I live in Grand Junction, CO. In the last couple of years, the natural gas industry has taken over our public lands. If you've travelled I-70 from
Grand Junction to Denver recently, you'll know what I mean. Interesting to note, Halliburton is one of the main companies in the area.
Now, if my gas bill had gone down this year, I wouldn't be complaining. However, my gas bill has risen by 40%. This is amazing to me,
considering I can see a gas well from my house. And these gas wells are on BLM land, who leases to these companies. So I looked into where the lease
To find where the money goes (exactly) is nearly impossible. I did find that the BLM recieved $15.4 billion in 2004 from leases alone. This
doesn't include public land sales, recreational revenue, etc. In 2005, the BLM requested an additional $1.8 billion from the government.
Now, President Bush is pressing for electricity production to be 90% reliant on natural gas by 2020. Even though burning natural gas produced
significant amounts of CO2, something we're supposed to be getting away from, right? No wonder he's trying to distance himself from oil.
The total proposed budget for renewable energy in 2007 is $2.3 billion. Buried in that bugdet is solar,wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydro for a
wopping total of $340 million! The rest goes to gray area programs like Gateway ($220 mil) and Weatherization ($600 million). My point is, the total
renewable energy budget (gray programs included) for 2007 is 14% of the BLM lease revenue of 2004.
But here is where it gets interesting. The Federal Government is the largest consumer of natural gas. And the United States is the largest
importer of Natural Gas in the world, mostly from Canada. But export of natural gas to Mexico increased four fold between 2000 and 2003! If we need to
import natural gas, what are we doing exporting it? And Bush is meeting with the leaders of Canada and Mexico today. Go figure.
By the way, the proposed budget for Amtrak in 2007 is $2 billion, almost as much as the total Renewable Energy Program, and an increase of $1.3
million. Don't they charge fares?
So, I would like to hear from anybody that had a decrease in their gas bill this winter. Addition info on this subject welcomed. Lot's more
info, but I didn't want to make this opening post to windy. Thanks.