Sunday, 4 August 2013

Bama Jed and the Oil

Sooner or later, you knew it was going to happen.

The oil sands folks  have come to say that some parts of Alabama might have the potential to pay off.  Big-time, would be an appropriate word to use.

The primary areas?  Colbert, Franklin and Lawrence counties.

The amount?  Well....the experts hint at 7.5 billion barrels of crude oil.

So you start to add this up.  You need to find it....which pays out cash to technology smart folks.  Then you need to get to it....which means equipment and man-hours.  Then you need to pump it via a contract from the land-owner.  Toss in state tax revenue....food and lodging....and political pay-offs, and you've got a ton of money somewhere down the line.

Naturally, environmental groups are upset.....saying this is all unnecessary, and certainly has potential to be dangerous (riding a horse and smoking....are also dangerous).  As for being unnecessary?  Well.....there's tons of oil off in the Middle East, so we ought to use up all their stuff before we use ours (it's a sad logic, but it's what you get after four years of environmental science at some NCAA school more famous for football than science).

You can predict the situation.  Some folks with 300 acre farms will be approached and get hostile over someone wanting to pump off their property.  Fine, says the oil guy, and he goes thirty feet over to the next land owner.....who readily agrees.  Two years later, that land owner has $500,000 from his oil deal, and might even clear another $500,000 before they move on.  The first guy is sitting there....mostly peeved....angry at his neighbor....and questioning the clean nature of his environment every single day.

As for the pot of money coming down?  Everyone....from county commissions, to mayors, to school boards, and the state governor.....will all get a chunk of the money.  A kid can finish high school....get hired to pump crude....and retire by age 45 if he manages his money the right way.

Yeah, the golden goose has arrived, and some Bama folks are going to live on the high side of life for the next forty years.  They waited patiently and the good Lord will reward them.  If someone had predicted this forty years ago....folks would have just laughed.  Now?  It's kinda like a Bama version of the Beverly Hillbillies, with Jed likely to go off to Orange Beach....getting season tickets to Bama games....owning a fancy BMW....marrying up with a New York City honky-tonk gal, and drinking only Evian Water from the glaciers of France.

Pamplona-American Style

When I was a kid.....growing up in Bama....I would sit and watch the evening news....usually with CBS.  One evening, they had an international piece on, with the Pamplona bull run.  I was probably eight years old and fairly fascinated with the episode.

Course, as the years went by....I also ran with the steers.  Once a year on the farm, you'd have vaccination day, and I'd have the task as the 'runner' to chase the steers down the chute area.  Ninety percent of the time....things went well.  Usually out of forty steers....you'd always have three that did something you didn't expect.....turn, and chase you down.  It was the Pamplona-effect.  The thrill of the unexpected.  Kinda like going to a NASCAR race, or some WWE-wrestling event.

Over the years, I've continued to watch the reports of Pamplona bull runs, and been kinda interested.  Even up until the late 1990s....I had this curious idea of going down to Spain and at least watching.  Participation?  Well....yeah, I probably had some interest in being stupid like the rest of them.  These days, I'd probably just like to have a rooftop position and watch from a distance.

This week....reports came out via the news that there's going to be some bull runs in the US, starting out in Richmond, VA.  Atlanta will have one a few weeks after that.  Several other runs will follow after that.  To note with interest.....none are schedule in Bama yet.

Legal?  Well.....presently, there's no laws against it.  I'm guessing dozens of animal-rights folks are working hard to stop each one of these.  The courts will be reviewing paperwork and trying to determine if there is some piece of the Constitution or state laws affected.

I imagine it will catch on....although some states will make anti-bull run laws.  In fact, I'd say that California and New York will quickly move on this and have such a law in effect by the end of November.

It'll continue on.....maybe even become a reality TV series.  I could see some washed-up TV stars coming out.....doing a bull-run with some sluggish bulls.  It might be worth watching if this were some former WWE-wrestlers doing the bullrun.

The Pamplona folks will claim this is all fake and that only real bull running occurs in Spain.....this American stuff is just fake wussy stuff.

It's hard to say where this goes....except a bunch of guys will be looking around the south for some really tough mean steers, and some cattle guys have got the perfect steer to sell them.