sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, November 12, 2012

US Oil Independence?

Elections have consequences

Good News

According to a report from the International Energy Agency (Paris), the United States will become the world's largest oil producer by around 2020, temporarily overtaking Saudi Arabia, as new exploration technologies help find more resources. (Fox News/AP)

Bad News

While it may seem to be good news on its face, most of the oil shale (cited by the IEA as the prime source for increased domestic production by the US) rests on government land where the Obama Administration has refused to allow leases for oil extraction.

There is also the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which essentially floats on a sea of light sweet crude oil. Environmentally safe drilling there could also boost the US into a position to be an oil exporter by 2020, but there has been NO indication that USGOV has any intention of doing that.

So what do we make from the IEA report, issued today?
It's significant in that there is a potential for the US to be energy independent in eight years. However, that would require government interest.
Arizona Initiative

Proposition 120, a ballot initiative in Arizona aimed at claiming state control of federally managed public lands in the state failed at the polls last week, as voters rejected the amendment to the Arizona Constitution that would have declared the state’s sovereign and exclusive authority and jurisdiction over the air, water, public lands, minerals, wildlife and other natural resources within the state’s boundaries. Opponents of the proposition spun the initiative as a "Grand Canyon Take-Over", but that wouldn't have been the principal move that Arizona wanted to make. The liberal press attacked it on the basis of national parks - but nobody spoke much about the development of oil resources. ...shocking.

While some consider it an expensive move for the State of Arizona, it may be the way forward for US States in the area of both oil and uranium resource development. Once the land is in the hands of the states, it is they who would decide whether to lease or not lease. 

Environmental Protection Agency

New EPA rules might trump the states, interested in developing oil resources as they become more draconian. For example, the EPA is in the process of retiring 27 gigawats of coal-fired capacity over the next five years. (US Energy Information Administration) The hardest hit states will be in the Mid-Atlantic Region to include Pennsylvania and Ohio. Maybe voters didn't read the fine print before they pushed for four more years of an Obama Administration? Or maybe they feel that they would be better served with higher prices, buying energy from other states? I don't live in Mid-Atlantic nor do I plan to relocate there, so I have no personal stake in the outcome, but elections do have consequences.

The cost of compliance with anticipated and existing Federal environmental regulations such as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) will force most coal-fired generation off the grid by 2015. The EPA wants them to be replaced by wind energy (wind turbines only generate electricity when the wind blows).


6 comments:

  1. Well, the oil will still be there for us someday, when we are more desperate than we are today. Unless some neighbor steals it by drilling horizontally.

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    1. We have the largest proven reserves of coal in the world and (if you count oil shale/sand) and lump in the Canadians, the largest oil reserves in the world. However, we still must import and be held hostage by the sheiks in the Middle East.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. Good to be back. There was a whopping huge earthquake where I was - and I chalked it up to the national election in the US - Geo. Washington rolling over in his grave or some such.

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  3. The usual; things are turning to crap and the government is telling us how great things are.

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    1. WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (Orwell)

      I also think that Orwell saw Debbie Wasserman (DNC Chair) in his crystal ball: "It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."

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