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mb7588a Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 12:02 AM
Original message
What is it with energy corporations?
Exxon, BP, TEPCO...

Now, the difference here obviously is that TEPCO is the result of a natural disaster. The other two were man-made. However, one could argue this too has man-made elements.

But seriously, what is it about energy corporations that make them so insidious? Just curious if there's a diagnosis, or if that's just how it goes.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 12:09 AM
Original message
Their livelihoods are based on exploiting our natural resources ... something they know
is wrong -- and yet they arrogantly continue on -- mainly frightened they will

be found out --

stealing as much as they can as quickly as they can -- and hiding what they do with

lies and/or money!
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Newest Reality Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Simple: Profit! Big bucks. Mucho wealth for a few! - NT
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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. $$$$ n/t
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GReedDiamond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 12:15 AM
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3. They are desperately trying to hang on... their monopolies and stall off the decentralization of energy production and distribution, or in the case of Big Oil, the move away from fossil fuels.

They'll do anything, up to and including snuffing massive numbers of their "customers," to maintain their monopolies, their wealth and their political power.

I remember it like it was just yesterday: Enron fucked the State of California out of tens of billions, using the premise of an obviously fabricated "energy crisis" to not only loot and pillage, but to unseat a Democratic Governor and replace him with a Big Energy Stooge named "Ahhhnold."

The rest is, sadly, history.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. Ah somebody got close to it today on the tv
it is the insidious relationship between them and their regulators and power.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
5. YES. That and more
Amory Lovins wrote a great article in 1977 on nuclear (including the social consequences) and the options

NYT review from 1977

Soft Energy, Hard Choices
What passes for a national energy debate is bogged down in the Senate in what seems to be a classic confrontation between consumer and business interests. But another debatepotential- ly far more significantis raging below the surface. It speaks to fundamental sociopolitical questions, and it centers more and more on a controversial scientist named Amory B. Lovins.

His thesis, in brief, is that the "hard" energy technologies giant centralized electric power stations, for examplenow turning the wheels of the economy must give way to "soft" technologies based on renewable sources of energy, such as solar power. But to put his position that simply makes Mr. Levins argument sound like just another environmentalist's plaint. In fact, he is far more than a dreamer.

Soft energy, he says, is economical as well as environmentally sensible. His thesis includes attacks on present energy inefficiencies and proposals for the optimum allocation of energy resources. And he even suggests that the nation can use the free market to gain the soft-energy path.

But the choice must be made now, he insists, before the hard- est of hard technologiesnuclear powerbecomes uncontrol- lable. "The soft-energy path is the only way to come up with an intellectually consistent nonproliferation policy," he says....

The article:

Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?
By Amory B. Lovins

WHERE are America's formal or de facto energy policies leading us? Where might we choose to go instead? How can we find out?
Addressing these questions can reveal deeper questionsand a few answersthat are easy to grasp, yet rich in insight and in international relevance. This paper will seek to explore such basic concepts in energy strategy by outlining and contrasting two energy paths that the United States might follow over the next 50 yearslong enough for the full implications of change to start to emerge. The first path resembles present federal policy and is essentially an extrapolation of the recent past. It relies on rapid expansion of centralized high technologies to increase supplies of energy, especially in the form of electricity. The second path combines a prompt and serious commitment to efficient use of energy, rapid development of renewable energy sources matched in scale and in energy quality to end-use needs, and special transitional fossil-fuel technologies. This path, a whole greater than the sum of its parts, diverges radically from incremental past practices to pursue long-term goals.

Both paths, as will be argued, present difficultbut very different problems. The first path is convincingly familiar, but the economic and sociopolitical problems lying ahead loom large, and eventually, perhaps, insuperable. The second path, though it represents a shift in direction, offers many social, economic and geopolitical advantages, including virtual elimination of nuclear proliferation from the world. It is important to recognize that the two paths are mutually exclusive. Because commitments to the first may foreclose the second, we must soon choose one or the otherbefore failure to stop nuclear proliferation has foreclosed both.1

Most official proposals for future U.S. energy policy embody the twin goals of sustaining growth in energy consumption (assumed to be closely and causally linked to GNP and to social welfare) and of minimizing oil imports. The usual proposed solution is rapid expansion of three sectors: coal (mainly strip-mined, then made into electricity and synthetic fluid fuels); oil and gas (increasingly from Arctic and offshore wells); and nuclear fission (eventually in fast breeder reactors). All domestic resources, even naval oil reserves, are squeezed hardin a policy which David Brower calls "Strength Through Exhaustion." Conservation, usually induced by price rather than by policy, is conceded to be necessary but it is given a priority more rhetorical than real. "Unconventional" energy supply is relegated to a minor role, its significant contribution postponed until past 2000. Emphasis is overwhelmingly on the short term. Long-term sustainability is vaguely assumed to be ensured by some eventual combination of fission breeders, fusion breeders, and solar electricity. Meanwhile, aggressive subsidies and regulations are used to hold down energy prices well below economic and prevailing international levels so that growth will not be seriously constrained....

Can be downloaded here:

Nuclear Spread: The Cure Begins at Home
Journal or Magazine Article, 1976
In this New York Times op-ed, Amory Lovins commends the paper for calling attention to the link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and provides further commentary about the social, political, and economic logic of pursuing a non-nuclear energy future.

Other articles that are more recent.

Four Nuclear Myths: A Commentary on Stewart Brands Whole Earth Discipline and on Similar Writings
Journal or Magazine Article, 2009

Nuclear Powers Competitive Landscape
Presentation, 2009

A hotly debated topic, the present and future state of nuclear power and its competitors is the subject of this presentation by Amory Lovins at RMI2009. This presentation was part of a plenary debate with Robert Rosner entitled, Nuclear: Fix or Folly? The accompanying video of the entire debate is available at /rmi/Videos.

Nuclear Power and Climate Change
Letter, 2007

This 2007 e-mail exchange between Steve Berry (University of Chicago), Peter Bradford (former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner and senior utility regulator), and Amory Lovins illustrates the cases for and against nuclear power in relation to climate and the environment.

Nuclear Energy Debate
Journal or Magazine Article, 2001

In 2001, Amory and Hunter Lovins participated in a published debate about nuclear power with the editors of USA Today. The Lovins argued against nuclear power.

Nuclear Power: Economic Fundamentals and Potential Role in Climate Change Mitigation
Report or White Paper, 2005

In this presentation, Amory Lovins provides evidence that low and no-carbon decentralized sources of energy have eclipsed nuclear power as a climate friendly energy option. He argues that new nuclear power plants are unfinanceable in the private capital market and that resource efficiency provides a cheaper, more environmentally viable option.

Nuclear Power: Competitive Economics and Climate Protection Potential
Presentation, 2006

In this presentation to the Royal Academy of Engineering, Amory Lovins explains the economic and environmental impacts of nuclear power. By showing that companies and governments have cut energy intensity without the use of nuclear power, Lovins shows that nuclear power is not a necessary step in the fight against climate change.

Nuclear Power: Economics and Climate-Protection Potential
Journal or Magazine Article, 2006

This paper makes an economic argument against the use of nuclear power. The authors argue that, despite strong governmental support, nuclear power is unfinancible in the private capital market.

And last but not least:
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-17-11 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
6. They have embraced the dark side:
Profit is more important than human health and life.

Profit is more important than the health of the natural world,
and the planet itself.

Profit is more important than ethics, morality, decency, or honesty.

If you have never seen this movie, watch "On Deadly Ground".

It is an accurate depiction of the ethical standards by which the energy industry generally operates.
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