Where else but the New York Times?
To the Editor:
One reason the government does not have any capacity to fix the oil leak is that it is lacking the know-how and experience. One way to gain that experience is to nationalize the oil companies.
While free marketers will claim that national oil companies are less efficient than commercial ones, consider the fact that the private companies have demonstrated no competence in environmental protection, while given every incentive to do so. Repeated oil spills are a given of oil operations in the United States.
Another consideration is the enormous influence that these immense companies have on both foreign policy and energy policy.
The recent spill is yet more evidence that energy is too important to be given to the private sector, and that the companies are too big for the government to control. Little wonder that as much as 90 percent of the world’s oil is now controlled by national companies.
Nationalization will have its problems, for sure. But it just might stop our march to an unthinkable future.
Apart from the little problem of the Fifth Amendment (“nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”) and from where a cash-strapped government will come up with the money to nationalize the oil companies, we need only look at the dreary examples of Pemex and PDVSA to see how well government runs one. Unless, of course, collapsing production is considered a feature, not a bug.