And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(g)Oil of My Dreams

The usual Green House Gas Emitters are at it again. They're contributing to global warming by venting off the the traditional thoughts that we need to drill in ANWR to reduce our dependance on foreign energy producers. All while talking out of the other sides of their mouths digestive tracts.

Oil is sold on a global market. Domestic production can not adjust prices. Domestic production, even at the optimistic end, will not provide all our energy needs. Domestic production is only useful to the energy companies because 1) they own the land, 2) they own the wells, 3) they own the transportation, 4) all the profits will stay within one corporate umbrella. So what does drilling in ANWR get us? At best it's a way to keep Alaska from having to start an income tax. It's also a way for the big oil companies to lose money. They know all those profit statements 1) attract the attentions of a revenue hungry government, 2) look bad for publicity and 3) won't last for long (as in decades). Drilling in ANWR, which the oil companies rejected only 30 years ago (yes there were test wells dug, same as Prudhoe Bay, PB had more oil), is a way to increase expenses for a few years, and then control the profit train for another few years (hint, ANWAR is big now because PB is becoming a dry hole and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is having structural failures).

Back in the beginning of the Bush Administration the President ordered the repurchase of deep-water oil leases from the West Coast of Florida because it would help his brother who was facing a re-election amid speculation that the oil companies were going to start drilling in the Gulf. It was possible that you might see the oil rigs from just off shore (which you wouldn't as the military controls a great deal of that water for training purposes). However, it is estimated (on the low end for Florida and the high end for ANWR) that those oil reserves in the Gulf are ten times those untapped along the whole North Slope (which included ANWR). Deep water drilling is proven technology, ANWR would require some new innovations. The Gulf wells could be tapped and producing within five years (mostly construction time), ANWR would be at least ten years. And yet all the talk is about ANWR. All that talk is bull.

We don't get much of our oil from the Middle East. In fact, the majority of our (US)imported oil comes from Canada. Then Mexico. Next up is Venezuela. After them is conglomeration of African West Coast nations. Only then do we get some oil from the Middle East.

Then there is the issue of transportation. Alaska oil has to travel through a pipeline across Alaska (one of our bigger states), then be shipped down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal, back up the Gulf Coast to the Southern US to be refined (okay, there are some refineries on the West Coast, but not many). Gulf oil is shipped to shore to be refined. Which sounds safer to you?

So, Senators, Congresspeoples, and the general flapping lip class, you want to actually do something about decreasing our reliance on foreign oil? Then increase CAFE Standards to a point greater than what I already get with the car I bought 3 years ago. Stop filling the Strategic Reserve (70,000 barrels a day, 97% filled) until oil prices go lower. Buy low sell high (dimwits), oil is selling for record prices. Increase spending on renewable resources and shift the tax breaks from big oil to renewables (yes, they have some, but big oil gets the lion's share). Cut off corn seed ethanol funding and go for cellulose (the non-food part) production (and other plants that can be used). And drill in the Gulf, off the west coast of Florida. If all you're talking about is ANWR you should be physically labeled (I'd go for the forehead tattoo) the idiots you are. Do all of the other things above, and I'll consider changing my stance on ANWR. edit Only talk about ANWR and you just obeying the oil companies bidding and doing absolutely nothing to help out.

Oh, and while we're at it, take the damn natural gas pipe line from Prudhoe Bay north over to the already existing Canadian pipeline to ship to Chicago (which just typing that is a Felony, bite me Congress). We wouldn't need any price guarantees or billions in government expense to build our own pipeline.


Anonymous said...

Dude, you make way too much sense. Besides, if they stop doing things the way they are now they would have to concede US petrodollar hegemony. And, even though we're trending toward that end anyway, they won't willingly walk that path.

Steve Buchheit said...

Matt, yeah, I have a problem with making too much sense (sometimes). :)

Iran is now selling oil in Euros and Yuan. Most people don't understand that the week dollar is what's killing us with the price of oil (it's not supply, seen any gas stations have to shut down with signs, "Out of Gas" in the windows like back in the 70s, not me). But once oil is no longer sold in dollars, like you said, the US hegemony in oil is over.