Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Drill, drill drill

By Capt. Fogg

The reason that fuel costs are so high has nothing to do with market forces or the world economy or corporate motivation to limit supply or the weak Dollar: it's all because of "the Enviros." At least that's what the banshees are screaming these days.

Even though the oil companies haven't applied for permits to build new refineries here since before many of the bellicose bullfrogs were born and even though high prices and limited capacity have meant unheard-of profits, it's the Enviros; the tree huggers and the extremists who think nuclear power plants have to be built with safety in mind.

So it is that the people who put affordability of Hummers ahead of all other concerns and the people who really think profligacy in the face of limited resources makes sense, want to turn national parks, and in fact any place at all, into oil fields; dreaming in their limited minds that we will soon see 26 cent gas again.

We won't. Granting coastal oil leases to BP and Exxon-Mobil and all the rest may bring some royalties into the State treasury, but they will sell the oil on the ballooning world market and refine it at a rate that keeps prices high regardless of the size of the supply.

But of course the sudden Republican decision that the future of life on Earth isn't as important as assuring that we have enough petroleum to make wars and drive trucks to the country club is born of panic. If gas prices remain this high in November, the Petroleum party will have to look for employment elsewhere and by fooling us into thinking that auctioning off oil leases to foreign corporations will increase supply in less than 10-12 years or reduce prices at all, they hope to avoid the tar and feathers they deserve.

The Cheney administration: the administration still unwilling to explain the origins of their energy policies or even discuss it, knows that you will think they are on your side and that "the enviros" are your real enemies.

I'm quite sure someone will speak up here to express his sense of entitlement and his outrage that "the enviros" don't value his truck addiction above their lungs and the balance of nature all life depends on. I'm sure he will paraphrase Cheney in telling us it isn't the American Way to change our habits in the face of necessity and that there will always be enough clean beaches and trout streams for the very rich anyway. So I will reply in advance and with a direct Cheney quote: "go fuck yourself."

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Blogger rockync said...

With the advancements in electric and fuel cell technology, it's time to leave the black oily stuff in the ground and move forward with cleaner, renewable power sources. Our tax dollars would be much better spent at this point developing a hydrogen concentrator that could extract hydrogen out of the air to recharge fuel cells; much like O2 concentrators do now. It really is time to say goodbye to the combustion engine.

10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I don't think you're going to find free hydrogen in the atmosphere, but it is possible to extract it from coal -- in fact that's where most of it comes from now. The US has huge reserves of coal.

I don't think we can get rid of oil burning for some time, but it's the reluctance to try until it's too late is what bothers me.

Local efforts by the power company to put in a windmill farm off the coast of Florida where the wind always blows has been shot down because it doesn't look nice and underwater turbines would work very well here at harnessing tidal energy, but there's always a reason we need to keep using up the oil and using it up ever faster.

1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

During the 1980s and 1990s, OPEC kept oil prices deliberately low to protect their franchise. As recently as last week, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait stated that they would commit their industries to cranking out more petrol with this proviso: That consumer nations commit themselves to buying their product.

What American consumers do not understand is the "game-of-who-blinks-first" of oil economics. Just when OPEC's franchise comes under threat of being undermined by alternative energy initiatives, supplies suddenly increase, prices tumble, and the search for alternative energy is abandoned. Result: the OPEC franchise continues unchallenged.

This time, however, the OPEC game of who blinks first may not work because the fundamentals of oil economics have changed. With 2 billion new consumers in China and India, OPEC can no longer produce enough to control the price of oil and, thus, can no longer protect their franchise.

In the USA alone, petrol is a $20 trillion infrastructure that key players (producers, refiners, distributors, and their lobbyists) are hell-bent on protecting at all costs.

Those who think we can drill our way out of this energy shortage are being suckered by the oil lobby. Assuming there are oil reserves left in the ground, it would take 5 to 10 years to bring it to market ... clearly no solution whatsoever to the current shortage ... and there are experts who doubt that there are even large oil deposits even left. Contrary to the claims of oil propagandists, the so-called Bakkan reserves are less than 2% recoverable and only economically feasible at a price equivalent to double the current price of crude.

A one mile per gallon reduction in gas consumption is equal to finding a major new oil field, and conservation is the only immediate strategy available. No wonder that sales of Italian motor scooters rose 25% in one month alone. Plug-in, anyone?

5:32:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

And of course selling the egotruck and buying a full size car will save more than 1 mpg.

Unfortunately, not only do my "conservative" neighbors not want wind, solar or water power or even public transportation, they don't want to let scooters into the neighborhood either -- funny how they don't care if a refinery is someone else's back yard but they sure start acting like the dreaded "enviros" when it gets close to home.

6:42:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

Time to move, Captain. Here in Ponce Inlet, we don't have condo commandos, but we do have boat docks, loose morals, and free motorcycle parking. What's not to like!

9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Swampcracker said...

68 million acres under lease. Have the oil companies done any drilling lately? No!

And what makes Bush/McSame think things will change anytime soon? This is just another empty wedge issue to rile the voters.

10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous hardiansyah said...

yea i agree with I don't think we can get rid of oil burning for some time, but it's the reluctance to try until it's too late is what bothers me.

3:55:00 AM  

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