To the editor:

I am convinced there is no oil shortage. I think the bottleneck is in the refineries. The year 2007 was the 11th year in a row that Arizona was turned down by the EPA to build one. They say it would be detrimental to our environment, which tells me they have been bought off. Every major oil company is operating with 100-year-old plants. You know the technology of today would improve a good 90 percent over the old ones.

I saw a program on the History Channel where here in the United States where there are mountains of shale that contain more oil than the Arabs have. It just required a different method of extracting it, similar to Canada’s oil sand. They use hot water to recover the oil where the shale would require crushing it and hot water. The oil companies are spoiled to the easy method of drilling and either pump or let it flow. Why else would we depend on foreign oil when we have it here?

If I am wrong and there is a shortage, it is because it is being created by not using our resources or it is being created by Bush’s insisting on putting 70,000 barrels a day in the national reserve. It seems to me as if it is planned to keep the price of oil high. America has three reserve wells full now, and is in the process of filling the fourth, and they are drilling the fifth. They are for the country’s reserve for a national emergency, not to fulfill someone’s greed. The people and businesses are having enough trouble trying to stay afloat without using our tax dollars buying high-priced oil just for reserve. The middle class has it rougher than anyone else because everyone passes their costs down to them and they are really paying around $5 a gallon for gasoline now.

There is a documentary on TV called, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” For some reason, they only show it late at night, or that is the only time I have caught it. As I understand it, California passed a law in the ’90s telling the auto manufacturers if they wanted to keep selling cars in the state, they had to do something about the emissions and build a car other than the internal combustion engine. General Motors built 70 or 80 electric cars called EV1s. They did not sell but leased them instead. They had a limited range of 60 miles before they required recharging. The ones who had them fell in love with them. They were quiet and at stop lights, they just sat there consuming no power, and the startup speed from zero to 60 was instant, and absolutely no maintenance.

In the mid-1990s, a man invented an improvement to the battery that extended the car’s range to 160 miles. He also said he thought in two years it could be developed to go beyond that. Chevron Texaco bought the controlling interest of the battery. A law suit was filed against California and the Bush administration joined in against California. General Motors started collecting the cars and the people protested, to no avail. They started loading them on car haulers and in vans and shredded them in a million pieces. Some were new. People tried to buy them, but they were not for sale.

Bush is pushing for hydrogen fuel, knowing it is at least two decades away and in my opinion, not any better than what we have now.

I have seen this documentary one and a half times. The first time I watched this documentary I only saw the last half. And I was convinced it was instigated by the oil companies, but now that I have seen it through, I don’t know which way to turn. The electric car would put millions out of work: filling stations, garages (as there is no maintenance except rotating tires), engine, transmission, manufacturers, etc., etc.

The way I see it, it is going to be a tough choice for Americans. If you go for the electric car, millions will be out of work and because you are Americans, you will not be eligible for assistance. Or you can continue as you are and work your tails of trying to feed your families and you probably couldn’t afford to buy the electric car anyway, and remain remain a slave to big oil.

Omer T. Pointer

Brownwood