I think I may have the answer. It can be found in a NASA photo. You can now see, from the vantage point of space, that enough homegrown American gas is being burned off -- wasted -- to heat all the homes in Chicago and Washington!
From The Financial Times:
The volume of unwanted gas being flared off in North Dakota, the state leading the shale revolution transforming the outlook for US energy, rose about 50 per cent last year. The surge at the state’s Bakken formation is being replicated in other shale regions with the Texas state regulator issuing 1,963 permits to flare in 2012, more than six times the number of 306 in 2010.
The rapid increase has made the US one of the world’s worst countries for gas flaring. The volume of gas flared in the US has tripled in just five years, according to World Bank estimates and is now fifth highest in the world, behind Russia, Nigeria, Iran and Iraq.Follow the money. Climate change is not being addressed because pollution is not being regulated. It's not being regulated because our taxpayer-subsidized oil companies are profiting and depositing a teensy little fraction of their ill-gotten gains into the campaign coffers of congress critters and into the inauguration slush funds of presidents. It's cheaper to spew vast quantities of a precious natural resource into the atmosphere than it is to build pipelines to not only contain it, but to use it to power homes and businesses. The propaganda you see being spewed in those annoying "Learn More" TV commercials sponsored by the oil and gas industry is not only mendacious, it's evil. They want you to believe their rape of the earth has a humanistic purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It gets worse. ExxonMobil, Chevron and other conglomerates are taking a page from the Walmart playbook of vulture capitalism. They're hiring temporary laborers for only a few dollars above the minimum wage and not covering them with medical or accident insurance for one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The New York Times is running a story today about the horrific accident rate in the North Dakota oil fields, and a medical infrastructure ill-equipped to deal with it. It's the high cost of low price. Bloated corporations foist the responsibility for their workers onto the government. Bleeding bodies and bleeding land and tainted water and dirty air abound. Guess who pays with their lives and their health? Guess who will pay when the polluters are sued for their malfeasance? Guess who will get a slap on the wrist and no jail time?
ExxonMobil has nothing to fear. It just donated $250,000 to President Obama's coronation celebration, matching what it gave to industry-loving oilman George W. Bush's inauguration slush fund.
D'ja ever wonder why Obama is keeping mum on campaign finance reform, and has said nary a word about trying to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling? Here's why: