Republicans won’t cooperate with democrats to get any innovative energy legislation or programs passed unless they are able to drill the hell out of our coastline. Which, really when you have contemplated the graphs below is insanely stupid. Look at these for a second:
The US peaked in oil production in the 1970’s.
We have since exhausted 75% of all the known oil reserves in the US, and we are now on our way to consuming the remaining 25%.
The US peaked in natural gas production in 1973, and in order to keep gas production steady in the US, we have had to drill thousands more wells every year.
The heart of the matter: We have very little remaining oil and gas reserves. Next graph:
Again from Architecture2030:
“According to the US Energy Information Administration, oil production from drilling offshore in the outer continental shelf wouldn’t begin until around the year 2017. Once begun, it wouldn’t reach peak production until about 2030 when it would produce only 200,000 barrels of oil per day (in yellow above). This would supply a meager 1.2% of total US annual oil consumption (just 0.6% of total US energy consumption). And, the offshore oil would be sold back to the US at the international rate, which today is $106 a barrel. So, the oil produced by offshore drilling would not only be a “drop in the bucket”, it would be expensive, which translates to “no relief at the pump”.
All those Republicans, John McCain included are beefing up their political slogans, “Drill, Baby, Drill!” They shout. So, really? You’re gonna block passing renewable energy legislation so your money-lined backers can have a small chunk more of a non-renewable resource to sell into our energy infrastructure? And, a woefully inexperienced woman on the ticket (a simple heartbeat from the presidency who believes Jesus was walking around with dinosaurs) wants to drill even more in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge?
Now, what we really should be doing is taxing the hell out of gasoline like the Danes did in response to the last world oil shock.
Back in 1974, when OPEC decided it would be beneficial to place an embargo on all the countries of the world who recognized Israel, the price of oil quadrupled. The price of oil jettisoned from $3 a barrel to $12 a barrel in one year, creating huge fuel shortages. The Nixon administration even coined a campy slogan to urge more conservation: “Don’t be Fuelish”. Speed limits were reduced to 55 mph across the country. The problem was even serious enough to curb the long heralded: “24 hours of NASCAR”.
Carter drafted some groundbreaking renewable energy legislation and set goals to ensure our independence from foreign oil. Hell, he even installed solar panels on top of the White House.
But alas, Reagan, in addition to tearing down walls separating Germans from each other, also tore down Carter’s solar panels and strident goals from the White House. He ensured oil prices stabilized by exchanging weapons for more oil from countries which continue to hate us (By the way, Germany now has the most solar installed per capita in the world.)
Back to those Danish. What did they do? That’s right, they taxed the hell out of gasoline after the OPEC embargo. “That’s crazy talk!”, you might think. They used proceeds from the additional fuel surcharges to spur on innovation and development of their clean, renewable energy technology. Danish legislators were able to do this because they were not beholden to wealthy oil companies and their lobbyist’s vice grip on their capitol. That was over 25 years ago. Now, they are 100% energy self-reliant and do not need to import any oil or gas from anywhere. Denmark gets over 20% of its energy from wind. The United States, 1%. Oh, and they’re unemployment rate there? Yeah, 1.6%. They are the leading exporter of clean energy technology in the world.
Please wake up from your slumber America. I’m doing all I can do give you a big nudge.