July 23, 2008

"The Arctic may hold 90 billion barrels of oil, more than all the known reserves of Nigeria, Kazakhstan and Mexico combined..."

"... and enough to supply U.S. demand for 12 years, the U.S. Geological Survey said. One-third of the undiscovered oil is in Alaskan territory, the agency found in a study released today."

Oil thirst — will it transform the election?

90 comments:

vbspurs said...

Yes, it will.

Drill NOW! Club baby seals later.

Randy said...

In answer to your question: No. Those who oppose looking for, finding and extracting that oil are already playing their trump card that nothing will come of it for a decade or longer. The fact that their tactics have succeeded in delaying the onset of such efforts for decades will be ignored.

The Drill SGT said...

2 comments:

1. got a big kick out of the NYT and Harry Reid verbally hugging T Boone Pickens because he is pimping wind farms and Natural Gas. Turns out CNN asked him about oil and he said:

BLITZER: What about drilling offshore? There's a debate. As you know, McCain says, yes, go ahead and drill off the coasts of Florida and California. Obama says, no.
You're an oilman. What do you say?

PICKENS: OK. McCain says, OK off the East and West Coasts. I say East, West Coast and ANWR. Get it all. I mean, to get off of foreign oil, that is the enemy. Get everything you can get. You cannot drill your way out of it. But you're drilling, and whatever you are able to find and put into the domestic system will help us. But you -- you aren't going to be able to find enough to take care of all the imports that we have.

BLITZER: What about nuclear?

PICKENS: Nuclear, fine, do it. Anything in America, do it, and get off of foreign oil.


Drill Now

2. Bush repealed the Executive Order on OCS drilling on Friday July 14th. Oil was at $147/bl then. On Monday 17th, it started falling. 10 days later oil is down nearly 20% to under $125/bl.

just think what it would be when we start producing some more.

3. The Dems keep saying more drilling won't get us out of the price increases cause it wont increase production for 10 years. well the threat of drilling impacts future prices today. basic economics. and BTW: there are wells off CA, that can be uncapped and produce in 12 months. when Congress fails to renew the ban on drilling.

Host with the Most said...

Oil thirst — will it transform the election?

Please God - yes!

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

What strikes me -- as one whose first two degrees are in geology -- is the tendency of Democrats to dismiss action on oil exploration because "it will be 10 years before it makes a difference."

Are not the same people proposing massive restrictions on energy use (and massive tax increases) in order -- maybe -- to make a difference sometime at least 50 years down the road ?

Patm said...

This is excellent news. We are NO WHERE NEAR ready to transition to cleaner fuels. Let's use this stuff while we create that stuff.

Quayle said...

That we have an energy crisis is just silly. We’re the most innovative and creative culture in the world, and the world knows it.

Here is the Quayle plan for getting us out of this mess.

1. An immediate government investment of some billions of dollars directly to American universities on core research for electric car technology.

2. Give GM and Ford a tax credit for every dollar they spend on prototyping cars that use the technology available.

3. An immediate 10 year capital gains tax reduction for any capital investment in companies that are working on new energy car technologies. This would include an American cap gain tax break on all foreign capital. The world will bet on us that we’ll do it, I am sure, just as we went to the moon.

4. Government funding, with construction incentives, to build at least 50 to 100 new nuclear power plants within the next 4 years.

5. An immediate start to a national car-train long haul system by which Ann can pull up to the station in Madison, drive onto a train, and be hauled to Buffalo where her electric car can drive well.

6. Tell the Saudis that if they don’t help to lower the price of oil right now, we’ll make even more drastic investments and measures, as the most innovative and creative country in the world, that will make their liquid assets worth spit.

Don’t give me the facts as to why it won’t work. I am too young and naive to know what can’t be done. I think it can be done.

Shan said...

The amount of oil here, if true, would provide about 12 years of the United States demand for oil (U.S. consumption is nearly 20 million barrels a day).

Are we so easily placated, that 12 years of fuel would cause us to yell "DRILL NOW!"

Shan said...

Since the U.S. is 25% of world consumption, this find will fulfill three whole years of world oil consumption.

DRILL NOW!!!! DRILL NOW!!!

veni vidi vici said...

Considering recent news reports that the Russians are aggressively pursuing drilling in the arctic, and the Chinese are working with the Cubans and drilling off Florida, just outside of US territorial waters, coupled with the oil co arguments that are used in the context of ANWR (small above-ground footprint possible because new technology permits octopus-like tentacular "reaching" underground across a much larger area), makes me wonder why oil exploration isn't discussed primarily as a national security/national treasure issue.

We self-righteously refuse to extract our own resources to contribute to easing the demand, even as our rivals come to extract what is ours and sell it back to us at premium prices!

The government could be making money off all this coming and going, but they really are stuck on stupid with regard to the energy issue. And it's pathetic when you stop to think that much of it is plainly out of spite.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Uh, no. Sorry everyone.

Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years. Show me any study or report that says otherwise. And this fluke of oil prices dropping this past week being related to some psychological effect of Bush's symbolic lifting of the executive ban? Oh...please.

And don't think I'm some environmental freak...I'm too busy to worry about the environment.

And oh, let me get this straight...we're addicted to oil and need to get off of it, but by all means...drill
more! Completely senseless.

Here.

Shan said...

Here's the point: If one is so excited about this find, shouldn't one be concerned about existing oil reserves? This will satisfy less than three years of demand...if it has such an impact on oil prices, maybe the existing reserves aren't the paper they're estimated on.

rcocean said...

People you're being silly. Total US consumption of World Oil is 23%. We can cut consumption by 1/4 and world demand will still go and keep oil prices high. China uses 7 percent and is growing. India uses 3 percent and has 1 Billion people.

Yes, drill and increase production but the price is going up no matter what.

The Drill SGT said...

and the Chinese are working with the Cubans and drilling off Florida, just outside of US territorial waters, coupled with the oil co arguments

let's say that again. The Chinese are drilling off Florida and sending the profits home to China. You think they have a good environmental record? High tech? so Florida, the risk is already there. If a Hurricane struck a Chinese rig, Florida is downwind. So you folks have the risk without reaping the tax revenue or oil support business.

Seven Machos said...

Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years.

I knew there was a way to blame Reagan for this mess. Had he taken care of business in 1988, we wouldn't have high oil prices. Surely, Clinton took care of it, though, right? Surely, there will be oil aplenty beginning in 2014 or so...

OldGrouchy said...

OK, now I understand! The Ecos say that drilling won't help us for 10-years. They also say that we need to switch to alternative energy sources; I'm guessing thats solar, wind, pedal bikes, etc... Maybe not nuclear unless we can isolate those nasty plants somewhere else, maybe in Mexico or Canada, near the baby seal ice flows.

So, nothing we do will help us now except the Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan of excess profits taxes and providing needed assistance to the poor folks.

OK then, I surrender into the loving arms of the government, which will tell me what to do forever or longer in some cases.

However, I'm not giving up my Springfield 1873 trapdoor for anyone.

Harsh Pencil said...

It simply isn't true that drilling that won't come on line until ten years won't affect prices now. Every oil producer has to decide whether to pump now or later. That decision requires you to guess what the price will be in the future. If the price is high now, and expected, in present value terms, to be lower later, you pump now. So expecting more supply in the future causes expected future prices to be lower in the future which causes oil producers to produce more now and thus a lower price now.

As for the ten years: Why does it take ten years? Because of the very regulations the same no drilling people put up to make it hard to drill! There is nothing technologically causing it to take ten years. They are counting in there all of the judicial haggling that they themselves put in there. It's like murdering your parents and asking for mercy because you're an orphan.

PatCA said...

Quayle, we have already tried for years versions of your proposals.
Why would someone with a government subsidy ever discover something useful? Then their sinecure would end.

We have just woken up to basically the same "crisis" that existed in 1979 and prompted Carter's whining malaise speech.

I like unobstructed ocean views as much as the next person, but drilling for our own oil rather than selling ourselves to Islamic radicals is obviously the best choice. The dollar, the stock market, and jobs in America will all boom with a commitment to new drilling.

Drill now!

Randy said...

Doing anything about global warming now won't show any appreciable results for 20 years, so we shouldn't bother.

Passing the civil rights legislation of the '60's didn't cause a spontaneous end to racism in America, so there was no point in doing it.

It took 40 years of cold war to bring about the collapse of communism, so we sould never have started in the first place.

My gosh, when you think about, the list of things we shouldn't have done, shouldn't be bothered doing now, and shouldn't consider doing ever because they might take 10 or 20 years (or more) to accomplish is virtually endless.

The price of oil will probably continue to rise (although there remains some question if we are in a "bubble" at the moment), but failure to seek alternative sources only guarantees that such increases are larger than they otherwise would be.

AJ Lynch said...

I say drill now and club baby seals!

Seven Machos said...

The price of oil will probably continue to rise

I disagree. Many, many things get cheaper over time in terms of real dollars. The recent energy shortages are caused by (1) increased demand and (2) laws against oil-drilling (and nuclear and wind power and you name it).

Lefties who do not understand basic economics, which most of you including Paul Krugman, pay attention: it is really silly to stifle investment and innovation exactly when there is a boom in demand, particularly if you are then going to lament rising prices.

AJ Lynch said...

There used to be an argument that went like this.

Youth: Jeez if I go back to school, it will take me four years to get my degree and I will be 30 years old.

Dad: And if you don't go back to school, in four years, you will still be 30 years old.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann btw you have had an extremely productive day and posted some really good stuff!

Thanks from me on behalf of most of us.

somefeller said...

The claim that China is drilling for oil off the shores of Florida with the Cubans has been debunked repeatedly . Oh, yes, yes, I know, the debunkers are all just liberals in the media, like GOP Senator Martinez from Florida, or Dick Cheney, who had to do a climbdown after he made claims about such drilling and was called on it.

As far as the Arctic goes, that may be the next big oil play (depends how big the offshore Brazilian field end up being). If I remember correctly, there was some snark on this website awhile back about the Russians staking some claims and dropping a few flags in the Arctic. Their actions weren't a joke, as this discussion of Arctic oil deposits shows. The issue of whether there is enough there to get cheaply and easily enough to deal with current or future pricing woes is a different issue, but I suspect the issue of Arctic oil and who owns it will be a major one for some time.

Seven Machos said...

What is wrong with the left these days? When did they become so concerned about how long projects would take?

What happened to the idea of nationalizing the railroads, or the energy companies, or higher education, or health care? Was that going to happen instantly? What happened to providing a living wage to every adult? Was that going to occur in a flash, without any problems? What happened to the very perfection of humanity? Was that going to happen on Tuesday or not at all?

I mean, really. You people sound absolutely reactionary.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years"

This is the most ridiculous argument. You want immediate gratification. Its now or never for you guys.

It's like saying my child won't be applying for a job before 20 years or so, so why get him braces on his crooked teeth now so he can have a nice smile for the future. Hell, yeah.... we can live with these bucky beavers for now. Maybe the tooth fairy will show up.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Old Grouchy,

Though Roger and I (old Cavalry men) are envious of your Springfield because of it's Army connection...

Is it a rifle or a carbine btw?

I at least think the Winchester 1873 is a much better rifle. This is the "Rifle that Won the West". Though underpowered, it had the benefit of chambering the same pistol round so that one could carry 2 weapons and 1 type of ammo.

and the Model 1894 winchester was made from 1894 till 2006, amazing

reader_iam said...

12 years (from whatever point it would be put in use). Am I the only one to whom that seems a mere blink of an eye?

To play devil's advocate, and strictly both (just) in context of energy and of basic human nature, what about the exploitation of an "out" with, comparatively speaking, a tiny window of relief, is going to be more motivating of rethinking and changing behavior than a 25-year ban ought to have been, but wasn't?

In my estimation, it's a human impulse to to be more concerned with fending off immediate pain than a pain that is both longer-term and ultimately more, well, painful. It's a human impulse--but not necessarily the best one to embrace, and especially with regard to issues such as this.

What's more motivating, most often, for confronting a real problem in terms of human nature, and therefore human society: a push-come-to-shove situation, or an extended deadline?

Just a question. Haven't worked it all out, myself, but that question persists. In the case of energy, and therefore energy policy, it does so rather bangingly, if I may say.

The Drill SGT said...

somefeller,

I agree with you. the story that china is currently drilling off Florida looks bogus

I didnt look at your links but did some googling
sorry

P. Rich said...

dbq

While monitoring this radical site, our surveillance software detected your use of the term "tooth fairy" with improper capitalization. You may expect a Notice to Appear before the Ontario, Canada Human Rights Commission to answer to a complaint by the The Northern Coalition of Mythical Beings regarding your obvious indication of disrespect. Be prepared to pay your own expenses.

The Collective
All Hail The Collective

Spread Eagle said...

A 12 year supply from ANWR is a nice start. It is estimated that shale oil deposits in the US Rockies amounts to twice as much oil as has been consumed worldwide in all of human history.

The Drill SGT said...

P Rich,

More likely the Folks from the GLBT folks will bring her up on charges for the "fairy"

Jim Howard said...

We are at least ten years away from having really cheap and efficient solar cells that could be used as roofing.

Therefore we should cancel all research on solar cells.

We are at least ten years from having a battery and electric motor that can drive a $15,000 four seat Prius sized car for 150 miles on one charge.

Development of new battery technology should be canceled.

It will be at least ten years before enough wind generators can be constructed and connected to the national power grid to amount to more a than a few percent of total national electric power consumption.

Therefore we should defund all wind power projects.

It will be at least ten years before the present horrible system of medical insurance in the US can be phased out in favor of a wonderful British NHS style nationalized system.

Therefore there is no point in changing the health care system of the United States.

Randy said...

It's too bad that it takes a minimum of 15 years to bring a nuclear plant online in the United States (if at all), not that those who oppose drilling support nuclear energy. Many nations are now gearing up to build new plants which will be on-line within 5 years.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Hey, fine. Drill now! I really don't care because it won't affect me. I'm just looking out for you all because I care. I don't want you to be disappointed when you're still gulping down oil year after year and, uh oh, the prices are still high and, uh oh, where can you find more oil?!

I only oppose the idea of staying addicted to oil because I want the best for you and yours.

Love,
ZPS

Seven Machos said...

Zachary's position is that we shouldn't drill for oil because there won't be any oil to drill for if we drill for oil. Therefore, we shouldn't drill for it.

Brilliant, dude!

reader_iam said...

Jim Howard: If that's a response to my commment, either you miss its point or I've been unclear.

In any case, I haven't made up my mind definitely about exploiting (using the word in the neutral sense) our various reserves. The more I learn, the more it's clear I don't know enough, and the more clear it is to me that an ever-larger proportion of people don't know either.

For that reason, my reflexive response is to "go conservative"--that is to say, small "c," not in the Republican sense or any other party sense, nor in the progressive sense (small or large "p").

I am not convinced yet, in gut, mind or heart, that this proposed change has been measured enough, either in terms of human nature or in terms of the law of unintended consequences. I'm not convinced that we're thinking long-term enough. And I'm not convinced that the majority of people in power, and of influence (not to mention the rest of us, the madding crowd), aren't either a) conflating a bunch of issues or b) grinding axes for reasons other than what's most relevant to the reality, and over a more significant period of time.

So long as all of that strikes me as so, I'm going to stay cautious, and skeptical of those who advocate headlong running- into policy change with not much of, to nary, a sign of putting on the brakes.

---

(BTW, sometimes I LIKE mixing metaphors, Althouse. Sometimes, it's just how to do things.)

The Drill SGT said...

Everybody recognizes that we need to get off oil, and particularly foreign oil as soon as we can. The problem is that there are no replacements for oil that are ready for prime time today. We need at a minimum, much better and cheaper lightweight battery technology. with that, then coal or nuclear plants combined with eletric cars becomes possible.

In the meantime, like Pickens says, drill now!

reader_iam said...

Zachary's position is that we shouldn't drill for oil because there won't be any oil to drill for if we drill for oil. Therefore, we shouldn't drill for it.

Now, wait a minute. Putting ZPS's position aside (only because I don't know the roots of it), let's consider what you just said.

There is a school of thought that if one really thinks that oil might run out, or even if one thinks that those with the most as-yet undrained oil resources will end up with the upper hand geopolitically and more (I'm using shallow shorthand here) over the short long-run--that is to say, in the next half-century, if not sooner--the better strategy would be cut back domestically, modify the behavior and thinking of everyday people, and use up other's people's resources and reserves first.

I'm NOT saying that's my position. (See previous comment.) But there some points there worth considering, depending on POV.

The--in this case--flip response of 7 Machos to the, OK, likely flip comment of ZPS' doesn't change all of that. (Sorry, guys: not actually trying to whack either of you, but I'm pretty sure both of you are up to getting the point.)

OldGrouchy said...

Gosh, TDS and Roger: I fibbed, to confuse the troops, such as they are.

Always wanted a trapdoor ever since I was a kid and bought many different gun catalogs; they used to be a dime a dozen back then. One of the more accurate rifles ever issued by the Army. However, Spencers would have been better choice in the 1870s. BTW: It would have been a rifle, never a carbine; the short ones are only for those with Yellow Stripes; as a Redleg, I always preferred an M1 rifle.

Speaking of SF, however, I was at Benning in 1961 when JFK ordered that SF would have its Green Beret back. All of us there thought that was ever so nice of the President. Of course, years later SF showed that it deserved much respect for its special cover.

Seven Machos said...

I am all for running out of oil as quickly as possible to spur the development of cleaner energy resources that we can produce domestically, without transferring billions of dollars to other countries, not to mention Wahhabi radicals.

reader_iam said...

Everybody recognizes that we need to get off oil, and particularly foreign oil as soon as we can.

But, Drill Sgt, "everybody" has recognized that for years and years and years and years (and years...)! (Except for those everybodies who didn't, don't and won't, or are just oblivious.) The response hasn't exactly, well, you know, correlated. In fact, it's gone rather the opposite way. Hasn't it?

Tell me why I should believe things are different now. Please believe me: That's not snark. I'm asking you to tell me how.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

We've continued to build infrastucture (in the broad sense)--and utterly neglect other infrastructure--through all those years and years and years and years, and despite what everyone has supposed to have known. (And despite that a significant, and critical, sector of people did know, and have known.)

Thus my question.

Randy said...

Because infrastructure is not sexy nor a vote-getter, unless it has a politican's name attached to it. In which case, it is paramount national importance and must be completed with all possible speed.

Palladian said...

I hate oil.

Well, except good olive oil. And walnut oil. And linseed oil so I can paint.

Well petroleum jelly is useful I guess. And I like some plastic things. I mean, plastic bags are good.

Ok, fine. I love oil.

reader_iam said...

Hmm, well, there's the flip side, to which I alluded, of that infrastructure question ... .

reader_iam said...

I did say, explicitly though parenthetically, "in the broad sense."

Beldar said...

McCain/Palin 2008: New energy for America.

Revenant said...

Are we so easily placated, that 12 years of fuel would cause us to yell "DRILL NOW!"

I'd say "drill now" if there were three gallons of oil under Artic. The only thing of value in the Arctic is the oil underneath it.

Besides, it is only "12 years of oil" if we stop using all other oil sources. You could more accurately describe it as being worth 85 years of our imports from Saudi Arabia (chief sponsors of Islamic radicalism), or 20 years of our total foreign oil imports. Doesn't sound so insignificant then, does it?

Revenant said...

Uh, no. Sorry everyone. Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years.

Yes, it will, because the future availability of oil factors into its current price. That's why prices go up when the possibility of future restrictions on production (e.g., from a war) occur, even if current production isn't affected. It is why prices drop when a major new source is discovered, even if it can't be tapped yet.

NoBorg said...

The fundamental drivers of increasing oil prices are:
1. Very rapid industrialization of India and China
2. All evidence suggests that, however many additional sources of petroleum are developed, the supply is not infinite and it will eventually become very scarce and difficult to extract. In the longer run the same goes for coal.

Nothing anyone can do about either of those things. #1 is, on balance, a very positive development that we shouldn't want to prevent anyway, and #2 is just a fact of nature that doesn't care whether we like it or not.

In the forseeable future the only technology that promises to yield anything like a significant replacement for oil and coal is nuclear power. For a variety of technical reasons, wind/solar/hydro you name it is NEVER going to provide more than a few percent of our overall energy needs. Doesn't matter how you feel about it, it is simply physically impossible.

All that matters now is how quickly we can transition to nuclear power and upgrade the power transmission infrastructure. The rest of the discussions, including worries about global warming, are just whistling Dixie.

Michael_H said...

I wonder how much is being held in reserve in Pamela Anderson's knockers on the Althouse home page, upper right side ad? A bunch, it seems.

Michael_H said...

It looks like John Edwards has gotten aboard the DRILL NOW! platform. He's workin' extra overtime to keep up with the drilling.

knox said...

Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years.

Sure it will. That's why you see gas stations flipping the price in the middle of the day even though it's the same gas they had in the ground 2 minutes ago.

Another example would be the anticipation of all the corn being diverted to ethanol... the cost of a gallon of milk almost doubled overnight here as a result, even though it almost certainly hadn't really started affecting milk production yet.

Roger J. said...

Old Grouchy and TDS (all the rest of you young uns butt out and leet the old farts talk)--this internet that algore invented is a wondrous thing--I was also at Benning in 1961 going thru basic training with the 2d ID when it was a trainee division. Indeed a small world--and I agree about the M1--and it had the advantage of having that little zing when the clip was ejected telling you that you were out of ammo.

Still, we cavalrymen do need a shorter weapon ever since they made us give up our sabers.

For reliability and effectivness? The Browning Mod 2 MG--nothing like the tinkle of brass as it bounces off the front slope of your tank.

Roger J. said...

Oh--and on the question of oil: Drill now, everywhere but only club baby seals if they get it the way. I am a bit of a conservationist after all and have my limits.

MadisonMan said...

Two things:

I agree that this news increases Sarah Palin's VP star.

I see the word may in the headline. Does anyone else? I'd like to know more before moving forward.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Uh, no. Sorry everyone. Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years."

Yes, it will, because the future availability of oil factors into its current price. That's why prices go up when the possibility of future restrictions on production (e.g., from a war) occur, even if current production isn't affected. It is why prices drop when a major new source is discovered, even if it can't be tapped yet.

Absolutely true. The oil prices are set based on estimates of future supply and demand. When it appears that either part of that equation is going to change, the current prices change, just as they have recently mainly based on President Bush's lifing of offshore drilling restrictions. If Congress were to do the same, watch the price significantly drop.

We need to develop supply and refining capacity while at the same time encouraging replacement sources of energy such as solar, wind and nuclear.

Reader is also correct, we have neglected our infrastructure systems in the development of those replacement sources. If we do generate large amounts of alternative energy such as wind or solar, the delivery or storage of this energy is inadequate.

Our rail system is inefficient and unreliable. Urban mass transit is also sadly neglected or completely non existent in many areas. In ruraland suburban areas, where people drive the longest distances there is zero public transportation and in many mid sized towns very little alternatives to the auto.

Until the cost of using solar or other alternatives comes down, people will just not use those sources. Dream all you want 'greenies'. It just isn't going to happen until it is economically feasible.

dpent said...

This oil issue IS getting traction with the voters which is why this election is currently tied in the polls. Obama should be up by 25 points - but he isn't is he. Democrats, you can tuck your head in the sand and pretend that this is not a major issue. You will only end up with McCain as President and sand in your ears.

J said...

"Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years"

Maybe it never will. So what? Given a choice between paying fundamentalist terror financers or Exxon Mobil stockholders, I'd prefer my money go to the latter.

MadisonMan said...

Speaking as the son of one of the latter, I say thank you.

Fried Lice said...

I want my AC set at 65 degrees. I want a Hummer that consumes entire swimming pools full of gasoline everyday. I want to be able to fly whenever I want. I want to live in a 4,000 square foot house and load it up with expensive furniture (I hope the wood comes from the Brazilian rainforest.) and every convenience that I can afford. I want copious amounts of meat with every meal. I want to consume massive amounts of electricity. To top it all off I want it cheap.

I like being middle class and there are a hell of a lot more people like me. Need more nukes? Cool. Need more off-shore drilling? Screw the seagulls, baby seals, and whales too! They should have been clubbed to death long ago anyway. Need to invade an oil rich, anti-American country and steal their bubbling crude? Awesome. How do I enlist?

Don't like it? Move to North Korea you damn communists. You hairshirt types are always talking about sacrifice. I love sacrifice, especially human sacrifice. Let's start with Al Gore.

Remember: First kill all the environmentalists.

Blaze said...

Revenant Said:
That's a silly argument. Obviously California will happily accept building new plants -- for which there are oodles of spare room, given how much empty desert we have -- if the alternative is going without power.


Ever heard of Rancho Seco? (Which the libs gleefully call Rancho Mistako). That was the last time they tried to happily build a new power plant that California desperately needed. California isn’t known for happily doing the right thing, even when its own people vote for it.

Roger J. said...

Fried Lice for president!!

Jaybo said...

Zachary Paul Sire said,

"Uh, no. Sorry everyone.

Drilling now will not do anything to lower prices significantly for at least 20 years. Show me any study or report that says otherwise. And this fluke of oil prices dropping this past week being related to some psychological effect of Bush's symbolic lifting of the executive ban? Oh...please."

How about taking the list of "idled oil wells" and putting them back into production immediately?

ftp://ftp.consrv.ca.gov/pub/oil/Idle_Well_Inventory/IdleWells2008.pdf

downtownlad said...

Oil dropped because we're now talking to Iran. That's pretty obvious to any serious observer of the oil market.

But if you only watch Fox News and read the Drudge Report, you'll believe whatever propaganda they feed you.

And never mind that I have FACTS to back up my statements - instead of mindless drivel from the wingnuts.

Just check www.intrade.com and their front page. Over the past week, the betting that Congress would drop its offshore drilling ban by year-end actually dropped over the past week. So there goes that wingnut theory.

But the chances that we were going to bomb Iran actually plummeted in the last couple of weeks. Which is obviously not good for high oil prices.

The Iraq War caused oil prices to climb more than 4-fold. Thanks Bush! An Iran war would do incredible harm to oil prices as well.

veni vidi vici said...

"somefeller,

I agree with you. the story that china is currently drilling off Florida looks bogus

I didnt look at your links but did some googling
sorry"

+1. I merely said it had been reported, with no claim as to accuracy. The story did sound prone to the "too good to be true" syndrome in service to moving the pro-drilling narrative.

Doesn't change the point of my earlier post, though, with which Somefeller's follow-on comments concerning the Russians in the Arctic appear to agree.

downtownlad said...

Yes, the oil issue is GREAT for Republicans. Why, Bush has done a WONDERFUL job on oil prices and we need McCain to stay the course.

I mean if Obama wins, pretty soon gasoline might go up to $1.75 a gallon. Maybe even $2.00 a gallon!!!!!

downtownlad said...

Yes, the oil issue is GREAT for Republicans. Why, Bush has done a WONDERFUL job on oil prices and we need McCain to stay the course.

I mean if Obama wins, pretty soon gasoline might go up to $1.75 a gallon. Maybe even $2.00 a gallon!!!!!

Original Mike said...

I am so tired of the willful obtuseness of the "drilling won't change prices now" and the "it won't provide oil for 10 years" robots.

Fine. For the sake of argument, let's stipulate that prices and supply now won't be affected. I hope to be here 10 years from now. I wish we'd drilled ANWR 10 years ago. As for prices, forget going down. Do you have a clue how much they'll go up if we don't go after more supply now? We need to do everything that's on the table, including get more oil.

It must take one hell of a lot of work to be so obtuse. If we could just bottle the energy of the "just say no" crowd, our energy problems would be solved.

Michael said...

Blogger Fried Lice said...

Remember: First kill all the environmentalists.


Remember kids, Environmentalists and baby seals make the best sulfur - free Diesel.

An knowing is half the battle!

Original Mike said...

MM asked: I see the word may in the headline. Does anyone else? I'd like to know more before moving forward.

Isn't the fight over whether we're even allowed to do the exploratory drilling necessary to answer your question?

Roger J. said...

Who knew that the democrats might try to exploit the run up in oil prices for political gain. I am shocked! I think, however, that the oil issue is going to bite them assuming the republicans and McCain can get their media act together. Given their ineptness and tin ears to date, I wouldn't be doing any futures trading.

Richard Dolan said...

"Oil thirst — will it transform the election?"

McCain thinks so. He has been hitting the theme hard, and not just on the need to seek additional domestic supplies of oil. Team O is having some difficulty, because they are (a) for trying to achieve an increased level of independence from foreign sources of oil; but (b) opposed to any new drilling domestically in the only places where new sources can be found. As for alternatives, Team O wants to talk about wind, biomass, etc., but not so much nuclear.

Those two don't go together any better than his strange take on the surge.

MadisonMan said...

Isn't the fight over whether we're even allowed to do the exploratory drilling necessary to answer your question?

I can't tell from reading the article. It seems to say that the Arctic is not very well mapped geologically, but I can't tell if that's via drilling or via other means of seismic/geologic mapping.

NoBorg said...

>>>As for alternatives, Team O wants to talk about wind, biomass, etc., but not so much nuclear. <<<

The public discussion on all of this stuff really baffles me. It's as if no one anywhere is aware of the absurdity of replacing any meaningful portion of our energy usage with any of these alternatives.

Average US electricity consumption is about 400 gigawatts. If you had 100% efficient solar cells, you would have to cover 1600 square kilometers with solar panels - and that's without getting involved with transmission losses and such. Not to mention that the best solar cells we have now can reach about 10% efficiency. The situation with wind, biomass, and all the other nonsense is even worse.

That is electricity consumption without even touching all the fossil fuels that are burnt at point of use - vehicles, steam boilers, etc.

Nuclear power is the only alternative that has any potential to replace a significant amount of current fossil fuel use. You can safely ignore anyone discussing anything else. They either don't know what they're talking about or are deliberately avoiding the issue.

The sooner everyone gets this into their heads the better.

Original Mike said...

MM: My reading of the article is that the USGS study seems to based on a guess based upon the geological formations in the area. To learn more, I think seismic studies have to be performed and then exploratory wells have to be drilled. More generally, it's my impression that we don't know how much is in ANWR or off our coasts because we're not allowed to drill exploratory wells.

Roger J. said...

Noborg brings up some excellent points--let me add some other perhaps not so excellent, but still relevant points. We live in the age of petroleum. And it isnt just the gas we put in our cars or heating oil tanks. Much of our physical infrastructure is based on petroleum and when you replace petroleum you have to retool a considerable portion of the physical plant.

Then there are the other industrial applications for use of petroleum that are probably invisible to many of us: textiles, plastics, and the like, and again, the underlying physical infrastructure on which those products are based.

It isnt as if we could simply pump water into our cars and they would run without modification--there are extensive infrastructure modifications that ripple up and down the line whose cost has to be factored in.

As to mass transit: compare the population densities of Europe with those of America, then tell me that improvements in mass transit; eg high speed rail between, say Lincoln Nebraska and Cheyenne Wyoming will produce any savings relative to the cost of running such lines. It works in Europe because of population density (and a lot of government subsidies).

This is not a simple problem, but the infrastructure issues that have to be solved still require that will drill now to make sure we can at some point transition to a new basis for our industrial plant.

NoBorg said...

Roger brings up good points, but even the infrastructure issues are minor in comparison to the energy scale issues. If we had a magic wand that could convert all the infrastructure immediately, and switch everything over to electricity, it would hardly help at all.

Let's assume you could completely get away from petroleum and coal consumption apart from a few comparatively minor applications like aviation fuel and chemical feedstocks. Now you're looking at US average energy demand as being more like 3-4 Terawatts or more - and alot higher at peak.

It isn't a matter of opinion, it's just physically impossible for any of the alternatives except nuclear to get anywhere near even 1% of that anytime soon.

Sorry to go on and on about this, but the way these issues are discussed in public is just insane to me. It's simply surreal that people are talking about reducing fossil fuel use with solar or wind power. It's a complete fantasy, and that can be easily verified by 5 minutes of napkin calculations.

Original Mike said...

Amen, NoBorg. Last week Al Gore called for the U.S. to get to zero carbon electricity generation within 10 years. Cluelessness of this magnitude just leaves me speechless.

Revenant said...

For a variety of technical reasons, wind/solar/hydro you name it is NEVER going to provide more than a few percent of our overall energy needs. Doesn't matter how you feel about it, it is simply physically impossible.

Wind, solar, and hydro already provide more than "a few percent" of United States electrical generation -- in total, they provide over 10%, with most of that coming from hydroelectric.

It is unlikely that solar will amount to much at the national level, though. Even at 100% efficiency it would take a 150ftx150ft solar panel to provide half of the average residence's power needs. At a more-realistic (but still ambitious) 30% it would take a 250ftx250ft solar panel, per household. Then there is all the commercial and industrial power...

It could work on the local level in some states, though, especially the sunny ones with lots of empty space (AZ, CA, NV, etc).

blake said...

Pop quiz for Rev--

California was already pretty severely threatened with no power in the Enron days. Rolling brownouts. Gray Davis recall. Governator elected.

How many power plants have been built in California since then?

blake said...

somefeller--

You don't understand.

It's DRAAAAIINAGE!

The Chinese are drinking our milkshakes!!

dreadnaught said...

We should not drill. We should never drill anywhere at any time. Think about the children.

Middle Class Guy said...

It it is true, start the drilling now!!!!!

NoBorg said...

Revenant -

My mistake to include hydro in that list - yes, hydro provides a very significant portion of electricity needs.

I don't think of hydro really as an "alternate" source because it is already utilized almost everywhere it can be. It is a wonderful energy source - clean and, much unlike wind or solar power, technically feasible at meaningful scale.

Unfortunately only certain sites are suitable for hydroelectric installations. You need about an 80-90 foot elevation change over a fairly short distance, and of course you have to create a huge lake.

I wonder if there are any good hydro sites left in the US that are left unexploited due to environmental concerns?

Original Mike said...

You'll never build a significant new hydro project in this country. Hell, the environs are pushing to tear down the ones we have.

blake said...

Yeah, I bet we could build more hydro, but it might take that '50s attitude of thinking that man shaping the environment is a good thing.

Remember that?

Me, neither.