So the bankruptcies and the layoffs continue in the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma, and what the local corporate power brokers and the GOP state leadership aren’t telling you is that it’s only going to get much worse and it’s going to be devastating for all of us, except the wealthiest here.
WAPO: The big bust in the oil fields https://t.co/ww2GbnrZZs
— What's New in News (@whatsnewinnews) March 26, 2016
It’s an election year, after all, and I sense even a lot of Republican voters are now waking up to the dismal aftermath of the GOP-dominated government that has allowed oil and gas companies to set the political terms and real-life reality for all of us here. The GOP politicians up for reelection want to hide their carnage and lack of leadership as much as possible.
I think, too, about many prominent state self-described “liberals,” who if they’re reading this, are thinking something like, Kurt, Kurt, that’s all hyperbole. You’re a professor. You should know better as a professor than to engage is such vitriolic rhetoric. It’s not that bad. We know best. Just hang on for another 15 or 20 years, Kurt, and we can get this right. Spare me, please. I’m not going to name these people because there’s too much rancor among the left as it is right now, but, please, step aside and let people speak the truth for once.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) April 1, 2016
So, right, it’s going to all work out fine, just like Tulsa’s billionaire George Kaiser is going to get things right here in Oklahoma and just like Aubrey McClendon’s lavish lifestyle made things so great for teachers, state employees, school children, the sick and the vulnerable here.
Folks, Oklahoma, unless there’s a world war or some major planetary catastrophic event that creates a desperate, immediate need for fossil fuels, is headed for one of its worst fiscal crises ever in its short depressing financial and poverty-stricken history. Don’t even compare it to the 1980s anymore. Think about the Dust Bowl days, people. You’re not hearing this so directly and bluntly on a daily basis because the Republican leaders here want to hide it as much as possible before the November elections.
Here’s just a few recent depressing developments. Oklahoma City’s Sandridge Energy is considering bankruptcy. Chaparral Energy Inc., another Oklahoma City-based company is also facing bankruptcy, according to news reports. Tulsa-based energy company, Williams Companies, has announced major layoffs. This all follows the demise and death of the overly worshipped McClendon, the former CEO of Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy, which is facing its own financial predicaments.
It’s Oklahoma’s sordid history. Supposedly, the people who run these great energy companies are some of the country’s best minds. No, they are greedy, selfish political manipulators out for personal gain, which was given to them by a bunch of self-serving GOP-legislators and state leaders, such as Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe.
But Kurt, Kurt, man, you use the term “self-serving”? Isn’t that going too far. It’s more nuanced than that. Well, people are dying and suffering because of a lack of health care here because they don’t have access to Medicaid. School children are using outdated textbooks and getting literally herded into large-sized classrooms in which the teacher might not even know their names for weeks much less really get to know them personally. People with mental challenges are going without treatment and getting arrested or killing people. The inmates at the Oklahoma County Jail and our prisons are treated inhumanely because of overcrowding caused by GOP right-wing ideology. Earthquakes shake it up here on a daily basis damaging our homes and nerves. AND IT’S GOING TO GET WORSE.
So take your nuance and shove it. I don’t need it anymore.
Let’s get one thing straight. The great minds of our local energy industry under the “drill, baby drill” mantra couldn’t even anticipate simple supply and demand. This wasn’t some dying industry, like the metropolitan hard-copy newspaper industry, which is slowly withering on the vine because of new technologies. This is about simple add-and-subtract math over a few years. So much natural gas and oil is getting produced. So much oil and natural gas is getting used. Obvious in-your-face trends show a decline in use. When there’s too much oil and gas, the prices plummet, which leads to major layoffs and bankruptcies.
But we can’t even agree on that. It’s more nuanced, right?
Conservatives broke the great state of Oklahoma. Democrats need to run for office in droves this year and then fix it. Republicans won’t and can’t do it.