How did our oil get under their sand?

How did our oil get under their sand?

This is a discussion on How did our oil get under their sand? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Interesting read. msnbc.com - How did our oil get under their sand?...

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    How did our oil get under their sand?



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    Interesting, how; this is purile writing by a budding or maybe fully fledged communist. My guess is this thread won't last.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    Naive, simplistic, and uber-liberal as expected of MSNBC. A High-School Freshman could do better. Daniel Yergin is highly recommended as well as numerous others, but MSNBC, no. Another is here: Amazon.com: Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union (9780871136336): Peter Schweizer: Books

    I forgot ignorant.

    My bottom line is to get Washington out of all industries, and let the marketplace do its job. Libertarian.
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    I watch him most afternoons. Often agree, often find him irritating if not irrational. Being an old dude, I remember well the Arab oil embargoes and oil shocks of 1973 and 1978. We have as a nation done almost nothing to solve the big problem during the past 40 years-- and that is the result of exactly what Ratigan was talking about. We just keep rolling it down the road of history.

    And I'll disagree with R&G on this notion that "free markets" will some how solve our
    oil (energy) problems. The idea doesn't hold up to scrutiny, which is why we have oil issues and have had them for 40 years. When a commodity is controlled by international cartels there isn't a free market. When huge amounts of money need to be thrown onto R&D for alternatives, there is no free market within the existing industry willing to spend the money.

    On energy the only voice I hear that makes sense is B. Pickens, who basically proposes a mandated conversion to domestic natural gas to create a bridge for 20-30 years during which we gradually develop increased electricity resources, distribution and storage mechanism, electric and natural gas powered vehicles.

    He basically argues that we could and should stop shipping hundreds of billions of dollars a year out of the country for the purchase of energy and retain that wealth domestically. Of course he isn't unbiased. He owns much of the natural gas resources and land on which wind turbines could be built. But at least he wants to get off the X. No one else wants to do much of anything but live in a fantasy world ---which now includes the fantasy notion that Libya will solve our problem. I'd happily watch Pickens and co. become the worlds first trillionaire if we would actually get off the spot we've been on for 40 years; and standing still is getting us killed.
    Last edited by Hopyard; October 29th, 2011 at 01:50 PM.
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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    On energy the only voice I hear that makes sense is B. Pickens, who basically proposes a mandated conversion to domestic natural gas to create a bridge for 20-30 years during which we gradually develop increased electricity resources, distribution and storage mechanism, electric and natural gas powered vehicles.

    He basically argues that we could and should stop shipping hundreds of billions of dollars a year out of the country for the purchase of energy and retain that wealth domestically. Of course he isn't unbiased. He owns much of the natural gas resources and land on which wind turbines could be built. But at least he wants to get off the X. No one else wants to do much of anything but live in a fantasy world ---which now includes the fantasy notion that Libya will solve our problem. I'd happily watch Pickens and co. become the worlds first trillionaire if we would actually get off the spot we've been on for 40 years; and standing still is getting us killed.
    Seriously, who are you and what have you done with Hopyard; this is the second time in as many weeks we agree.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    OPEC has and does control pricing, and I agree that as we known free markets do not exist for that reason. Pickens has a valid point, but who will chose the "winning" alternative? I sure don't want some dimwit in DC doing it. Investment capital will flow to the highest risk-adjusted returns available but we most take all incentives out of the equation to create a level playing field.

    The shale oil and gas areas in the USA are projected to be huge - let's let the industry make the investments and reap the rewards without interference from DC or state capitols and we might well find that oil and gas are truly commodities subject to commodity pricing in a competitive market.

    Pickens is a bright fella too - and always has some novel ideas, but he often is at the teat of government spending, which is pretty natural too, all things considered. If available, why not?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    OPEC has and does control pricing, and I agree that as we known free markets do not exist for that reason. Pickens has a valid point, but who will chose the "winning" alternative? I sure don't want some dimwit in DC doing it.
    The long term winner has to be something other than fossil fuel. That is inevitable.

    Long term scarcity, increased cost of recovery, make this a loser in the long run without any consideration even of environmental factors.

    Yet, the present energy industry is not going to invest in competitive sources because to do so would make no sense when in a free market world the last barrel will cost every dollar available in the whole world.

    We know where we need to go. We have known that for 40 years. We need to do it. We don't. Call us stupid, because that's the word which applies. And our stubborn stupidity on this issue is a large part of our lost wealth/employment. You can't send hundred of billions out of the country every year, year after year, without consequences.

    I personally buy 50% of my electric power from wind. I could probably manage 98% of my driving needs with a Leaf and 99% with a Volt. A dual fuel LP/liquid gas
    pickup truck could take care of the remaining needs and with rare exceptions in my household LP would get it done. This dual fuel technology exists and is widely used throughout many parts of the world. It is even technically possible to do the change on your own --though EPA issues prevent the marketing of such kits.

    We have the answers, but we don't as a society push them-- and that is why we need DC, and not the other way around. Get big oil out of DC and then some of these real options will start to happen.

    Pickens (though I detest much of his politics) is precisely correct on this matter.

    Google, "Pickens Plan."
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    The long term winner has to be something other than fossil fuel. That is inevitable.
    Agreed


    term scarcity, increased cost of recovery, make this a loser in the long run without any consideration even of environmental factors.
    Agreed


    the present energy industry is not going to invest in competitive sources because to do so would make no sense when in a free market world the last barrel will cost every dollar available in the whole world.
    They will invest in alternatives when the marketplace provides new and or different investment alternatives that provide competitive rates of risk adjusted rates of return.


    The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ― The Journals of Kierkegaard

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    The long term winner has to be something other than fossil fuel. That is inevitable.


    I personally buy 50% of my electric power from wind. I could probably manage 98% of my driving needs with a Leaf and 99% with a Volt. A dual fuel LP/liquid gas
    pickup truck could take care of the remaining needs and with rare exceptions in my household LP would get it done.
    At this point my issues with electric cars is twofold. First, the majority of electricity in the US is generated by fossil fuel so the use of electric autos has little impact from an environmental standpoint. Second our electric infrastructure, aka the grid, is often inadaquate for existing demands, as more electric cars come on line there will be a greater strain on the infrastructure coupled with an increase in per KW electric costs, simple supply and demand. And I guess we can not overlook the environmental issues of the batteries but, that is a separate discussion.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    At this point my issues with electric cars is twofold. First, the majority of electricity in the US is generated by fossil fuel so the use of electric autos has little impact from an environmental standpoint. Second our electric infrastructure, aka the grid, is often inadaquate for existing demands, as more electric cars come on line there will be a greater strain on the infrastructure coupled with an increase in per KW electric costs, simple supply and demand. And I guess we can not overlook the environmental issues of the batteries but, that is a separate discussion.
    Which is why I sort of like the Picken's Plan though I disagree with him on many other matters. He is saying that we can't jump immediately to electric but that we can almost immediately switch to LP because gas is abundant (and he'd make a killing) and the technology for gas fueled and dual fueled vehicles exists. He advocates that 18 wheelers built in the future must be gas operated instead of diesel. His position is that making the change to gas will buy us 20-30 years to develop electric generation capacity, transmission capacity, and advanced electricity storage technology. I agree with him, except that I don't think Congress or the public has the attention span needed to start his program and stick with it. Look what happened with shale oil projects started by Carter and killed by Reagan? Our own schizophrenic dysfunctional political system is what is doing us in because we can not do long term planning and long term anything. No matter what is instituted, the out party will bash it to death and kill it as soon as the next election season arrives.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
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    Oh boy - you guys got me fired up. I spent a good chunk of my early career in the commercial electricity generation industry, and I've stayed close to the field in spite of moving over to aerospace.

    No question that our nation is too dependent on fossil fuels, but that's a multi-faceted issue. Go back 120 years and look at how the nation's economy was steered by Rockefeller and Carnegie and a few others, to be followed by Ford and the auto industry, all centered around the production, refining and distribution of gasoline and oil fuels. Petroleum in all its forms and locations is near the center of our economy.

    A few things worth noting: Carter declared "the moral equivalent of war" on the US dependence on foreign oil, then single-handedly (by Executive Order) crippled the commercial nuclear generating industry by ending the government monopoly on spent fuel reprocessing (previously made illegal for private industry to do so). Then he created the Dept of Energy which in 40 years has done little more than sponsor a few research projects, costing us tens of billions in the meantime with nothing to show for it.

    No President or Congress since WWII has established a unified, consistent energy policy that lasted longer then one budget cycle. Extremely short-sighted. Probably the last multi-generational energy project was the TVA.

    Shale oil recovery was messed around with by several Presidential administrations, but the killer was economics, not politics. Shale oil required unconventional harvesting techniques, you don't just run a straw into the ground and sip as they did in Texas and Oklahoma for 70 years. With offshore oil and imported oil going for under $19 a barrel, spending $30 a barrel for shale oil wasn't worth it. At today's prices over $90 a barrel, it's worth it.

    Known deposits of oil in North America are enormous - arguably greater in volume than all the oil already removed from the Earth to date. Getting to it (North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba, Saskatchewan) is under way but there is no existing infrastructure to move all that oil in volumes. No rails or pipelines yet; it all moves by truck, expensive and inefficient. Some quantity of natural gas will come from there, but not a lot. Also, there is some legitimate questioning of the "fracking" process and its environmental effects, but the loudest voices on this issue are the same as those protesting drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

    Probably the one factor most responsible for $3.90/gallon gas right now is not the supply of crude oil so much as limited refining capacity. The major refiners have not built any new refineries in probably 20+ years and have only managed to increase output by modest growth and more efficient operations at existing plants. No one wants expensive gas, but no one wants a refinery in their back yard, either.

    Hydroelectric power is largely tapped out in the US. Solar power is growing but is realistically only useful in the Southwest and will not amount to more than a few percent of domestic power production. Wind power is also limited by geograph, and neither wind nor solar power are "dense" enough, requiring too much land area per generated kWh to compete with centralized generation stations. Total predicted capacity from wind power is probably less than solar.

    Nuclear power is a great option, but is politically unpopular due to lingering "China syndrome" myths, and preventable/foreseeable mishaps at Cherbobyl and recently in Japan. Note that no one died at Three Mile Island (in spite of operators exacerbating the problem by manually overriding three layers of automatic safeties). Yes, I'm a fan. Nuclear waste disposal is a political problem, not a technical one.

    If I were made king, my energy priority would be to create a national energy roadmap for the next 50 years, and allow the roadmap to be changed no more frequently than every 5-10 years so as to decouple it from Presidential election cycles. Clip the EPA's wings with respect to energy harvesting and generation so they act as an industry watchdog, not a Presidential lap dog. View North American oil reserves as a means to cover the transition away from heavy reliance on petroleum for transportation and energy generation. Possibly add a rising-rate tarriff on the importation of foreign oil, but not natural gas (we have far more domestic oil than gas). Possibly retain the Dept of Energy, but get them back on the train of acting in concert with private industry to develop useful fusion power, and get back in the business of reprocessing spent fuel (which is currently at great security risk in storage at 104 nuclear power plants than it was at two government reprocessing plants). Revisit government regulatory roadblocks which inhibit adding refining capacity. My energy advisory panel would include people from all facets of energy generation, from drilling and mining to refining and power generation and distribution, and would be matrixed to include scientists and engineers as well as business people.

    We can fret all we want about trillion-dollar debt from questionable healthcare policies and so-called stimulus packages, but if we don't pull our heads out of the sand and look ahead to the future of energy production, those costs on our children's children may be vastly greater.
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    gasmitty wrote: "Carter declared "the moral equivalent of war" on the US dependence on foreign oil, then single-handedly (by Executive Order) crippled the commercial nuclear generating industry by ending the government monopoly on spent fuel reprocessing (previously made illegal for private industry to do so). "

    Could you elaborate on this a bit? It sounds like you are saying that turning something like spent fuel reprocessing to the private sector was a mistake. If so, some of the "private industry can always do it better" folks need to hear about the details of how and why this wasn't true in this instance.

    And of course, " G," you hit the nail on the head with this: "No President or Congress since WWII has established a unified, consistent energy policy that lasted longer then one budget cycle. Extremely short-sighted. Probably the last multi-generational energy project was the TVA."

    And with this, "If I were made king, my energy priority would be to create a national energy roadmap for the next 50 years, and allow the roadmap to be changed no more frequently than every 5-10 years so as to decouple it from Presidential election cycles."

    It is the lack of long range projects decoupled from political wind storms which has been doing us in.
    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Oh boy - you guys got me fired up.
    Like a coal fired power plant? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Probably the one factor most responsible for $3.90/gallon gas right now is not the supply of crude oil so much as limited refining capacity. The major refiners have not built any new refineries in probably 20+ years and have only managed to increase output by modest growth and more efficient operations at existing plants. No one wants expensive gas, but no one wants a refinery in their back yard, either.
    And then there is the closing of existing facilities for instance: Sunoco to sell or close Marcus Hook refinery

    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post


    Hydroelectric power is largely tapped out in the US. Solar power is growing but is realistically only useful in the Southwest and will not amount to more than a few percent of domestic power production. Wind power is also limited by geograph, and neither wind nor solar power are "dense" enough, requiring too much land area per generated kWh to compete with centralized generation stations. Total predicted capacity from wind power is probably less than solar.
    But we are reducing hyro-electric capacity: Dam Blown up in Washington


    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post

    Nuclear power is a great option, but is politically unpopular due to lingering "China syndrome" myths, and preventable/foreseeable mishaps at Cherbobyl and recently in Japan. Note that no one died at Three Mile Island (in spite of operators exacerbating the problem by manually overriding three layers of automatic safeties). Yes, I'm a fan. Nuclear waste disposal is a political problem, not a technical one.
    True, people get howling mad about nukes.


    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    If I were made king, my energy priority would be to create a national energy roadmap for the next 50 years, and allow the roadmap to be changed no more frequently than every 5-10 years so as to decouple it from Presidential election cycles. Clip the EPA's wings with respect to energy harvesting and generation so they act as an industry watchdog, not a Presidential lap dog. View North American oil reserves as a means to cover the transition away from heavy reliance on petroleum for transportation and energy generation. Possibly add a rising-rate tarriff on the importation of foreign oil, but not natural gas (we have far more domestic oil than gas). Possibly retain the Dept of Energy, but get them back on the train of acting in concert with private industry to develop useful fusion power, and get back in the business of reprocessing spent fuel (which is currently at great security risk in storage at 104 nuclear power plants than it was at two government reprocessing plants). Revisit government regulatory roadblocks which inhibit adding refining capacity. My energy advisory panel would include people from all facets of energy generation, from drilling and mining to refining and power generation and distribution, and would be matrixed to include scientists and engineers as well as business people.

    We can fret all we want about trillion-dollar debt from questionable healthcare policies and so-called stimulus packages, but if we don't pull our heads out of the sand and look ahead to the future of energy production, those costs on our children's children may be vastly greater.
    Long Live King Gasmitty!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    gasmitty wrote: "Carter declared "the moral equivalent of war" on the US dependence on foreign oil, then single-handedly (by Executive Order) crippled the commercial nuclear generating industry by ending the government monopoly on spent fuel reprocessing (previously made illegal for private industry to do so). "

    Could you elaborate on this a bit? It sounds like you are saying that turning something like spent fuel reprocessing to the private sector was a mistake. If so, some of the "private industry can always do it better" folks need to hear about the details of how and why this wasn't true in this instance.
    I may have sacrificed clarity for brevity.

    Long before Carter, can't say when, the US government took over the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuke plants. Not a bad idea, since we were already in the same business for the sake of nuclear weapons. Spent nuclear fuel isn't "empty" like a gas tank, there is residual plutonium which is below a fissionable concentration level. The reprocessing recovers the useful plutonium which is then available for manufacturing "new"fuel. There were 2 reprocessing plants, one at Oak Ridge, TN and the other at West Valley, NY. The latter was government owned by operated by a contractor. The power industry liked it because their fuel was reprocessed pretty much at cost, way cheaper than they could do it themselves if allowed to.

    During the Carter regime, there were some contractor screwups at the West Valley plant which had to do with serious Health Physics (radiation safety) issues. Strict procedures for handling wastes were not followed, and things like a whole truck being buried in the on-site waste pit/lagoon were allowed to happen. Around the same time the Iranian hostage crisis and the Black Friday gang gave rise to concerns about international terrorism, so out of a professed concern for the secure handling of fissionable material (plutonium), Carter threw the baby out with the bath water and declared a halt to reprocessing any commerical fuels. Overnight the nuke industry was faced with a problem of how to store spent fuel, so the industry got busy and came up with high-density storage solutions which still kept fuel well below critical concentrations.

    Carter's edict was followed by the over-hyped TMI scare, then Washington State had an enormous financial scandal around a dozen nukes contracted to be built. In sum, these put an end to the commercial nuclear generating industry in the US. Meanwhile, France, Germany and other forged ahead and built nukes, some even without containment buildings around the reactors! Our 40-year design life plants are now slowly coming off the grid, to be replaced by fossil-fueled plants... a bad trade, in my estimation.

    What had been a harmonious partnership between industry and the government was unilaterally tossed aside but one man - ironically trained at Annapolis by your tax dollars and mine as a - get this - nuclear engineer.
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    Thanks for the clarification. I sort of liked the concept of using that spent fuel in breeder reactors. I know. Plutonium!! But I still liked the concept.
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    If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
    Andrew Jackson

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