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Posts Tagged ‘solar’


Well the title is misleading because we don’t have an official energy policy and have not had anything resembling an energy policy since World War II.  We do have a shadow energy policy that inhibits and/or blocks drilling for oil, drilling for natural gas, mining coal, and the building of nuclear power plants.

The green and environmental movements, now augmented with the global warming crowd, all essentially preach for us to switch to enormously expensive solar and wind.  Solar and wind have zero chance of fulfilling 100% of this nation’s energy needs.  We would be lucky to get 40% of our energy needs from wind and solar in ten years, even if we went all in tomorrow.  The wind and solar infrastructure would have to be incredibly massive covering a state or two for us to eventually reach 100% of our needs.  An additional downside is that we would have to use important farmland, now used for growing food, for this energy production.

World Oil reported in 2006 that the United States has over 1,124 Billion Barrels (1,124,000,000,000) of oil undeveloped and oil in place combined.  For those of you who like big numbers this is more than one trillion.  Currently we use 18,690,000 barrels per day.  This equates to a 165 year supply domestically, without importing one drop.  How about we begin drilling everywhere?

Natural gas is another issue.  In a 2007 report by the Colorado School of Mines this headline appeared
It further stated in the report that
 “When the PGC’s results are combined with the U.S. Department of Energy’s latest available determination of proved gas reserves, 238 Tcf as of year-end 2007, the United States has a total available future supplyof 2,074 Tcf, an increase of 542 Tcf over the previous evaluation.”

What does this mean?  This is just about a 111 year supply of natural gas without importing one cubic foot.

Let’s talk nuclear energy.  We need to talk softly because the naysayers will point to a five hundred year tsunami that severely damaged the external pumping infrastructure of four Japanese nuclear plants of a forty year old design.  They will fear monger about the risk of nuclear power generation – the cleanest form of energy production on the planet.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) simply does not approve totally new licenses and has approved a few for development on existing nuclear plant campuses.  Even when they approved them, the environmental movement uses every possible means to stall the building of a plant with EPA complaints and challenges in court.  You can inscribe the names of the nuclear plants completed and put on line in this country since Three Mile Island, which killed no one, on the head of a pin.  How about we begin drilling everywhere?

If we were smart we would have the NRC approve one state of the art design for an underground nuclear plant that would have to be placed far enough from the oceans and fault lines for safety and have Congress, by law, grant that design to be free from NRC review and authorize this design as an exception to all EPA and other environmental challenges.  This would fast track the building of the 200 new plants needed in this country.

This sounds like an energy policy to me. 

 
 
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Today this country consumes about 20,000,000 barrels of oil daily or 7.3 billion barrels of oil annually. We import about half that – 9.9 million barrels per day or 3.6 billion barrels annually. A Bureau of Land Management Study, incorporating data from the Energy Information Administration, The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Minerals Management Service, The Study , indicates that this country has undiscovered oil resources of 139 billion barrels of which 86 billion barrels are offshore under the outer continental shelf.

Today this country consumes 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas of which 19 trillion cubic feet is produced domestically and 3 trillion cubic feet is imported. This Nation’s onshore and offshore undiscovered natural gas resources total 1,056 trillion cubic feet. The study states that the United States has a 49 year supply of natural gas. (Yes I know that the math indicates 48 years – must be rounding.)

If Congress stopped listening to the special interests including the environmentalists, this country could be self sustaining for oil for 19 years after pumps are pumping and for natural gas for 49 years at present rates of consumption, longer for both as we phase in renewable energy. This equates to a trade balance savings of $9.2 trillion at today’s prices and consumption sent to foreign powers, in oil alone. Just think how this change in our trade balance would improve our economy and our standard of living.

If you are still not convinced, then consider that an extrapolated world energy consumption is 478.9 quadrillion BTU’s in 2008. The projected world energy consumption in 2030 is 701.6 quadrillion BTU’s. In 22 years the world’s annual energy consumption will be 146.5% of what it is today.  What will that do to energy prices?

Planned correctly, we can sustain our energy needs for that period, move to natural gas over oil, and develop the much needed renewable energy production capabilities for the second half of the 21st century. Could these worldwide supply and demand numbers be driving up the cost of oil in speculation markets? Yes! Just how dumb are we? We will not drill in all Federal lands and off the California and Florida shores. The Middle Atlantic coast alone has vast natural gas resources, these can be tapped as well.

As late as last week, Congress was scrambling to declare more land to be off limits to protect the scenic beauty of this nation, while we are in an energy struggle with the world. We do not have a national security based energy plan and have not had one, period. Our Presidents and our Congresses have not seen fit to ensure that the lifeblood of this nation’s production capability and our survival is planned and secure. President Bush wants a legacy, well how about leaving us with a sound comprehensive national security based energy plan. We have Congresspersons and Senators, who refuse to open up drilling and recklessly are spouting how we will power this nation with wind and solar, and they do not have a clue, otherwise, they would be preparing this energy plan and utilizing our existing natural resources to protect our economy.

The following charts are from the Energy Information Administration and they project the source of energy used by this nation till 2030. This chart assumes that the Florida and California continental shelves remain off limits as is drilling on much Federal land, such as ANWR. Note the size of the contribution of renewable energy to the matrix.

Energy Production by Fuel

The second chart indicates what our shortfall of consumption will be, if we do not move to full utilization of our domestic energy reserves – that is a 40 quadrillion shortfall.

Total Energy Production and Consumption

It is amazing what can be found at the Energy Information Administration, the Bureau of Land Management, the USGS, and the Minerals Management Service web sites. Opening up all the currently off limits land and continental shelves is the only smart thing to do, if we are to remain a power and possess the standard of living to which we have become accustomed. A sound energy plan is one of The Two Most Important Issues Facing America Today. Assuming that renewable energy will be sufficient to fully drive this nation during the next 20 years is a pipe dream. If your representative in Congress is still on the renewable energy bandwagon at the expense of drilling for oil and natural gas today, you may want to set them straight.

Wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, are all necessary sources of energy for this nation and must be pursued now. These renewable energy sources will power our nation in the second half of the 21st century. I did not mention ethanol and other biofuels, because corn based ethanol is just plain dumb – we need the land to feed the world, other ethanol based sources are not nearly ready, and some of the more exotic plants used for biofuels are a late 21st century source of energy. If you follow the global warming people to the promised land of corn ethanol, you will find that the corn crop and other biofuels crops are subject to all the weather interruptions they claim global warming will cause. Can we grow our way to energy independence if the weather is a factor in both food supplies and energy supplies? Not smart!

A true energy plan will help us securely transition from fossil fuel to new forms of energy. We must transition and not make a wild jump before the new fuels are fully ready. If you do not want this country thrust into energy chaos, both financially and physically, tell your Representatives to get smart, drill, plan, and do it now.

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