Thursday, February 24, 2011

Will we finally get our s**t together and drill this time?

Oil is pushing up towards $120/bbl as I type this and analysts are predicting $3.75/gal gasoline prices by May with $4.00+/gal by the summer.  The last time this happened the economy went into a free fall and there were repeated chants of “Drill Baby, Drill!”, and a lot of talk of breaking our dependence on foreign oil to ensure our economic prosperity.

What happened?

Well we elected a president who couldn’t recognize good energy policy if it bit him on the ass is the short answer. 

Let’s be honest, “Green Energy” is a scam to make people feel good.  It doesn’t have the energy density or the stability needed to power a first world country(Nuclear being the big exception).  For a good breakdown on the issues I would refer you to Physics for Future Presidents.  Granted there are some technologies coming on line that will help with some of this issue (hyper-efficient solar cells) and may actually help make the powergrid more efficient, as described in this National Geographic article as well as increasing the efficiency of individual devices, but these improvements are years down the road.  They won’t stave off a looming economic disaster at this point.

Meanwhile the US has plenty of domestic sources.  We can build and fuel nuclear plants, but we don’t, we have enough fossil fuels available to power our country at it’s current levels for a thousand years, as I outlined in my June 13th 2008 post:

It makes the point that the Democrats are opposed to increasing domestic supply, but it does nothing to refute the idea that we can't "drill our way out of the current shortage", so to put things in perspective I added some numbers (I always went with the low estimate):


ANWR Exploration
House Republicans: 91% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed
Barrels - 4.3 billion

Coal-to-Liquid
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 78% Opposed
Barrels - 4,768 billion

Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed
Barrels - 3,300 billion

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported
House Democrats: 83% Opposed
Barrels - 8.5 billion

Bakken Field
Barrels - 4 billion
(Est.  417 billion)

Current US reserves (not including Bakken Field)
Barrels - 21 billion

Total Potential US Reserves
Barrels - 8105.8 billion
Current US consumption
Barrels - 21 million / day
Reserves in years (US Consumption only)
1057

Saudi Reserves (claimed)
Barrels - 260 billion
Reserves in years (US Consumption only)
39.2

Combined Reserves World Reserves not including the US (Claimed)
Barrels - 1115.7 billion
Reserves in years (US Consumption only)
168.6

But this administration has adopted an anti-energy policy, such as continuing to block off shore drilling and revoking drilling permits in the Rocky Mountain front, that greatly decreases the usefulness of those resources.  Couple that with an apparent inability to get a handle on events in the mid-east and frankly we are screwed.  I have posited before that while the underlying cause of the current recession was the housing bubble the proximate cause was the rise in energy prices (and I still maintain that rise was driven by George Soros and his cronies I just can’t prove it).  Now we have that same dynamic building up again and I am not sanguine about what the summer holds.  If we had actually done something to break the hold the mid-east has on us the conditions might be different.

(If I were the GOP as soon as oil hits $4.00/bbl I would be impeaching Salazar.  Well maybe not impeaching but making him so miserable he just wants to dig a hole and die in it)

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