's only the tip of the ·' iceberg of a carefully orchestrated move- ment to place nuclear safeguard initiatives on the ballots of all 21 states where initiatives are authorized. The movement points up a nationwide effort to expand the initiative to other states, and indeed to amend the Constitu- ' lion to make initiatives possible on a national scale. Under initiatives, citizen signatures on petitions can force a popular · vote on a proposed law or constitutional · change, NUCLEAR SAFETY initiatives - quite ' similar to the California measure, which · opponents say would effectively choke off new nuclear plant construction - have al' ready qualified for the ballot in Colorado and Oregon in November. Active cam- · paipis to qualify such measures by fall are also under way in eight other states. Chief sponsors of toe nuclear initiatives · - the Ralph Nader organization and the People's Lobby in California - warn of -.catastrophic meltdowns of nuclear reac- tors, spewing radioactive material that contaminates and kills. Government and the nuclear industry, they allege, have tried to hide the immense risks. The time has come, they argue, for the public to take the issue into its own hands. Nuclear proponents, including government, labor and utilities, say there's been no "major" accident at any atomic power plant, and sophisticated safety systems guard against accidents. But is the initiative the right way to solve such issues? One public management expert. William Boyd of the National Municipal League, thinks not: "Is it really wise for the voters to have hideously technical subjects, that have emotional overtones, put before them? 17 The average voter. Boyd' adds, gives relatively little thought to the issues involved and listens only to the propaganda. »· THE VERY idea of popular initiatives - whether technical or not - has been controversial since the first initiative laws were passed around the turn of the century. They've always been most popular in the West - Oregon, Washington, and pre-eminently California. Critics charge that initiatives undercut representative government by taking lawmaking responsibility out of the hands of . legislators ejected to do that job. Lawmakers are encouraged to pass the buck qji controversial issues. Through emotional and misleading advertising, well-heeled special interest groups can hoodwink a naive electorate. Initiatives leave no room for the give and lake of legislative debate, for compromise that can result in more workable laws.- Advocates of the initiative turn all the same arguments around. The people must have a check on lobby-dominated legislatures, they say. a "safety valve" when legislators ignore the public will. The mere threat of an initiative often makes a legislature more responsive and accountable. Citizens can write laws directly, free of the threat of crippling legislative amendments. Initiative campaigns, backers say. air critical issues and arouse voler interest in government. Pros and cons aside, the initiative process is now getting a major boost on a state and nalional basis. Ralph Nader's organization has taken up the cause. A second group - self-appointed and astoundingly zealous - :s California's famed (some say infamous! People's Lobby, which has gone national as the "Western Bloc" to push nuclear safety initiatives. The long-term goal: to win authority for initiatives and recalls in the 29 states that don't now have them, and to amend the U. S. Constitution to permit nationwide initiatives and recall voles of presidents and members of Congress. THE CALIFORNIA People's Lobby- dates back to the late 1960s, when Ed and Joyce Koupal. set up their initiative "petition factory." headquartered in their Los Angeles home. The first victory came in 1974 when they joined with Common Cause to qualify California's broad political reform initiative for the ballot - and won. Ed Koupal. according to a.former aide to Gov. Ronald Reagan, had the "freewheeling charisma of an old-fashioned libertarian." A private printing business sustained the effort, and Ihere was no broad- based membership. Petition gathering became a calculating science. Still, there's no evidence the Koupals were ever self- serving, or pushed an issue in which they did nol believe. Ed Koupal. who had been a bartender, used car salesman and chicken rancher in earlier days, died of cancer Ihis March 29. Joyce Koupal is carrying on Ihe People's Lobb'yWestern Bloc push for a national initiative. The Nader organization lends more significant muscle. Regardless of who campaigns for the initiative concept, they seem likely to pick up more followers and more support - simply because of the crescendo of public distrust of government and of elected leaders documented in every natiorial opinion poll. WHAT HAVE the American people received for all that money? At first glance it might seem they have gained something. For certainly il is true thai the oil and gas industry increased their exploratory drilling by 25 per cent from 1971 through 1974. II is also Irue lhal the number of those wells successful in finding oil and gas increased from 16 per cent to 23 per cent in 1974. And preliminary indications are Ihat those Irends continued through 1975. But Ihere are several reasons for nol rejoicing. ··Production of oil fell from 11.3 million barrels per day in 1970 to only 9.97 million per day in 1975. And production of natural gas slowed markedly from 1970 to 1973, then fell from 22.6 trillion cubic (eel in 1973 lo only 20.1 trillion in 1975. ··The oil and gas industry increased its drilling only after the production decreases guaranteed the United States would never again be able to supply her needs from her own oil and gas fields. ··The 8.619 wells the industry drilled in 1974 were still less than the 9.058 it drilled in 1S49. ··Despite tr? increased drilling, the new oil iocaled each year since 1971 has averaged 11 per cent less than the 2 6 billion barrels located in 1971. And Ihe new gas located since 1971 has averaged 15 per cent less than the 98 trillion cubic feet located in 1971. The immediate f u t u r e of the United States is thus quite clear as far a? oil is concerned Production will continue to fall. When Alaskan oil begins to flo* in late 1977 at the initial rale of 12 million barrels per day. it will not even make up the loss in productiwi that will have accumulated since 1970. And when that Alaskan pipeline reaches its full capacity o{ 2 million barrels per dav in 1930. it will merely help to reduce the production loss BUT IN ITS own way, the natural gas situation is even worse. Our proved reserves have been decreasing since 1967, and they will continue lo do so. By 1975, production from those reserves was down to only 20,1 trillion cubic feet (TCF). Thai (Please lurn lo Page 6E.) Letters What Else Is Frayed? Editor: In reference to good old L.T.'s column on page IE of Sunday's news offering may I say that many subscribers were delighted to know as certainty what has long been only latenl suspicion. Thank you Aunt Leonard, (or finally admitting to your readers the part of your anatomy in which your dignity lies. The air of fine indifference of which you write may hold true for aging tweeds and time-softened lealher. but hardly for the patina on the seat of one's outdated mohair pants. There's rather a difinitive difference between old money people and those who would like to appear as such. In any event, you need nol worry since the bunny rabbits you mention would hardly fit the animal which most resembles your journalistic personality In Mr. Preiser's defense 'no pun intended' and his aslute legal knowledge notwithstanding, it is quite dubious that he has become one of the foremost lawyers in our slate by frequenting garage sale; and bazaars in order 10 present a dignified court appearance You are. Mr Anderson, the undisputed master of sarcasm, but forgive me-for begging of you just one more personal disclosure Piease tell us. are your purse sirine? as frayed as your pants cuffs* Mrs. Judith B Caniiherj. 795 Echo Rd . ,. South Charleston *l

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