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But Sawhill has now seemingly backed down from his defiant and arrogant stand on behalf of Exxon, last August. On September 27, in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committte under Senator Tunney, Duke R. Ligon (formerly a Continental Oil Executive), Assistant Administrator of the FEO, said that the Federal government may wait until the state coastline plan is adopted before leasing lands off the Southern California shoreline for oil development. Such an action (the Los Angeles Times said) "could delay the lease sale for at least two years." Ligon said he had cleared his statement (directly opposed to Sawhill's previous statement) with "John C. Sawhill, head of the FEO." Ligon cautioned however, that the Department of Interior will have the final say in when the lands are leased, although the FEO will have an input in this decision.
Clearly a decision has been made to lease the offshore California areas for drilling. And Sawhill is slithering and ducking from the repercussions of his statement by hiding behind the Interior Department's ultimate authority. The Interior Department, urged on by Sawhill and Simon, are hell bent to speed up production of fossil fuels along with accelerated production of nuclear power. These goals are equally supported by the AEC and the Oil Cartel.
The Interior Department has a long and inglorious record of being supine and ineffectual in the face of the Oil Cartel's pressure and infiltration. Santa Barbara; Louisiana Gulf Coast offshore fires and spills; Camp Breckinridge; Oil Shale and other Giveways have long since been identified as Interior Watergate type scandals.
Fundamental questions have to be asked at this critical point in a national energy crisis situation.
Is there a real shortage of oil and gas?
The Oil and Gas Office of the Interior Department has long held the responsibility and authority for all offshore drilling and the issuance and awarding of contracts for leases. How fair, competitive, and public minded are the officials who awarded offshore California drilling leases to the world's largest and most profitable Corporation-Exxon?
Is it important that there has been a steady flow of Oil Company executives moving back and forth between the Interior Department's Oil and Gas Division and the Oil Companies? Is it possible that these following Interior Officials would be hired or rehired by Oil Companies if they had been tough or hostile to "Oil” while working for the Government in Interior? Hardly.
Ralph W. Snyder, Jr.-served as Associate Director of the Office of Oil and Gas from 1940-1973. In 1973, he retired from Government service and has been retained by the Tesoro Petroleum Corporation. He also served as advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Mineral Resources.
Joseph J. Simmons--was Assistant Director of the Office of Gas and Oil from January 18, 1966 to May 12, 1969. He is presently serving as V.P. of AmeradaHess Oil Co.
John Ricca-served as Deputy Director of the Office of Gas and Oil starting in January of 1966. He served as Assistant Director of the same office from July 1962. Before that, Mr. Ricca spent 17 years in Oil Operations with the Arabian-American Oil Co. (Aramco), dominated by Exxon.
"The Assistant Secretary for Mineral Resources, Hollis M. Dole, is a former geologist from the state of Oregon with a record of sympathetic operation with the mineral Industry" according to Lawrence Stern in the Washington Post, January 31, 1970. On March 12, 1973, Dole became Senior Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Richfield Oil Shale development program. Atlantic Richfield recently took a dominant ownership position in the Tosco Oil Shale Corporation of Denver Colorado . . . the leading oil shale lease-holder and potential producer of oil shale in the country. Standard Oil or Ohio has been in and out of Tosco as well.
The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, Gene P. Morrell (who was also a Director of the Office of Gas and Oil) was a lawyer for the Oil Industry before coming to Washington. On December 6, 1972, Morrell accepted the position of Vice President of Lone Star Gas Company in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Wilson M. Laird-before coming to Interior where he headed the Office of Gas and Oil, was a consultant for the Carter Oil Company, now Exxon. From 1969 to 1971, he was Director of Exploration for the Office of Gas and Oil. Recently he joined the AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE (API), the Washington arm of the Oil Industry, as Vice President of EXPLORATION.
Joe T. Dickerson-was named Director of the Office of Gas and Oil in 1964. Before that, he was with Skelly Oil Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma; was Executive VicePresident of Mid Continent Oil and Gas before joining Interior. He succeeded Jerome J. O'Brien-who returned to private industry where he was elected. President of the Jade Oil and Gas Co.
Lawrence J. O'Connor-served as Assistant Director of the Office of Gas and Oil starting in 1959. From that job, he went to the Federal Power Commission (FPC) and, from there, he went to Standard Oil of Ohio as a Vice President in 1971.
This is but a quick glossary of the interrelationships between the Oil Industry and the Office of Gas and Oil at Interior. What do we know about the present Interior Department officials, purportedly representing us (as their predecessors. never did)? What do we know of their past affiliations with Oil companies? How do we know that plans haven't already been made for these Interior officials to join the large Oil Companies after their present service in the interest of the U.S. Government and the consuming public?
If the Federal Energy Office has been generated (by a Mr. Bowen on loan. from Phillips Petroleum) and handed a windfall to the Oil Companies through a bureaucratic twist of regulations. if previous scandals within Interior have not yet been officially detailed and explained before Congressional Oversight Committees . . . how do we know whether or not skullduggery and favoritism— around conflicts of interest-have led to the critical decision-making by Interior's Office of Gas and Oil in awarding leases in Southern California for Exxon to exploit? Is there really a basic shortage of oil that could conceivably justify a decision to start drilling off the California shelf? Did we have a real or fake-manipulated oil-gas shortage, as 67% of the people polled by Harris and Gallup perceived it? Why can't we find out the absolute truth about the shortage? What is the actual, specific oil, gas and coal reserve status? Why can't the House and Senate find out? Are the Oil Companies and their API lobbyists so powerful they can even stop a full-scale investigation by our elected representatives of this vital issue? We simply must pass a law that mandates independent, full studies of the state of reserves-underground-held by the Oil Companies.
Quite frankly, environmentalists, taxpayers, and voters have every right to know just how short we are, and how badly oil is needed for pseudo-national defense, security, etc. The burden of proof should rest on the Oil Industry and the Congress-not on the shoulders of the consumers who are paying through the nose for gas, oil, and coal ad nauseum-unless they are to freeze and/or wulk in the dark with a pistol to their heads.
The need for a trade-off is both relevant and long overdue. We should not be asked to even consider allowing offshore drilling by Exxon unless and until full reserve data is forthcoming. When and if coal, oil and gas reserve storage facilities are made public by Exxon for said checking, independently and scientifically garnered, then and only then should citizens be asked to start considering the necessity of offshore drilling to offset a real shortage.
Another myth and imagery shibboleth that needs to be examined by the Congress and thinking Americans is the myth that Arab states operate in a vacuumthat they operate independently--and that they are extorting high prices for oil out of the hides of the world consuming market!! In short, are they the real enemy? Is there a solid basis for a Project Independence to protect Americans from foreign oil stoppages? Or is this another fake-manipulated crisis created with the implicit and indirect support of the Oil Cartel-led by Aramco (Exxon)? The Oil Cartel obviously has enormous influence on most acts of the Arab oil states, particularly OPEC. Can the Arab states realistically eat and drink their own oil no matter how independently they SEEM to be in control of the sale of their own oil???
Do the Saudi Arabians, Kuwaitis and Iranians-among other oil states-have ships and tankers to transport their own oil around the world? Do they have refineries around the world-strategically located--to break the 'crude' down into various components? Do they have their own pipe lines to move the gas and oil across continents? Do they own the wholesale and retail outlets in industrialized countries in North and South America; Canada; Australia and New Zealand; Europe; Far East-which distribute end-oil products to consumers? Of course not.
The Arab states cannot eat or drink their own oil. They obviously have a strong need to cooperate with Aramco and other major, international, multinational Oil Companies. Exxon and the other 6 sisters (majors) control most of the resources
and facilities delineated above, through joint ventures. It's hard to believe that the Arab states make solely independent decisions about raising the price of oil (which, incidently, the 7 sisters loved and greedily accepted). Can the Arab states really shut off oil-raise prices capriciously and irresponsibly-without the minimal, implicit support of the giant Aramco international Oil Cartel interests??? It seems highly improbable. Overtly and covertly, the recent oilArab boycott greatly helped the profits of the major oil companies as they escalated three-fold to all time highs.
Exxon plays it both ways: They reap the profits from Arab Oil shutdowns; they raise their prices as the supply dwindles; and then, playing the role of patriotic, jingoistic 'Americans first', they lobby and push to receive special leasing rights from Interior to drill for oil off the California shelf-in an effort to make the U.S. independent of Arab (Exxon) foreign oil shut-offs.
But far more basic, is the Oil Cartel's fear of the sun and alternative energy sources free of the Oligopolistic control of the 7 sisters. The sun is infinite and free; it can't be hidden underground; it has unlimited and visible resources; it can't be tax-depleted; it can't be intangibly drilled; it can't be capital gained; it can't be manipulated on a turn on-turn off basis.
Solar Electric power (not the amorphous solar energy) is a known quantity; it powered astronauts to the moon via solar cells. These cost-prohibitive single wafer cells have proven themselves in every technical way except the inordinate cost of said wafer cells-hand cut. Unlike most other exotic, alternative energy sources (widely and ignorantly talked and written about), solar electrical power is here. scientifically beyond the batch processing-especially in the terrestrial photovoltaic solar cell technologies of thin film and Edge Defined Ribbon (EFG). The National Science Foundation financed lab work and scientific breakthroughs which they have nigh-criminally held back because of bureaucratic time tables calling for final factory production by 2000-2010.
The Sub-panel 9 report, hidden and blocked by the Atomic Energy Commission until Senator Abourezk uncovered it under the Freedom of Information Act, clearly and scientifically states that photovoltaic solar power cells have been produced and minuscule funding should show its mass production capability and cost competitiveness by the mid-1990's. (See the New York Times clipping).
[From the New York Times, Apr. 1, 1974]
SOLAR ENERGY DATA IGNORED BY A.E.C., A SENATOR ASSERTS WASHINGTON. March 31.-Senator James G. Abourezk said today that the Atomic Energy Commission was apparently withholding evidence that solar energy can be developed far more quickly and cheaply than previously believed. The South Dakota Democrat asked the Government Account-Office to investigate "evidence of solar energy feasibility contained in a report prepared by the A.E.C.'s own scientists."
The evidence was ignored and "even openly misrepresented in the A.E.C. chairman's public report to the president and in a series of impact statements on proposed atomic energy projects." Senator Abourezk said, "I would like to know why the A.E.C. has been sitting on scientific data pointing the way toward solar power while major oil companies are quietly moving to take control of the means to produce solar power."
Mr. Abourezk said the commission recommended only $200-million on solar energy development for a five-year period starting next year, out of a total recommended expenditure for energy research of $10-billion.
The commission's scientists reported "that a minimum of $400-million should be spent and that $1-billion ought to be spent," Senator Abourezk said, "The G.A.O. should find out what justification there is for this five-fold reduction in recommended funding."
Meanwhile, he said, the big oil companies are moving into the solar energy field. "The facts show that the Exxon Corporation has recently bought the Solar Power Corporation of Braintree, Mass., while Shell now controls a company called Solar Energy Systems and Gulf is developing solar energy technology through its Gulf Atomics subsidiary, the Senator said.
"Major oil companies already largely control coal, oil shale, uranium and geothermal steam," Mr. Abourezk concluded. "If they now gain control of solar energy, they will further eliminate all interfuel competition."
Now, the "Final Report of the Solar Energy Task Force to the Federal Energy Administration, August 19, 1974" on solar electric power is out (under wraps)
and trumpets: "solar electric power is feasible. The only necessary step now is cost reduction; and that can be achieved through mass production. That's the only problem remaining."
Our small, undercapitalized, Consumers Solar Electric Power Corporation has made small batches of solar cells on a continuous flow, automated process in conjunction with several brilliant scientists. In our five month corporate life, we've learned much and suffered much in a Class B Hollywood movie fashion. But we have made dies that don't contaminate, unlike Tyco and Mobil; we have learned how to use semi-conductor technology and semi-conducting glass to increase the efficiency of thin film, photovoltaic solar cells.
We have only raised nickels and dimes because most venture capitalists we've met are concerned with fears of competing with the Oil Industry; or, are worried over the ultimate capital necessary to build a 1,000 watt solar power station; or, are worried that unlimited funds will be necessary to complete our next stage of building two solar cell arrays to be tested by the Electric Power Research Institute and NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs.
CSEP has concentrated upon producing thin film and EFG photovoltaic solar cell arrays for sale to Electric Utility Companies. It is the marketing philosophy of this Corporation that we can directly transform solar energy into solar electric power and thus, invert and "bus" this power directly into existing Utility electric grid wire systems.
We have constantly been blocked by the National Science Foundation and the Atomic Energy Commission who have threatened and prevented Drs. Paul Fang and Ronald Wichner from consulting with us on their own time. These Government bureaucracies, who have poured welfare handouts and "socialism for the rich" into Oil Company hands for decades-in great profusion-have been publicly exposed as covering up the sun, and propagating the line that solar electric power is "twenty years away". They have been extremely hostile to this Corporation's thesis that: solar electric power is Here now, and we only need to organize the proper management team and secure adequate financing to generate a cost competitive, alternative, non-polluting and non-radioactive form of solar electric power (in 1974-1975) to be sold to utility companies.
Oil Company obviously will not invest capital in developing Solar energy.* The Interior Department, Atomic Energy Commission. National Science Foundation, and Department of Defense are clearly tied and committed to protecting their own bureaucratic investments (and the oil Cartel's) in coal and uranium (nuclear power) and long range solar Research & Development.
Therefore, an entirely new and unique mechanism must be established to develop Solar Electric Power. Solar electric power is Here Now and must be privately financed initially-if it's to convert daylight into electrical power before 20 years more of radiation, pollution and escalating prices from the Oil Industry overwhelm us.
We are confident that we can complete the next critical stage of our development if we can raise about $700,000 for necessary machinery, leased plant, raw materials, and technical and administrative overhead for a 90 day crash production period. After we successfully complete this next stage, we hope to go public with the approval of the SEC. Whether we succeed or not-the fact that solar electric power is here in 1974, must be understood and acted upon by responsible citizens and lawmakers.
Our next witness is Alex Mann.
STATEMENT OF ALEX MANN
Mr. MANN. Thank you for making Saturdays open for citizens who can't otherwise attend. My name is Alex Mann and I live in Santa Monica Canyon. I would like to read a letter which the Santa Monica. Canyon Pacific Association recently sent to Assemblyman Howard Beerman, who is our location representative for the State level.
I think it is relevant to the function of the Senate Commerce Committee what we are suggesting to Assemblyman Beerman. I will read a portion of this.
1 Only controlling and smothering solar cell technology (Exxon, Gulf, Mobil, etc.).
In a recently published record entitled, "Energy," which was a rough draft for technical review purposes dated July 26, 1974, and put out by the South Coast Regional Conservation Commission, the report discusses the suitability of the underwater portion of Santa Monica and Redondo Canyons as supertanker loading areas. Both of the canyons are deep and could accommodate ships that draw large depths of water. This upset us when we say this being considered. But going on, the thing most pertinent to your committee, the South Coast Regional Conservation Committee report, p. 295, and the press reported that a major portion of Alaskan oil is to be shipped to Japan.
Executives of one of the companies operating in Alaska-one was a chemist and one an environmental scientist-have informed us that much of the Alaskan oil is lower in sulfur content than the California offshore oil.
Now, we raise the question, in the letter with Assemblyman Beerman, is offshore drilling going ahead because of momentum of marketing decisions already made by the oil companies and possibly by some of their cohorts and Government regulatory agencies?
Since matters of marketing policy, both national and international, fall, I think, within the purview of the Commerce Committee, I think it might make relative sense to have investigations of the data which we currently don't have. As previous speakers have said, the Government seemed to get its data from the oil industry, hiring the 23 oil executives as the previous speaker had alluded to.
Admittedly, there are severe gaps in our information and that of the Federal and State governments. We have many questions but not many of the answers needed to develop workable alternatives to the destruction of our coastline. Is offshore drilling necessary or desirable if it results in a refined high-sulfur oil that will cost more to produce and generates more smog? Should the marketing policies prevail by default and deny Americans access to crude oil of lower sulfur content?
This, I think, would be pertinent to the committee to look into some depth.
The other thing I wanted to bring to your attention, and I think it merits some inquiry in the pamphlet of offshore petroleum studies done by the Bureau of Mines information circular 1973. They state the success ratios were not included in this report because offshore data are held in confidence, making success ratio data incomplete. I think this amplifies what Ms. Solomon referred to earlier that, due to trade secrecy laws, both under California law and under Federal law, we are not able to comment intelligently on the EIS because we are not allowed access to the kind of information which is in the oil company logs and their geological reports.
We can't really respond to these statements because we just don't have the information and, again, this is a matter that falls within the purview of the Commerce Committee and ought to be the subject of oil records and executives being subpenaed.
Senator TUNNEY. What did you read from there, Mr. Mann? Mr. MANN. That is the Bureau of Mines information circular 1973 and the number the Government Printing Office has is IC8575.
It was presented, as I said, in 1973, and written by some oil-petroleum engineers.