Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Oil Addiction" Lies

By Alan Caruba

Next to the huge international hoax about global warming allegedly caused by carbon dioxide, the biggest lie being told to Americans these days is that we are “addicted” to oil and that we must convert our economy and society away from its use.

The first time I recall hearing this was during George W. Bush’s 2006 State of the Union Speech and, frankly, I was astounded to hear it from the son of a former President who made his fortune in oil. The latest to repeat the lie is President Barack Obama, but he is allied with environmental organizations that are anti-energy no matter what form it takes.

Americans and everyone else around the world are not “addicted” to oil or other energy sources such as coal and natural gas. They are used to maintain and enhance modern life.

Data from 2006 makes it abundantly clear that 85.5% of the electricity we use comes from carbon-based fuels. Nuclear and hydroelectric energy add over 20% of the rest. All that magical “clean” energy, solar and wind, provides 3% or less of the electricity the nation requires.

As Robert Bryce, an editor of Energy Tribune and author of several books on energy, says, “The simple unavoidable truth is that we humans cannot (and) will not quit using oil. If oil did not exist, we’d have to invent it. No other substance can compare to oil in terms of energy density, flexibility, cost, and convenience.

“About 95% of the world’s transportation fuel comes from oil,” notes Bryce. “Thus, without oil, there is no commerce.” No commerce, no world economy.

Americans are being force-fed lies about energy and the worst of them are about “clean energy research and development.” There are no viable or sensible substitutes for oil, coal, and natural gas.

According to an October 28, 2009 report by the Congressional Research Service “U.S. proven reserves of oil total 21.3 billion barrels and reserves of natural gas are 237.7 trillion cubic feet. Undiscovered technically recoverable oil in the United States is 145.4 billion barrels, and undiscovered technically recoverable natural gas is 1.162.7 trillion cubic feet. The demonstrated reserve base for coal is 489 billion short tons, of which 262 billion short tons are considered technically recoverable.”

So why has the Obama administration announced a shutdown of the auctioning of oil leases? Why have several administrations refused to allow access to the oil beneath the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve or the potentially vast offshore Alaskan reserves?

If the ban on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas on 85% of the U.S. offshore regions is maintained, the nation will be forced to rely on foreign sources, many of whom are unfriendly, even hostile.

Think about this. Beneath a 1.5 million acre tract on the North Slope of Alaska there are an estimated three to nine billion barrels of recoverable oil. In 1987 the Department of Interior recommended development. There has been none because a succession of Congresses has refused to allow drilling on what would amount to a postage-size part of the vast Coastal Plain.

The U.S. must import the vast percentage of the oil we require, some 60%, and yet Americans are being denied the right to access, extract, refine and use the oil we have or look for more. Oil companies are routinely demonized despite the billions they must spend in exploration, extraction and refining.

Are we that stupid?

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, is promising to bring the Cap-and-Trade bill, an energy tax bill now called a “climate” bill, to a vote in July. Studies suggest its passage would destroy more than two million jobs nationwide.

One analysis projected that the bill would reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by $9.4 trillion over the next 25 years. The U.S. doesn’t have 25 years. Our current national debt is $13 trillion and our GDP is $12.9 trillion. Do the math!

Likewise, raising taxes on oil and natural gas companies would reduce the amount of private capital available for vitally needed investments to access our energy resources.

The big, awful oil and natural gas industry has already invested $58.4 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and there is no need to reduce carbon dioxide. It plays no role whatever in a global warming that is NOT happening. The Earth has been cooling for a decade.

Significantly, an increase in carbon dioxide would yield more crops and healthier expanded forests.

Finally, let’s get a grip on reality. As bad as the leak has become, there is just one oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico leaking oil. It’s out there because environmentalists and government policies have forced oil companies to explore and drill in hazardous places.

The rest of the rigs, several hundreds, are still safely pumping oil. The BP Deepwater Horizon rig will be capped eventually. That problem will end. The spilled oil will be worked on by the forces of nature, dispersing and evaporating it. In five years, just like the Valdez spill, there will be no evidence of the spill.

The real “addiction” that threatens the United States is a Congress that will not stop borrowing and spending an unsustainable amount of money on programs that should have been abandoned or adjusted years ago.

Editor's Note: Here's an explanation for the BP oil rig disaster provided by a veteran oil industry professional. You are not likely to read this anywhere in the mainstream media, but you will find it here!

"A drilling engineer never, never, never, never replaces heavy mud with light saltwater.

That is a No-No on every well, even on dry land. The reason for the heavy mud is to overcome the high pressures found in deep reservoirs. No doubt that was what the argument was all about before the explosion—replacing heavy mud with light saltwater.

The natural gas at the top of the reservoir simply pushed the light saltwater out of the hole. When anyone sees fluid, in this case saltwater, coming out of the well, that is the clue to shut the blowout preventers.

Fluid had to be coming out of the well before the natural gas arrived at the surface. (Physics) Someone was assigned to watch this! Someone saw this! There was still time to prevent a disaster after seeing fluid coming out of the well.

Failure to close the blowout preventers when fluid was coming out of the well was fatal and caused the explosion."

© Alan Caruba, 2010


Unknown said...

I don't see it as an addiction to oil as oil, so much as a very rational addiction to our lifestyles which are enabled by oil.

Lots of oil, and technically recoverable. But oil shale and tar sands require a helluva lot of water in the processing as well as a lot of transport. Ergo, high cost compared to current oil prices. Same sort of problem for direct conversion of coal.

All these things can be done, but most assessments I've seen see difficulties in scaling up to meet our demands for products besides transportation fuels, as well as the quantities of those fuels.

Estimates from folks like Matt Simmons and Dan Jennings indicate that full development of North Slope areas, shallow-water areas and such as the Bakken can add some three million bbl/day--but it's a ten-year development period.

We import some 13 million bbl/day, mas o menos. In the meantime, our present domestic fields are declining, right along will all other oilfields.

Eventually this depression will end, and in the meantime the population is growing.

I look at the issue of quantity vs. time in view of Hubbert's Pimple, and I'm thus pretty negative about the long-term future of our present styles of living...

It seems to me that the fact is that we're in trouble, now. The reasons are financial, technical and political. I can't really envision things "getting better with age" insofar as the package of realities with which we are faced.

Rich Kozlovich said...

This whole phrase, "we are addicted to oil" is insane. Oil is a is not an addiction! An addiction is a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Are we addicted to food? Warmth in the winter? Cool in the summer?

The truth is that if we found something better we would use it. If we didn’t have oil and we were using alternative energy, would we then be addicted to windmills, solar panels and bio-fuel? Are carpenters addicted to hammers? Are plumbers addicted to wrenches? These are tools that attain goals.

Oil is a tool that attains more goals than we could have ever imagined when oil was first discovered. And has become the most important tool in a modern society! Society has discovered uses that were never dreamed of when the number one product of Standard Oil of New Jersey was Kerosene.

Oil is one of the most versatile tools we have....but it is a tool. We make so many products from oil that to not use oil is to destroy society as we know it. Just because we use this tool more than any other doesn’t make it an addiction…..People need to stop saying and believing stupid things.

People are addicted when they continue to use things they don’t need and are detrimental to them. The greenies would like for everyone to believe this is true about oil….unfortunately they have chosen not to live in areas of the world that don’t use the modern benefits that oil provides. Oil is a tool…period.

Geoffs Collection of Blog Posts said...

145.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil divided by the 19.6 million barrels of oil the US uses every day works out to 7,418 days.

Still has a use by date.....

Geoffs Collection of Blog Posts said...

145.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil divided by the 19.6 million barrels of oil the US uses every day works out to 7,418 days.

Still has a use by date.....