Sunday, October 5, 2008

Say no to the Petroleum Dream Team - Drilling is NOT the answer

With the Republican mantra of "drill, baby, drill" ringing in our ears, let's take a closer look at what that irresponsible response to our energy dependence will do to our nation and our children.

Many people opposing more drilling are concerned about global warming from the CO2 emissions, and destruction of naturalized areas to procure the oil. Beyond the environmental concerns, the ability of future generations of Americans to enjoy a modern lifestyle throughout the 21st century and beyond. (A good read on this is Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution - And How it Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman or for those Netflix users the DVD Crude Intentions

Alaskan oil will take several years to get it into the system and once it is online, we'll suck it dry in 4 months at the current rate we are consuming. Drilling is just a political distraction from the real solution, which is an ugly truth. We have to cut consumption.

The 2007 Annual Energy Outlook reports that production of offshore drilling would not start before 2017, but projects that access to Outer Continental Shelf will increase the lower-48 offshore crude oil production by only 200,000 barrels per day - a mere of the 21 million barrels of oil a day, a mere 9.5% of our consumption for a period of just 4 months.

A NY Times article states the following: "… The biggest problem is that much of the coastal United States, subject to a drilling ban since the early 1980s, has not been thoroughly explored for oil. Neither the industry nor the government has any definitive idea how much could be recovered. In order to hazard a guess for some areas of the Eastern Seaboard, the government has had to inspect geological maps from Morocco, which was connected to North America more than 100 million years ago…"

Congress has recently lifted the moratorium on offshore drilling. But,it currently costs $60,000 per day to rent an oil exploration platform IF you can find one that isn't already committed. In most instances the platforms are reserved for more than 10 years out.

New drilling to solve today's energy problems fits the neoclassic definition of insanity. You keep doing the same thing and expect different results. The US consumes a quarter of the world's oil but owns only 3 percent of conventional world reserves. How much oil do we want to leave for future generations so they too can paint their homes, pave their roads with asphalt, make their medicines, drink from plastic bottles, wear rubber-soled sneakers, brush their teeth and enjoy multiple other applications of petroleum?

U.S. population is projected to grow by 60 million people in the next 30 years. Assuming that by 2030 we succeed in eliminating the need for oil in the ground transportation sector, enabling vehicles to run on alternative fuels and electricity, we will still need every single year, for other purposes, an amount of oil equivalent to more than 5 percent of all the technically recoverable oil contained in ANWR and offshore combined.

Something we could do right now to decrease our transportation fuel use by 7% is passing a national speed limit. That's right, a national speed limit at 55mph would put 7% or even MORE fuel back into the system.

Here is a very interesting article on drilling in ANWR and some other concerns realted to opening drilling up there

Say no to the Petroleum Dream Team

Germany is rapidly approaching 22% energy production through renewables. Most of that from solar. Yes, Germany, a country not particularly well noted for its sunny climate. The United States, on the other hand, has not attained even 1% production from renewable energy technologies.

The US is a much larger country with many more complexities and the world's largest consumer of fossil fuels. We consume about 25% of the world's oil (21 million barrels of oil a day) with a fraction of the world's population. The point, however, is that the rest of the developed world is seriously looking to the future. While the rest of the world moves on, we in the US set here debating whether or not global warming is real while hopelessly clinging to the power sources from a bygone industrial age.

The world is moving to renewable energy with or without us. I hope we do not miss the boat. The opportunities for the country that takes the lead in renewable energy research and development will be the wealthiest most powerful nation on earth. I hope that nation is the US but we are going to have to move and move fast because the boat has already left the port.

recent report showed that investment in a clean and efficient economy would "lead to over 3 million new green-collar jobs, stimulate $1.4 trillion in new GDP, add billions in personal income and retail sales, produce $284 billion in net energy savings, all while generating sufficient returns to the U.S. treasury to pay for itself over ten years."

There is so much information on the web about this issue. My main point is DRILLING IS NOT THE ANSWER. We need a sustainable solution for America's oil addiction. You can take small steps on your own to reduce your own use, but with this thirsty country sucking down 2 million barrels a day, the change needs to come from the top. Vote for the candidate who has an energy plan

More references:

America needs you - Vote November 4th

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