Economic analysts have universally condemned the commission’s proration, spacing, and production policy as wasting resources. Prindle attacks this body of economic analysis head-on. He argues that in today’s circumstances, every barrel of oil reserves is worth whatever the cost to keep it available. Then he brushes these costs aside as unimportant. But were they? During the 1960’s when proration limited the amount of oil produced to its lowest level eight and nine days out of each month output from Texas wells averaged about 15 barrels per day. Yet many could have produced hundreds or even thousands. [Since 1973, the commission has ordered “100 percent allowable;” every well may produce at its greatest amount without damage to final recovery.] When a producer is allowed to raise a minimum amount of oil from every well, his goal becomes to drill as many wells as possible. As a result, during the years of proration, the oil industry drilled thousands of unnecessary wells and spent billions on wasted capital investment that could have been spent to expand new production. This investment, like money spent on mergers between oil companies, only raised the cost of oil to consumers. The commission’s allowable permitting as little as eight days production each month obviously discouraged exploration and slowed the growth of reserves. But that policy was also beneficial; it kept oil in the ground for the time when exports might be cut off. Did the benefits of saving the oil exceed the costs of wasted resources? Prindle does not evaluate the effects of these offsetting results; and without this comparison, I don’t believe we can make a final assessment of commission proration policy. Prindle condemns the commission’s failure to press for more unitization \(where an entire field is pooled and ownalternative could have been better than the policy it pursued. Where could Texas be if the commission had overcome Petroleum Politics, required unitization, and prevented the millions invested in redundant wells? What if those resources had been spent on more productive or lower cost reserves? What would our reserves position be today? It seems clear that on proration and its effects, Prindle has based his conclusion on political, not economic, judgments: “Who benefits,” he asks, “from an economically ‘rational’ spacing and allocation policy? Yankees. And who benefits from an ‘irrational’ policy? Texans.” The Independents Prindle approves of proration for another reason, which he believes to be especially relevant in today’s energyshort circumstances: it preserved the independent producers for the current scramble for oil and gas. “High-cost, independent producers . . . would not have been able to survive if the forces of supply and demand had been allowed to operate unfettered,” he contends. “By so doing, it greatly improved the economy of Texas.” Prindle accepts the independents’ claim that they are the industry’s main 3932; Northeast Aus. Demos., 2nd Tue., 836-3533; Phogg Foundation, Box 13549, Aus.; Save Barton Creek, every Tue., 472-4104; Sierra Club, 1st Tue., 478-1264; Socialist Party of Tx., 2nd Tue., 4523722; South Aus. Demos., 447-4091; Tx. Abortion Citizens Party, 451-3864; Tx. Consumer Assn., 477-1882; Tx. Mobilization for Survival, Sun., wkly.. 474-5877; Travis Audubon Scty., 3rd Thu., 447-7155 or 477-6282; Travis Cty. Demo. Women, every Fri., 453-3243; Travis Cty. YD’s, 453-3796; Univ. Mobilization for Survival, wkly., 476-4503; UT YD’s, 452-8516; West Aus. Demos., 2nd Thu., 454-1291; Zilker Park Posse, 472-1053. SAN ANTONIO Demos. for Action, Research & Education 0351; Fellowship of Reconciliation ACLU, 2246791; Amnesty Int’l., U.S. Group 127, Julia Powell, 828-4141; Women’s Political Caucus, 2nd Tues., 655-3724; Civil Rights Litigation Center, 224-1061; Citizens Concerned About Nuclear Power, 1st & 3rd Weds.. 655-0543; Communities Organized for . 2nd Th., 222-2367; Demos volunteers needed, 4th Wed., 674-0351; LatinAmerican Assistance, alternate Sats., 732-0960; Mxn.-Amn. Demos., 3rd Mon., Walter Martinez, 227-1341; NAACP, 4th Fri., 224-7636; Organizations United for East Side Development, last Tue., 824-4422; People for Peace, 2nd Th., 822-3089; Physicians for Social Responsibility, 1st Mon., Dr. Martin Batiere, 691-0375; Poor People’s Coalition for Human Services, 923-3037; Residents Organized for Better and Beautiful Environmental Demo. League, 1st Thu., 344-1497; S. A. Gay Alliance, last Wed., Metropolitan Commnty. Church, 102 S. Pine; Sierra Club, 3rd Tue., 341-5990; United Citizens Project Planning and Operating Corp. DALLAS ACLU, 2001 McKinney, Suite 330; ACORN, 823-4580; Amn. Friends Service Cmte., 321-8643; American Indian Center, 826-8856; Amnesty Intl., U.S. Group 205, 361-4690; Armadillo Coalition, 1st Wed., 349-1970; AMIGOS, 339-9461; Audubon Society, 341-2534; Bois d’Arc Patriots, 827-2632; Bread for the World, Dist. 3, Joe Haag, 7411991×298 & 495-1494; Brotherhood of Viet Vet., 224-9750; Brown Berets, 337-4135; Citizens’ Assn. Comm. Health, 1st Fri., 363-2979; Clean Air Coalition, 387-2785; Comanche Peak Life Force, Wed. wkly, 337-5885; Cmte. in Solidarity with the PeoAlliance, 2nd Mon., 528-4233; E. Dal. Nghbrhood Assn., 3rd Mon., 827-1181; Frederick Douglass Voting Council, every Fri., 426-1867; Gray Panthers of Dallas-Fort Worth, 2nd Sat., 227-8332; Love Field Cit. Action Cmte., 526-8481; Low Income Housing Security Cmte., 748-5861; Nghborhood Info. & Action Service, 827-2632; Neighbors United for Quality Ed., 823Solar Club, 659-5254; Progressive Voters League, 372-8168; Sierra Club, 2nd Wed., 369-5543; Central Civic League, 375-5038; S.E. Dal. Nghbrhood Club, every 4th Sat., 421-7931; Sound 6960; Txns. for Handgun Control, 528-3985; Tx. Cmte. on Natural Resources, 352-8370; Tx. Ten372-6801; War Resisters League, 337-5885; W. Dal. Nghbrhood Group, 3rd Wed., 631-1586. FORT WORTH 924-1401, board meets mthly; Armadillo Coalition, 927-0808; Bread for the World, 924-1440 \(Dist. Regulation, 478-6372; Coalition of Labor Union Women, 469-1202. Dist. 10 Demos., 2nd Sat., 535-7803; First Friday, 1st Fri., 927-0808; F.W. Tenants’ Ccl., 923-5071; IMPACT, \(telephone chain, works largely through progressive Protestant Assn., 2nd & 4th Tue., 335-5405; NOW, 3rd Th., 336-3943; Precinct Workers Cl., 3rd Th., 429-2706; Senatorial Dist. 12 Demos., 2nd Sat. or 2nd Wed., 457-1560; Sierra Club, 3rd Wed., 923-9718; StuCty. Demo Women’s Club, 2nd Sat., 451-8133, 927-5169; Tx. Coalition of Black Demos \(F. W. Caucus, 1st Wed., 336-8700. GREATER TEXAS Alta Loma: Brotherhood of Viet. Vet., 925-6405. Amarillo: ACLU, 373-7200; Panhandle Environmental Awareness Cmte., 376-8903; Northwest Tx. Clergy and Laity Concerned, 2nd Tue., 373-8668. Bastrop: Central Tx. Lignite Watch, Bastrop Co., 321-5250. Beaumont: ACLU, 898-0743; Amnesty Int’l, group 221, Karen Dweyer, 420 Longmeadow. Beaumont 77707. Brotherhood of Viet Vets, 7274873. Brownsville: ACLU, 541-4874. Bryan: ACLU, Box 4523, 77805; Brazos Society for Alternatives to Nuclear Energy, 822-1882. College StaKramer, Box D, 77841. Corpus Christi: American GI Forum, 241-8647; Coastal Bend Chapter Sierra Club, 3rd Tues., 883-0586; Gulf Coast Conservation Assoc., 991-9690; League of Women Voters, 8526443; LULAC, 882-8284; NAACP, 883-2931; NOW, 883-4469; Org. for the Preservation of an UnPol. Caucus, 854-1080. Denton: ACLU, 387-5126. El Paso: ACLU, 545-2990; Amnesty Intl, Group 189, 584-4869. Lubbock: ACLU, 765-8393. Midland: Brotherhood of Viet. Vets., 684-3768. Nacogdoches: Pineywoods Coalition, 218 W. Austin St., Nacogdoches. San Juan: ACLU, 787-8171. Seabrook: Galveston Bay Conservation & Preservation Assoc., 471-3119. Temple: Brotherhood of Viet Vets, 773-7987. Waco: ACLU, 755-3611. HOUSTON ACLU, 524-5925; ACORN, 523-6989; Amns. for Demo. Action, 522-9544; Amnesty Intl., Group 23, 868-0707; Brotherhood of Viet. Vet., 728-4857; Citizens’ Anti-Nuclear 522-3343; Concilio de Organizaciones Chicanos, P.O. Box 9, Houston 77001; Demo. Socialist Organizing Cmte., 921-6906; Gay Political Caucus, 1st and 3rd Weds., 521-1000; Harris Cty. Concerned Women, 674-6798; Harris Cty. Demos., quarterly, 528-2057; Houston Area Women’s Center, 528-6798; Lesbian and Gay Demos. of Texas, 521-1000; Mxn.-Amn. Demos., 6944 Navigation, Houston 77011; Mockingbird Alliance, 747-1837; NAACP, 1018 Clebourne, Houston 77001; PASO, 6716 Fairfield, Houston 77023; Senate Dist. 15 Demo. Coalition, 862-8431; Tx. Coalition of Black Demos., 674-0968; Tx. Demos., 667-6194; Toxic Substances Task Force, 1st Tue. & 3rd Wed., 228-0037; UofH YD’s, 749-7347; Westside Demos., 464-2536. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17
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