Politics Trump Keystone

By Robert Carpenter, Editor | December 2011, Vol. 66 No. 12

For now, we’re forced to maintain our course by relying heavily on foreign oil from the somewhat less stable Mexican energy market and unfriendly countries such as Venezuela with its U.S.-hating President Hugo Chavez.

No matter which side of the political spectrum you support, we all need to understand that for the next 50 (maybe 150) years, there simply are not enough alternative energy resources in the world to replace the bulk of our petrochemical energy needs. Research continues and potential business opportunities for alternative energy look very bright, but it’s going to take decades to develop. When a better solution does come along, it probably won’t be from anything currently on the market.

We absolutely need Canada’s oil. And, we desperately need natural gas to become an even greater fuel source, not only for power generation, but for the trucking and automotive industries as well.

But the light bulb has not come on yet in Washington. Maybe our elected officials are still waiting on an environmental miracle for Christmas.

UCT positives
With 2011 being a mixed year of success for contractors and owners, the upcoming Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) will provide a pivotal, real-world perspective on the 2012 outlook. The annual event will be held in San Antonio from Jan. 24 – 26 (www.uctonline.com).

People are looking for answers and hoping for some good news regarding business opportunities. UCT will be the first and best place in 2012 to obtain answers as to what lies ahead and how to better function within the market. Early numbers show both attendee registration and booth reservations are running at the highest levels in several years.

The networking should be superb – again. It is virtually the only place where large numbers of contractors, owners and engineers can meet , listen and learn from each other while shareing perspectives that are essential to be successful in this market.

San Antonio, here comes UCT!