Listening to your Representatives in Congress and the pro drilling and anti-drilling pundits can be very frustrating. I heard this morning on a news show from a Democratic “Strategist” on a major news show that we will now not benefit from drilling for twenty years. Tom Daschle said this morning on Fox News Sunday that we would have no oil until 2030. Is he is actually stating that it would take 22 years to find oil and drill for it? Just last week I was hearing ten years to bring oil to the pumps as gasoline. What changed in the last week? These sides all seem to feel that energy from renewable or from depleting resources is an all or nothing proposition.
Here are some basics to consider to ease the frustration:
- By 2030 the world’s energy consumption measured in BTU’s will be 146% of what it is today.
- 86 Billion Barrels of untapped oil appear to be under our feet on shore and under our continental shelf off shore.
- Our current annual imported oil consumption is about 7.6 Billion Barrels.
- We have a 49 year supply of natural gas under our feet on shore and under our continental shelf off shore.
- We have massive resources of coal, and if we can figure out how to use it cleanly, we are the most energy rich country, probably in the universe (a little exaggeration).
- Growing our energy, unless it is grown on land that can’t grow food very well, means that we have less land to grow food for the world’s population to eat.
- Growing both food and energy means that both food and energy are subject to weather shortfalls at harvest.
- Wind is more viable than solar currently. Today’s cost to establish a wind turbine is $2Million per Megawatt. Texas presently holds 27% of the nation’s 16,193 Megawatts of wind turbine capacity. Wind turbine is the more promising of the renewable energy sources in the near future.
- We currently send $500,000,000,000 ($500 Billion) annually to foreign economies for oil each year and this is expected to grow.
- The annual U.S. trade deficit has been reported as $856.7 Billion or 6.5% of the economy. This trade deficit is slowly sucking the life blood out of our nation. If we eliminated the $500 billion from the $856.7 Billion – math says that we have a trade deficit of $356.7 Billion. If we drill for and increase the export of natural gas (It can be liquified for transport), we can wipe out the remaining trade deficit with energy alone.
- As the world’s population grows, more food will be needed. More land will be needed to grow that food – probably arid land will have to be utilized.
- We will need more water for drinking, for irrigation, and to extract geo-thermal energy .
- To obtain this much water, we will have to start desalinizing ocean water – this will take an enormous amount of energy.
- The mere announcement that the U.S. was going to open up drilling for 86 Billion Barrels of oil, would drive a spike through the oil futures speculators. They are smart; they bet on the future of energy consumption against the future of oil availability; they would see the potential of 86 Billion Barrels coming on line; the futures speculation would dissipate and the price of oil would start a decline just on the announcement.
- The search for oil, both on shore and off shore, would bring jobs. The supply and support chain would require machinists, welders, and other skilled labor. These jobs would pay better than service work. These jobs would revive the Midwest and the Gulf States.
What if we actually elected some forward thinkers, for a change, and established a bipartisan plan to maximize energy production in this nation. We could use use royalties and tax incentives to balance the cost of the energy in an inverse relationship with how clean it is, how water intensive it is, and how much good growing land it uses. If we looked forward, and not with a myopic approach toward one type of energy, to develop every bit of energy we could, we could have a sound thriving economy, export energy to a world with a 146% energy hunger, and provide drinking water and irrigation to feed the world. This seems like a noble venture we could all get behind.
Why can’t we believe in and achieve “Having It All”? The Energy Information Administration Web Site is filled with information – check it out.