Editor’s Notebook: Enough to Worry About

August 2009 Vol. 236 No. 8

Will someone explain who the Gosselins are and why should I care about them? What do they have in common with Sarah Palin, Boone Pickens, Brett Favre, Michael Jackson and Joe the Plumber?

I am sitting here at the computer wondering what to worry about next. Will we have some form of national health insurance program to cover everyone in time for the next outbreak of swine flu?

Will natural gas prices ever rebound? Will ConocoPhillips and BP finally work with TransCanada and ExxonMobil to build that Alaskan natural gas pipeline? Frankly, we’re all getting tired of the waiting game. As far as the MacKenzie pipeline project, I think I’ll write a book entitled “How To Kill A Pipeline Project In 50 Easy Steps.”

How many more people will lose their jobs before this horrendous recession finally ends? Will the stock market ever rebound and save what is left of our 401(k)s? First, though, we’ll watch as Wall Street takes care of its own. Still, the market did just hit 9000. Another three years and maybe we’ll make up for what we lost last year.

Will Biofuels ever find a home in the liquid fuel marketplace? Does ExxonMobil really think that it can produce fuels from algae? It’s going to spend $600 million to find out. Are we seeing the emergence of a “kinder, gentler” ExxonMobil?

Will Alaska’s new governor, Sean Parnell, return to speak at our next Pipeline Opportunities Conference (March 31)? After all, he says that Alaskan pipeline is his top priority.

Will we ever have laws that restrict the use of cell phones in cars? Now we read that a driver on a cell phone equates to having a 0.8% alcohol intake. Cell phone companies hate the idea, but when it comes to doing a study, they insist that’s not their job. Remember the guy in the Suburban who was on his cell phone when he destroyed my car in 2000? Maybe those constitutional scholars at the NRA could take this on as their new project. The reason should be obvious.

Will we ever resolve the pesky issue of lost-and-unaccounted-for natural gas and determine how much that costs the gas industry?

Will we have another hurricane hit Houston this year? Will the temperature ever dip below 100? Will our a/c make it through the fall? And they say there’s no such thing as global warming? Does cap-and-trade actually work?

Will the Europeans really support the Nabucco gas pipeline project or will they be outmaneuvered by Gazprom’s attempts to secure its dominant market position?

Will the Republicans find someone to lead their party other than Rush Limbaugh? Will they learn another word other than “no”?

Will the Dems finally take energy seriously instead of tossing it around like a political football? We’ll have a fuel cell when?

Are we facing a future without print newspapers or will the Houston Chronicle’s formula of charging more for less be an industry norm?

Will Continental Airlines take away that free half-can of soda as part of its new budget-cutting maneuvers? I know it saves wear-and-tear on the restrooms, but still…

What will the new distribution pipeline integrity rules mandate, and how will the industry respond?

Will baseball statistics ever mean anything again?

Will the varied segments of the natural gas industry ever figure out a way to speak with one voice?

Will Jennifer Aniston ever find true love?

As you can see, I’ve much on my mind these days. In addition to which, Janet and I are getting married on Aug. 16. It’s been eight years now, but does she really know what she’s getting into? The night before the wedding we’ll attend my 40th high school reunion. Could this be the impetus for a future column?

Again, my overworked brain returns to the Gosselins. Why are they on my mind? Must I ban People, Janet’s favorite magazine, as my first act of husband-hood?

So what do Jon & Kate have in common with Sarah, Brett, Joe, Michael and Boone? Nothing really. I just wish they would all go away so we don’t have to hear about them anymore.