Gov. Mary Fallin has proclaimed Oct. 13 as Oilfield Prayer Day with strong support by the right-wing religious folks here.
The End of the Oil Age will be a rocky ride, whether from peak oil or declining demand. https://t.co/MR00E65UPW
— Transition Voice (@TransitionVoice) September 19, 2016
It’s a perfect merger of two somewhat challenged entities—local energy companies and the Southern Baptist religious flock—joined together by an unpopular state governor, who is all too proud to hand out major tax breaks to the people causing all the earthquakes in this place and then issuing a call to pray for, well, more earthquakes.
No, I’m not making this up. Here’s the link to the coverage.
It’s difficult not to mock the absurdity and lack of values in this case, and, anyway, it has already been done by The Lost Ogle. Who even knew there was such as thing as the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Oil Patch Chaplains ministry? Hunter S. Thompson could have used that one.
Oil Patch Chaplains? Did they just make that up? What about the poor, the sick? What about Diversify The Economy chaplains?
I’ll sum it up with a straight face as much as I can. The idea is that everyone here should pray for higher oil prices because that’s good for the state’s energy companies, which employ a lot of people in Oklahoma. These prayers, the thinking seems to go, should result in higher prices for oil. If they don’t, then God doesn’t want it to happen or people just didn’t pray hard enough, right?
The fracking boom here and elsewhere has led to a major fossil fuel glut in the world, dropping prices and leading to layoffs in the energy industry, but that’s inscribed in the industry’s DNA, the boom and bust cycle, and Oklahoma has been its victim for decades. In the past, leaders here have discussed ways to diversify the economy, but the sad truth is it hasn’t happened on any significant level. When oil prices drop, the economy here sinks, and tax revenues go down. It’s the real state song, and it’s a blues tune.
Yet that’s only part of the story. Hydraulic fracturing is an extremely dirty process using massive amounts of toxic water that has to be eventually injected in underground disposal wells. The disposal well process has led to a new reality in Oklahoma, one in which earthquakes by the hundreds shake things up here day after day. We also might not even know the environmental damage to our water supply until years from now.
Another part of the story is that carbon emissions from burning oil are accelerating the greenhouse effect leading to global warming and impending catastrophes as sea levels rise and coastlines vanish.
There are also people who now believe we’ve reached peak oil demand because of the development of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and increased fuel efficiency in vehicles. What happens to Oklahoma if underground fossil fuel reserves stay underground because the world just doesn’t need them?
Again, to keep a straight face on all this, any religion or religious person who wants to support the oilfield in communal prayer is, in essence, supporting damage to our homes, threats to our personal safety and the destruction of the planet. Amen?
Pray for the children in Aleppo instead.
— CNN (@CNN) October 4, 2016