The Iron Law & The Spindletop Effect

Spindletop was America's first great oil field. It surpassed oil production of the entire world within weeks.

I am not so much interested in things as I am in how we can make people’s lives better, everywhere. That may sound like the ramblings of a dreamer, and maybe I do have a dream. It’s seeing America engaging in actions that are more closely aligned with her ideals. Sorry, but there it is.

You may ask, what does that have to do with The Iron Law & Spindletop

We’ll start with Spindletop. A one-armed former Confederate soldier named Bud “Patillo” Higgins was sure there was oil under a hill outside of Beaumont, Texas. It took him years to bring a well in, but when it did come in, it was the biggest well the world had ever seen, and it birthed the Texas Oil Industry, which to this day controls a great deal o the world’s oil. The people who run the oil companies are not necessarily bad guys. But they do look out for number one.

The term “The Iron Law” was first coined in the late 1970’s. It holds that there is an inescapable relationship between the availability of energy and economic growth. Which is true. The facts, measured in the years 1976-1978, showed that world economic growth grew by 4.2% and oil demand had increased by 4%. [Source: Yergin, Daniel, The Source, p. 653].

The problem is that the oil companies, and those who run them, seem to have a great deal of latitude in where oil goes. That means that they can also control whose economy grows, and whose doesn’t.

In recent years, renewable forms of energy have become far more affordable than ever before. Wind and Solar and Wave Power are becoming important sources of energy.

The question is, “With renewables, can we begin the lift the standards of living of the billion or so people who are starving right now?” We ought to — the problem is, making it a priority is going to have to come from somewhere else but Wall Street. They don’t care. Which is really stupid and short-sighted, but they don’t.

More to come.

P.S. It’s good to be back. I have missed you.

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